A Scottish woman has broken the women’s Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling record.
Christina Mackenzie, originally from Stornoway, completed the 839-mile journey in 51 hours, five minutes and 27 seconds.
The 44-year-old’s time beat the previous record of 52 hours, 45 minutes and 11 seconds set by Lynne Taylor in October 2002.
Ms Mackenzie’s record attempt raised money for Alzheimer Scotland in memory of her mother Elizabeth, who had vascular dementia, and died in July 2014.
Throughout the ride, Ms Mackenzie has been supported by members of Stirling Bike Club – as well as the local communities she has whizzed through.
Last night, supporters knew she was well on track to beat the record but still lined the streets as she hurtled towards the finish line.
— Casagrande (@CasHoop75) July 30, 2021
Spectators waved signs in Inverness as she crossed the Kessock Bridge, and even played the pipes to rally her on through Inverness.
This morning, she tackled the notorious Berridedale Braes but they were no match for her determination and she reached John O’Groats with time to spare.
— Lejogmack 🏴 (@Lejogmack) July 30, 2021
Record attempt the latest endurance test
Ms Mackenzie, a swim development officer now based in Stirling, has been cycling competitively since 2016, had planned to make the ride last year.
It was postponed due to the Covid pandemic.
She said: “Through lockdown, the training has kept me going and knowing you have something to aim for is great motivation.”
Ms Mackenzie also took up running in 2010 to enter a 10k race and race money for Macmillian Cancer Relief, and has since completed the London and Boston marathons.
During her training she began swimming and cycling, and took up triathlon – going on to take on the Ironman UK challenge and just missing out on a slot in the world championships.
But she described competing in the Natwest Island Games as an “experience of a lifetime” – representing the Western Isles in triathlon, competing in the sports she loved.
“The experience from start to finish was amazing and triumphing with team gold in triathlon, silver in the marathon and bronze in the TT really was moments never to be forgotten,” she said.
Flippin’ honoured to have been able to support a fellow Lewis woman @christina_mack and her brilliant team @Lejogmack in her world record attempt to be the fastest woman to cycle from LE to John O’G! Not often two Lewis blones can meet round these strange Worcestershire roads!❤️ pic.twitter.com/9Y8Oir99Fn
— Yvonne Murray (@yvonnemurray) July 28, 2021
Since then, the record-breaker has continued her endurance sports after joining Stirling Bike Club when she moved there in 2016.
Keen to set herself a new goal, she set her sights on smashing the women’s record for the Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle.
So far, she has raised more than £8,500. To support, visit her page here.