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Inverness cyclist comes fifth in race across the US from his garage


By Louise Glen

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Cyclist Lindsay McCrae came fifth in the VRAAM. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Cyclist Lindsay McCrae came fifth in the VRAAM. Picture: Gary Anthony.

AN endurance cyclist took on a monumental challenge to complete more than 3000 miles in 12 days – all from his Inverness garage – and came fifth in the world.

Lindsay McCrae (49) completed the 21-hour-a-day feat on a state-of-the-art static bicycle to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Care and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

During the race he also climbed a staggering 175,000 feet and raised more than £3000 for the causes by cycling virtually from the west to the east cost of America in just 12 days.

When he started he did not believe he had a chance of being in the top 10, far less taking fifth place against competitors across the globe.

Using technology that loosely mimicked the conditions riders would face on the road in real life, Mr McCrae had little more than three hours sleep a day to complete the 3087-mile Virtual Race Across America (VRAAM).

The static race mimicked the terrain the cyclists would have to endure if they had been doing it for real. Picture: Gary Anthony.
The static race mimicked the terrain the cyclists would have to endure if they had been doing it for real. Picture: Gary Anthony.

Drawing its length, name and legacy from the cancelled Race Across America (RAAM), the route is one of the longest-running ultra-endurance events in the world.

Mr McCrae, who also covered hundreds of miles in just 47 hours in the BikingMan Oman event in March, said this latest challenge was a tough one.

“It was a sprint finish at the end, and I only got 45 minutes sleep on the last day,” he said. “I just can’t believe that I have done it. I am over the moon.

“At one point when I was ‘in’ the Rockies it was touch and go. I have had a few issues with a sore knee and the saddle sores were terrible early on.”

Mr McCrae, who works for Sterner AquaTech UK, said: “Some things were easier, and some were harder. It was easier in that I had food and drink on hand when I needed them, but obviously when you are not moving around so much you have to remind yourself to keep changing position and moving in your seat.

“I knew it was going to be tough, but it is was harder than I thought it would be. I have done endurance cycling events before, but this event had different challenges.”

To donate visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/lindsaymccrae


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