The Edinburgh Napier Sport Science academic who helped prepare adventurer Mark Beaumont for his cycle around the world is getting ready to undertake her own mammoth cycling challenge.
In the lead up to the challenge last year, Edinburgh Napier’s Dr Lesley Ingram worked extensively with the record-breaking cyclist to get him in the shape of his life as he geared up to cycling the 18,000-mile route in just 78 days, 14hours & 40mins.
From completing VO2 max tests to undertaking sessions in the University’s environmental chamber, which mimicked various high temperatures that Mark would face throughout this challenge, Lesley’s work ensured that Mark left no stone unturned in his quest to reach peak physical condition prior to leaving.
And now, Lesley will join Mark and 79 other cyclists as they aim to collectively cycle the same distance that Mark completed in his own challenge – in just one day.
In support of this year’s STV Children’s Appeal, the ‘Around the World in a Day’ challenge will see the cyclists aim to cover an arduous 240 mile route from near Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute to Aberdeen in just 16 hours.
Taking place on 22 September, the route includes nearly 3,000 metres worth of climbing as it takes them around the Trossachs National Park and Ben More, before heading through Crieff, Forfar, Brechin before finishing at Aberdeen’s Duthie Park.
Those taking part hope to raise £80,000 for the STV Children’s Appeal which was launched in 2011 as a response to statistics showing that one in four children and young people in Scotland live in poverty, with over 220,000 affected. In just seven years, the appeal has managed to raise more than £16.3million for a range of worthy causes across the country.
For Lesley this is uncharted territory as she swaps her lab for her bike to cycle the furthest distance she has ever done.
She said: “I used to be a semi-professional mountain biker and I’ve always cycled in my life but I’ve never ever done anything on this scale before. This is an unknown for me – I’ve never cycled 240 miles. It is daunting but I’m really looking forward to it!
“Our challenge aims to mimic what Mark did in his own Around the World challenge. Our cycling will be broken down into four-hour blocks with 30-minute breaks in between. We are looking to do the 240 miles in around 16 hours at an average speed of 15mph – it is going to be tough!
“I’ve been enjoying my training rides at weekends and back home to Fife after work. Obviously, as a sport scientist, I’m a firm believer that fitness is a must have but for something like this you also need a robust mental strength. I’m fully prepared for the ups and downs the day will bring but I can’t wait to get started and to play my part in raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.”