Evanton cyclist is aiming to conquer Ireland
A CYCLIST from Evanton is all ready to go for one of the biggest challenges of his career when he competes in the Race Around Ireland.
Wlliam Maclennan will set off on the 2150-kilometre endurance event which sets off at Trim Castle in Meath and estimated to last six days.
But Maclennan is hoping to finish it in four and create a new British record.
That would qualify him for the Race Across America coast-to-coast challenge in 2021.
Maclennan (53) is raising cash for MFR Cash for Kids and Macmillan Cancer Support – a charity close to his heart as his wife Alison has battled lung cancer for two years.
“Sleep deprevation is one of the main challenges,” said Maclennan who will have a support team of six keeping him supplied with the nutrients he needs, medical and technical support to keep his bike on the road.
“The race is based on an average speed and not the fastest time for the course. The British record is 11.74mph which may not sound fast but it includes your rest periods as well.”
Last year’s winner Joe Barr, a former Commonwealth Games medallist finished in just under 13mph but only had three-and-a-half hours sleep in total.
Maclennan said the key is to keep going with as little sleep as possible.
“The longest training run I’ve done so far is 600miles (965k) and to cope with the lack of sleep I basically have been getting on my bike when I finish work on a Friday evening and cycling right through to Sunday morning,” he said.
“I’ve being doing a lot in the Cairngorms and up the west coast which have some challenging climbs.
“You can never tell what the weather is going to be like from one day to the next so it’s a case of getting out there and piling in the miles.”
Having suffered badly from colitis as a child William was determined his life was not going to be defined by that condition.
A logistic coordinator with a non-destructive testing firm he relies on many sponsors to support him.
“Some of the events I finance myself but events like the RAC I need additional support and will need backing for the Race Across America which is 3078 miles coast to coast and crosses three deserts and goes through mountain ranges reaching 11,000 feet.
“These endurance races are as much about mental as physical strength. You have to keep going when the elements are going against you.