A DETERMINED cyclist is attempting to break the women’s record for climbing and cycling between the three national peaks to raise money for the Trussell Trust food bank.

Saoirse Pottie, 29 lives in Abingdon and although she claims to not be that athletic, she does enjoy cycling and backpacking and now she wants to take on the three-peak challenge. But there is a twist, she will be cycling between the mountains not driving.

Along with two friends from Yorkshire, Ms Pottie is attempting to break the women’s record for climbing and cycling between the three national peaks - Snowdon, Scarfell Pike and Ben Nevis.

Ms Pottie said: “We’re aiming to do it under 72 hours, each day we will be climbing one of the mountains and cycling over 150 miles.

“We have calculated that before adding time for food breaks, the climbing and cycling alone will take us 16 hours each day. Meaning that we will only be able to sleep for a couple of hours each night.”

The current women’s record for the cycling three peaks challenge is 86 hours and they want to do it in under 72 hours but expect to complete it in even less time.

The challenge consists of 450 miles with 13,000ft of cycling and 26 miles with 9800m elevation of hiking.

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Ms Pottie said: “This is the biggest thing I have ever done. I am into back packing and last year I walked the length of Ireland and the north coast of Scotland.

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“The mileage is a lot bigger than anything we have ever done before.”

All this hard work is to raise funds for food bank charity Trussell Trust. The charity has several centres across Oxford, including two in Abingdon. In the last year, a record 2.5m emergency food parcels were given to people across UK, with just under 1m going to children.

Ms Pottie explained she wanted to fundraise for Trussell Trust after hearing about the increase in demand for food banks during the pandemic.

She said: “I think they are a great charity that help people get back on their feet.”

The challenge is set to go ahead on June 25 to 27, but the three cyclists have a lot of training to do before they take on the mountains.

Ms Pottie is a PHD student studying environmental science and she works part-time in a school and is struggling to find the time to fit in the long cycling training she needs.

She said: “I am trying to get out and do the long cycles as well as work and study. I have cycled up Brill hill a couple times for practice.”

The Abingdon cyclist will be joined by her two friends Cass and Emily on the three peaks cycle. Ms Pottie aims to raise £1,500.

To help the trio raise money for Trussell Trust food bank charity and to find out more about their record-breaking challenge visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/pottiecycles

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