Without the support of these organisations and supporters quite simply we would not be able to make an attempt at the record.
I was born and raised in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis in 1977. I had a fun and active childhood growing up on the island, my parents bought me my first bike at 3 years old, falling off and getting back on many times until I could keep up with my older brother on his Rodeo bike.
I took up running in 2010 to enter a 10k race and race money for Macmillian Cancer Relief, one thing lead to another and the next thing I was running marathons. I qualified to run the London Marathon in 2012 and then the Boston Marathon in 2013. This was the year of the fateful bomb attack; fortunately I had crossed the finish line 40minutes before this and was safely back in my hotel when the bombs went off.
During my training for the marathons, I swam and cycled as cross training days and found I really enjoyed the combination. In 2012 I took up triathlon and set a goal to complete a 70.3 Ironman, this consisted of a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle followed by a 21km run. I completed this successfully coming 4th in my age group, I now wanted to set my goal higher for the following year, so my goal for 2013 was to complete the Ironman UK which involved a 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42km run.
In 2013 the NatWest Island Games were brought to my attention, for the first time triathlon was introduced as a sport for the forthcoming Games held in Bermuda. I qualified to join the triathlon team for the Western Isles, I was also asked to compete in the cycling time trial (TT) race and run the half marathon. This was an experience of a lifetime, to represent the Western Isles and compete in sports that I really love was a dream come true. 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.
In August 2013 I also achieved my goal and completed Ironman UK, just missing out on qualifying for The World Championships in Kona.
In 2014, realising that endurance sports were my thing I looked to see what I could achieve next. My attentions were drawn to a new race of its kind. It was a 250km unsupported endurance event across the rugged landscape of North West Donegal. To finish competitors had to complete 15km of kayaking, 166km of cycling, 5km of mountain running and 64km of road and trail running, crucially, all this in under 24 hours. After months of training for this I completed the race in 18 hours 13minutes and was the first placed female and 6th overall. In 2016 I raced it again and won the female category for a second time.
I joined Stirling Bike Club when I moved to Stirling in 2016, looking to improve my cycling abilities and focus on cycling as a single discipline instead of triathlon.
In June in 2016 I competed in the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race, a cycling event along 555km of rugged Donegal coastline with an ascent of over 6000m, where I won the female category and came 6th overall in 27 hours 11mins
In July 2017 I went to Gotland, Sweden as Team Manager for the Western Isles Team at the NatWest Island Games. I managed the cycling team who collectively won 8 medals, along with swimming, cycling was the top performing discipline at the Games for my Island.
During 2017 I entered the Mersey Roads 24hr National TT Championships, achieving 396miles placing 4th female in the event breaking the then SVTTA record of 384miles.
Four weeks later I raced the WCTTA 12hour TT with the aim of beating the women’s SVTTA record of 241miles. I completed 246miles and placed first female, 16miles further than the 2nd place woman and in doing so, successfully broke the record.
My focus for 2018 was to break the 24hour VTTA record of 427miles and improve on my 12 hour TT distance. I achieved 431miles in the 24hr to break the VTTA and increase my SVTTA record and placed 2nd in this the National 24hr TT championships.
Two weeks later I raced in the Breckland 12hour TT championships, where I increased my previous year’s mileage by 10miles and achieved 256miles to increase my SVTTA record placing 2nd woman in this event.
Prior to these 2 events, in June 2018 I raced the Celtman, achieving the coveted blue t-shirt. During the event I placed as the 2nd fastest female on the bike split, consisting of 200km with 2200m of ascent in a time of 7hrs 6mins.
On the home front with my focus on endurance cycling events I was still keen to represent Stirling Bike club on the shorter TT races, in doing so, I podiumed on all occasions, including the National 100mile TT. For my efforts I received the Best Road Rider and Best Female Rider awards as voted for by the membership of Stirling Bike Club in both 2017 and 2018.
As now I have achieved my 12hr and 24hr goals I was looking to set a new personal goal. During my time competing for the 24hr TT’s I heard people talking about the Lands End to John O’Groats (Lejog) record and in particular the woman’s record that has stood since 2002. This instantly got my attention, but I always put it to the back of my mind thinking it would be a challenge to organise, get a support team and doubts in my head whether I could ride my bike for 52hours in one go…….
Until now that is!
With a top support team backing me and no doubts in my mind I aim to attempt to break this record in August 2019.
VTTA 24 hr TT record holder (2018): 431.64 miles
Silver Medallist RTTC National 24 hr Championship
SVTTA 24hr TT record holder: 431.64miles
SVTTA 12hr TT record holder: 256.28 Miles
Silver Medallist 12 hr TT CC Breckland District Championship
Silver Medallist 100miles Scottish National TT
5th Place 25mile Scottish National TT
Bronze medallist Scottish National TTT
10th Place 10mile Scottish National TT