University of Birmingham Sport (UBSport) Sports Science Officer Alex McGregor has completed a mammoth test of his endurance after cycling the 408 mile trip from Big Ben to Edinburgh Castle in under 40 hours.
Alex, who specialises in physiology for UBSport’s Hi Performance Centre, and his friend Owen Mugridge have done similar events previously and decided upon this extraordinary test as their next challenge.
Starting on Saturday June 16 at 5:15am morning, the pair headed north from the capital, moving through Peterborough, Lincoln and York with a tailwind to aid them, before they reached their first day destination near Northallerton, North Yorkshire.
Due to a number of mechanical issues though, they completed this 257 mile journey at 12:30am, and knowing they were in for a tough ride the following day, Alex and Owen only managed to get five hours sleep before getting on their bikes again at 7:30am.
However on the second day the going was not as easy, as strong headwinds and hilly route through Darlington and Jedburgh made for a treacherous and mentally challenging bike ride for the pair.
But Alex and Owen managed to summon the strength needed to get through the ride and reached Edinburgh Castle at 8:30pm, meaning they finished the gruelling challenge in a staggering 39 hours 15 minutes.
Following the ride, Alex revealed they had already cycled the entire length of the country, but decided that they needed to step the challenge up a gear and decided upon this extreme task.
“Last year we cycled Lands end to John O’Groats for charity which was longer but only 110 miles most days. After it we thought we could do something harder so the challenge we came up with was 400 miles in 40 hours, which is the distance between London and Edinburgh.
“Other than that we just did to see if it was possible. I’m a physiologist with a particular interest in ultra endurance activity so I’m always interested in what the body is capable of doing. It only seems right to use myself as a subject!”