28 women to try to squeeze into a Mini on Guinness World Records day

Emily Dugan gets a taste of the record-breaking attempt

In a car park in Eastbourne, two people grab me by the arms, propel me backwards and wedge me into the boot of a Mini. Either side of me are two tiny women squealing in pain and in the seats behind, more than 20 others are gasping for air.

This is not an abduction, but a rehearsal for a world record attempt. On Thursday this group of women will aim to cram 28 people into a Mini, joining hundreds from around the world taking part in Guinness World Records day. Other attempts will include chefs in Italy trying to cook the biggest ever chocolate coin; an American aiming to complete more than five consecutive front flips on a pogo stick and a Briton lifting more than 25.5kg using only his eye sockets.

Last year, Eastbourne fitness instructor Dani Maynard, 39, and her friends took the world record away from a New York dance troupe, squeezing 27 women into the car for Children in Need. On Thursday they aim to go one higher.

"Nine of the original team have dropped out because the thought of putting themselves through it again is too much," Ms Maynard says. "Oxygen is limited. Once all the doors are shut and everyone is in, it's the equivalent of having an asthma attack."

That becomes apparent very quickly. I have been invited to join in the rehearsal, though it is clear I am more than a little on the large side for the task. "Hmm, I think you should go in the boot," Ms Maynard says, after realising that – unlike the others – I am not part-elf.

The boot is meant to be one of the nicer positions, though with my knees under my chin, an elbow in my face and my ankles at an alarming angle, I'm not so sure. There is one obvious advantage to the boot, though: being last in. Carly Cornford, 27, has the odious task of being first into the car – at least 13 minutes of waiting in the footwell for the others to get in. "You just have to zone out and find your own air hole," she says.

Ms Maynard does not go in the car herself, but has hunted down an army of the tiniest women and directs the operation from outside. "Our code word is Pudsey," she barks into the car, "which means 'I'm going to draw my last breath'." For the rehearsal we manage only 25.Ms Maynard doesn't want to push it without a paramedic present. Still, with 25 it already feels as if vital organs are compressing.

The group will attempt to smash a second record on Thursday – this time for fitting more than 21 people into the original Mini. For this, Ms Maynard lets me try the front seat. As body after body is piled around me, one girl begins to hyperventilate. "Everybody out," shouts Ms Maynard, and with a collective sigh of relief, the car empties.

FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Trustee opportunities now available at The Society for Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Volunteer your expertise as Tr...

Early Years Educator

£68 - £73 per day + Competitive rates of pay based on experience: Randstad Edu...

Nursery Nurse

£69 - £73 per day + Competitive London rates of pay: Randstad Education Group:...

Primary KS1 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam