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Endurance rider cycles through Helmsdale but sees record bid fade

By Mike Merritt

Christina Mackenzie.
Christina Mackenzie.

The brave bid by a Scottish endurance athlete from the Outer Hebrides to become the fastest woman to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats looks set to fail today.

Christina Mackenzie cycled through Helmsdale at 9.36am this morning - just over 50 miles from the finish - but realised by then she would not break the record.

Her support team wrote on Twitter that she was "gutted but knows in her own mind this opportunity has passed. She is however continuing on to complete the full distance - what a brave effort from a remarkable individual."

Mackenzie, a member of Stirling Bike Club, had to battle a headwind for a while yesterday afternoon and having been half an hour or so up on the current record, saw her advantage then narrow.

She had to reach John O’Groats by 12.45pm today to set a new world record.

Christina, who was born and raised in Stornoway and is the current Veteran Time Trials Association women’s 24-hour record holder, set off from Land’s End at 8am on Sunday - and was at one time well inside record pace.

The current record for the 839 mile distance stands at 52 hours, 45 minutes and was set in 2002 by Lynne Biddulph, who had been out on the roadside to cheer Mackenzie on.

Surplus cash raised above the £6500 organisation and safety costs will be donated to the Cancer Research UK committee in Lewis.

So far it has topped £7100.

To donate https://www.gofundme.com/f/Lejogmack

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