This coming weekend 26/27th June 2021, a team of 12 riders will attempt to set a Guinness World Record from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, a team that includes a good spattering of TORQ athletes including company owner Matt Hart.
You’re probably fed up of hearing about Matt after his recent Everesting Challenge to raise awareness about incineration, so he promises to disappear into anonymity and stop stealing the limelight once this World Record attempt is over! Matt, the owner of TORQ, received an email from an old friend and racing adversary Steve Price, asking if TORQ would like to support (with nutrition) a World Record attempt involving a group of riders who would relay their way from Land’s End to John o’ Groats. By relay, Steve meant splitting the route into sections and each rider having 3-4 focussed efforts of roughly an hour, taking it in turns to do the distance whilst passing a GPS baton. The email ended with ‘…and do you know any good riders?’
Matt was intrigued with the challenge, agreed to support it with TORQ nutrition and also put himself forward as one of the riders. He also put forward James Emery, long term manager of the TORQ Triathlon Team, another racing adversary of his. Presumably Matt thought that if he surrounded himself with former credible competitors it might make him train a bit harder! In addition to James, Matt also asked fellow employee Marcus Willday if he’d like to be involved as a support driver and substitute. Should a fellow rider get a terminal mechanical enroute, Marcus, a very capable athlete, would be able to pass the van keys to the knobbled rider, jump on his bike and fill in until the other rider’s bike was repaired… or not? Matt also couldn’t let the occasion pass without inviting long term TORQ athlete and Time Trial supremo Mark Turnbull either, so he hopped aboard too. Mark has had some serious form in the past, but had hung up his wheels to slip quietly into retirement… until Matt gave him a call!
Like Steve, Matt, James, Marcus and Mark (perhaps the exception), the rest of the team includes a bunch of ordinary fellows. None of them are record-breaking elite riders on their own, but just normal guys who collectively want to earn themselves a World Record and raise some money for charity. This World Record attempt was Adam Hinds’ brainchild and with friend and logistics guru Tom Reed at his side, the plan took shape. There were a few drop-outs, but what we were left with was a solid bunch of committed men with an average age of around 40. The other riders involved in the attempt are Dan Jestico, Paul Tippett, James Barrett, Joe Robinson and Craig Jackson.
As this has never been attempted before, the powers that be at Guinness have set a minimum time for the team to achieve, which is 50 hours, along with a whole bunch of other stipulations. The riders have to use commercially available equipment, must ride alone, cannot draft vehicles, must pass a single GPS device as a baton between them and there must be at least 2 minutes of video footage taken at each changeover. The team believe that under 40 hours should easily be achievable if changeovers are smooth and there are no major mishaps, so they hope to produce a time in hours that is less than their average age!
The first rider will depart Land’s End at 4am on Saturday 26th June and as you can imagine, the logistics involved in organising this attempt have been significant. The team is expected to pass through Bristol at around 2pm, the Lake District at about midnight, Perth at about 10am on Sunday 27th and finish at John o’ Groats hopefully just after 7pm on Sunday evening. The riders will of course be TORQ Fuelled and also a huge thank you to Exposure for supplying lights for all the riders. Not only will certain riders need to have full visibility at night, everyone will need a super bright rear light, even for daylight riding to keep them safe during their stint on the road. You will be able to track the riders’ progress live from 3am Saturday morning using this link.
All of the riders are really excited by this challenge and hope to get a Guinness World Record certificate at the end of it, but they’re also riding to raise money for the Jigsaw South East charity which supports bereaved children, young people and their families and those affected by a family member having a terminal diagnosis. If you’re reading this and can spare £5 (or as much as you can afford) to support this valuable charity, please click HERE to donate on Matt’s Just Giving Page.
Sophie Bewley, Jigsaw’s fundraising lead said:
“We couldn’t be more grateful for the support of the LEJOG team, whose fundraising efforts will be a huge support to the charity as we continue to see an increasing number of children needing our support. Our income was hit heavily by the impact of the pandemic, but we strive to continue to be there for every child that needs us. With the support of fundraisers like this incredible team, we know we can continue to do so.”
As well as being able to track the riders as the move up the country, the team’s progress will be updated in real time via TORQ’s social media channels, primarily on Facebook and Twitter, so tune in over the weekend to keep in touch and see how they’re getting on. We will of course update you when it’s all over.
If you’re interested in learning about how the guys will be fuelling themselves over this epic journey, take a look at this article where we explain all.