Scottish cycling legend aims to be the fastest woman to cycle the NC500 this weekend
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Guinness World Record holding cyclist, Christina Mackenzie, is gearing up to attempt a new record that will see her become the fastest woman to cycle the North Coast 500.
Setting off from Inverness Castle in the early hours of Friday (May 13), the cyclist, who lives in Stirlingshire, will need to complete the 516-mile loop in under 35 hours to ride off with the title.
Last year, Christina caught the nation’s attention when she became the fastest woman to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats, completing the 839 miles journey in 51 hours, 5 minutes and 27 seconds!
Cruse Scotland, a charity that offers free professional bereavement support to children and adults struggling to cope with their grief following the death of a loved one, is thrilled to have been nominated as the charity for the challenge.
Explaining her choice of charity, Christina said: “Cruse Scotland provided support to me, helping me understand the grief I was experiencing through the loss of my parents and loved ones. The support I received from Cruse Scotland helped me manage my grief from day to day, giving me the reassurance and confidence to accept, allow and adjust to life again.”
Sharing her feelings ahead of the record attempt, Christina continued: “It has been a tough six months with training and battling the Scottish winter, but also good preparation for any conditions we may encounter. It is a challenging course with over 10,000 metres of elevation, the clock does not stop from the time I start so there will be no non-essential stops, all nutrition will be consumed on the bike through hourly hand-ups from the support team at the side of the road.
“Now all the hard work has been done, I am looking forward to getting started and hopefully I can enjoy some of the fabulous scenery the course has to offer, but I am excited to see people roadside supporting. This is great motivation, especially when I will be going through difficult times, it will be great to see people by the side of the road offering [shouting] words of support, it really does make a difference.”
Scott Maxwell, community fundraising and events manager, Cruse Scotland, said: “Christina is an inspiration. Not only is she showing real bravery by taking on such an incredible challenge, but it must have also taken real courage for her to share her story and personal experience of grief.
“We’re so grateful for all she is doing – she may make it easier for someone who has been struggling to cope with their grief to reach out to any of our services, and any funds she raises through sponsorship will ensure all our services are free and accessible to those who need additional support. Thank you Christina and good luck.”
Christina will share her live tracking link on her social media pages (@Lejogmack) from 5am on Friday, May 13 allowing everyone to follow her progress as she makes her way around the loop, and so locals who wish to cheer her on from the roadside can check her location.
You can make a donation in support of Christina’s efforts and to help many bereaved people across the country, via her page: www.justgiving.com/christinamackenzienc500