Lewis cycling legend gains new record on NC500

Photograph: Christina Mackenzie at the end of her record breaking North Coast 500 challenge

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Stornoway cyclist Christina Mackenzie has achieved a new Road Record Association (RRA) record as the fastest woman to cycle the North Coast 500.

Christina en route on the NC500.

Now living in Stirlingshire Christina narrowly missed out on achieving the Guinness World Record however has completed the 516 mile route in an incredible 36 hours 39 minutes and 07 seconds.

Moments after crossing the finish line Christina said: ‘I’m delighted to have completed it after months of training, dedication and commitment.

‘It’s a reality now. It has been put to bed and won’t be repeated.’

Christina also used the challenge as an opportunity to offer hope to many bereaved children, young people and adults in Scotland by nominating Cruse Scotland as her charity partner.

She said: ‘Cruse Bereavement 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 helped me manage my grief from day to day giving me the reassurance and confidence to accept, allow and adjust to life again.’

Nicola Reed, an Area Manager at Cruse Scotland who leads the teams of volunteer counsellors in the North and East regions of Scotland said: ‘Following Christina on this challenge has had me on the edge of my seat. She is a remarkable human and this adventure demonstrates that in so many ways.

‘One in five people need additional support to cope with their grief following the death of a loved one and thanks to Christina’s efforts she is helping to raise awareness of Cruse Scotland’s free listening and counselling services available to them.

‘Thanks to her fundraising efforts she is also helping to ensure we can continue to be there for those that need us; online, over the phone or in 1to1 sessions.’

Fans followed Christina’s progress live online thanks to a tracking dot and many supporters took to the route to cheer her on and keep her motivated. Cycling legends Mark Beaumont and Markus Stitz sent a video message of support, and a heads up on a trickier part of the route too.

Last year Christina smashed the women’s Land’s End to John O’Groats record by an hour and 40 minutes.

Christina’s fundraising total had reached £3,292 at the time of writing. There is still time to make a donation to celebrate Christina’s latest achievement and to help ensure those struggling to cope with their grief and receive the support they deserve: www.justgiving.com/christinamackenzienc500

Photograph: Christina Mackenzie at the end of her record breaking North Coast 500 challenge. NO_F21_NC500_ChristinaMackenzieat finish line

Extra pic: Christina en route on the NC500. NO_F21_NC500_ChristinaMackenzie on route