Mount Cook is proud to be sponsoring cyclist and motivational speaker Leigh Timmis for his second world record attempt! We all watched in anticipation as Leigh took on the fastest cycle across Europe world record in 2018, and beat the previous record by a whopping 8 days 7 hours and 53 minutes.
In 2022, Leigh is attempting to break the record for the Greatest Distance Cycled in Seven Days. As always, he's raising funds and awareness for Mental Health Research Charity, MQ, and is inviting everyone to take part in their own challenge on the 7 Days of Smiles Facebook group!
We caught up with Leigh to ask about his plans on tackling this exciting new record...
The current Guinness world record is 2179.66 miles. What kind of distance are you hoping to achieve?
"From the science team’s initial research and the data we collected on my previous record attempt, we know we can break the record by a significant margin. We’re currently in the early stages of training and over the next seven months we’ll be plugging my statistics into our strategy to develop a precise target. I’m not giving anything away right now but stay tuned for some impressive numbers later in the year!"
Have you planned your route yet? Which countries do you think you’ll go through?
"The Guinness guidelines have no restriction on where I attempt this record, so we’re scouring maps for the perfect location. Border crossings always add complication and the potential for delay, so I’m planning to keep the attempt within one country."
What’s been the biggest challenge of your cycling career so far? How do you think this world record attempt will compare?
"The Fastest Cycle Across Europe has been my biggest challenge so far, to break that record I cycled 14 hours a day for 16 days. I certainly see the seven-day record as a bigger challenge; although it’s less than half the duration, this time I need to cycle a much greater distance each day. The bar is set high but I’m approaching this with experience, a scientific strategy, and a team I trust."
We absolutely loved watching you smash the Fastest Cycle Across Europe. Will we be able to track this attempt too?
"Absolutely, I’m really looking forward to sharing this attempt. I’ll have a tracker on the bike feeding live updates to a map on my website and the team will be posting photos and videos to my social media. I’m also documenting my preparation leading up to the attempt through blogs and vlogs on my website."
Can you tell us a bit about the mental health charity you are raising funds for, MQ, and why you’ve chosen to support them/be an ambassador for them?
"MQ are the UK’s leading mental health research charity and I’ve been an ambassador for them for four years. I started struggling with my own mental health in my twenties; at a time when I’d achieved what I believed was “success”, I was diagnosed with depression. In fundraising for MQ, I hope to create a world where mental illness is better understood, diagnosed, treated and, maybe someday, prevented so others don’t have to go through the same as I did."
You’re also a phenomenal motivational speaker. Can you tell us a bit about what kind of subjects you tackle in your speeches?
"Thanks for your kind words. My talks explore the experiences and lessons I learnt from cycling around the world and breaking a world record; I share the techniques I used to help others achieve their own goals. Through these inspirational stories I tackle subjects including the tools to build mental strength and resilience, streamlining tasks to maximise performance, the importance of relationships for results and positive mindsets for dealing with crisis situations."
We're looking forward to welcoming Leigh as a keynote speaker at Your Outdoors, and event hosting at Mount Cook on the 17th September to celebrate and promote access the outdoor industry.