Stornoway cyclist Christina Mackenzie has vowed to complete her latest challenge, despite accepting that she can’t beat the record she was chasing.
Endurance athlete Christina was hoping to beat the fastest woman's time for the epic cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats – a journey of 839 miles to be completed in less than 52 hours, 45 minutes and 11 seconds.
That record was set in 2002 by Lynne Biddulph, who cheered Christina on from the roadside on her first day. Lynne's record will continue to stand, but Christina intends to complete her own challenge later today, despite missing the record.
Her team posted on social media today: “Christina realised on Helmsdale that it wasn’t to be a record. The climb after near-on 800 miles just couldn’t be done within a realistic time frame. However, as you’d expect from an inspirational top athlete, she’s continuing on to complete the challenge and will have a very respectable time.”
Christina has plenty of other milestones under her belt – she holds the current British women’s VTTA 24hr Time Trial record and has leading performances in Ironman, The Celtman (Scotland’s extreme triathlon) and Ireland’s ultimate 24hr endurance challenge The Race Donegal. She’s also been a medallist for the Western Isles at Island Games from Bermuda in 2013 to Gotland in 2017.
She left Land’s End at 8am on Sunday, supported by three vehicles, six core support crew and four officials from the Roads Records Association. She was half an hour up on the standing record for some time, but a strong headwind yesterday pushed back her hopes and she is now expected to reach John O’Groats this afternoon.
Her challenge has already raised more than £7,000 for the Isle of Lewis committee of Cancer Research UK and you can add to that total at https://www.gofundme.com/f/Lejogmack.
Christina is pictured on Sunday soon after setting off on her marathon cycle (Chris Godfrey).