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Virtual Everesting for Kingston Hospital Charity

Everesting is a cycling challenge where riders take on repeats of the same climb until they reach the same elevation gain as Mount Everest at 8,848 metres. This March several Wheelers took on the challenge on their turbo trainers, using the Alpe du Zwift as their virtual mountain to conquer. They used the ride to fundraise for Kingston Hospital Charity and received over £1000 for their heroic efforts. Tom Kennett reports back from a tough day in the saddle.

Well, I’m sure you’re all in suspense as to how we got on (Reader: No, we refreshed social channels every 10 minutes on Saturday already and saw that 3 of you made it…).

The day started with Tobias Rosenkranz and Henrik Persson logging on to begin their attempts at around 6am, although Henrik had suffered from a poor night owing to some stomach issues, so was already up against it early doors. Tobi meanwhile had Rich Halls and Chris Jenkins helping pace him for the first reps, while Henrik ploughed on with the spirit of the stubborn 12 hour TT rider that he is.

After a couple of hours, Hans Svendsen logged on and then finally I joined the party at the frankly grumpy teenager start time of 7.45am, with Seb Ashton supporting me for the first 3 reps. On my side of things, the early pacing went well, although on a couple of occasions Seb was writing cheques that my legs couldn’t cash for over 9 hours. But my own target was to finish within 10 hours and it was apparent within the first 3 reps that this was very much achievable, so I just settled into a good rhythm.

After Seb left and the sun started shining outside, I think we all went through a few dark patches. Henrik unfortunately got to 5.5 reps before his body got the better of him, and while it was sad to see it was definitely the right call. Tobi was only 85% chirpy at some points (even with Bill McClatchie joining for a rep), while Hans and I jumped on Discord at one point sounding like two broken men.

In the end however, a constant stream of fuelling, old Sufferfest videos, Milan San Remo and the kind of soundtrack that you’d find at a late morning Spin Class got me through, and I found it surprising how quickly it passed, all things considered.

Hans meanwhile motored on like a machine, and it was pretty heartwarming to see a crew of Ant Brailsford, Chris Jenkins (again) and Tobi’s mother giving the B4B overlord some much-needed support towards the end of the day, as well as an in-person visit from Marek Malysa!

Meanwhile, as I was slumping through the final rep, Harry Bunnell joined me for a little while and that proved a huge morale boost to see me through to the end, with Hans joining me shortly afterwards and Tobi a little while after that.

What did we learn? Well on my side, that I have zero desire to do that indoors again, that actually it was hard in ways I didn’t expect (fuelling and my body’s tolerance to that volume of calorie intake), but that it was genuinely surprising how quick a lot of the day passed. It was also genuinely uplifting to see such a great contingent of people supporting us or checking in through the day; if you’re ever considering supporting someone on such an attempt, then I would suggest that you should, as you’ll help make their day.

The other worthwhile thing has been that we’ve now raised over £1,000 for the Kingston Hospital Charity. It would mean the world to all of us if we could get that to four figures, so if you’ve either thought that we’re crazy or crazily impressive, then please do consider donating here.