On the 9th July Sam Wakeling and Roger Davies set out to break the world record for the fastest 100 miles on a unicycle, a record that has stood since 1987!
Sam smashed the record with a time of 6 hours, 18 minutes and 13 seconds, breaking the previous record by over 26 minutes. Unfortunately, Roger had to retire after 43 miles due to severe cramp.
Sam's new record was set on the Croft Circuit at Donnington race track. The circuit is 1823 metres long which means 88.3 laps need to be completed. The weather was sunny but there was some wind which made part of the circuit a bit of a "slog" as the pair rode into the wind.
Sam and Roger rode opposite directions around the track to avoid drafting. Sam was on a Kris Holm 36″ unicycle with Schlumpf gearbox and 145 cranks. Roger rode a Nimbus Oracle 36″ unicycle with 89 cranks.
Roger suffered a fall part way through the attempt which caused some grazes to his knees. However, it was severe, double cramp that meant Roger had to retire after 43 miles.
After the record was broken Sam said, "Wow, that was hard." He went on to talk us through the gruelling feat. "I went off fast, as I was feeling fresh and the wind was low and I wanted to get a good time cushion."
Sam, who also holds the record for the longest distance unicycled in 24 hours, admitted, "Mentally this was probably the hardest of all the unicycle events I've done as after about 40 miles I was feeling quite tired and the wind increased, making it quite a drag to get around each lap. The laps remaining seemed to stretch out a very long way and it was hard to imagine the end coming."
There was a good, little crowd at the track to support Sam and Roger and the unicyclists could talk to their support team via their hands-free mobile phones. "It was hugely helpful to be able to speak properly to the people giving me food and drink, as you can't communicate much by yelling as you ride past and it was much easier to describe what I wanted next or what information I wanted to know; mostly "how many laps to go?" and "what am I on course for?"", Sam said. "There was a lovely atmosphere in the pit lane with a small crowd who were there to support and witness, banging bells and giving encouragement each lap. Especially when the 'laps to go' countdown got into single figures it was suddenly possible to see light at the end of the tunnel."
Sam concluded by saying: "Big thanks to all who helped to make today possible, Croft circuit who let us use their track, Roger for helping to get this latest round of silliness into reality, and especially my wife Louise for feeding, watering, encouraging and having endless cheering-on capacity to keep me going."
Roger was disappointed not to finish but said, "I may have another go, but will need to wait a little bit... I am certain I can do it to, just that was not my day."
Roger and Sam were also raising money for WaterAid by attempting this record. They raised a fantastic £558 for this worthy charity.
All of us here at Firetoys want to congratulate both riders, it was an amazing feat.