Dr Lesley Ingram ready to get back in the saddle
LAST year, she helped ready one of the world's top endurance cyclist for his greatest ever challenge in the saddle.
Now a capital doctor is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Mark Beaumont by recreating his record-breaking ride in just one day to raise money for a leading children’s charity.
Dr Lesley Ingram worked extensively with the cyclist to get him in the shape of his life as he readied to take on the 18,000-mile route in just 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes.
The Edinburgh Napier academic is now set to join Mark and 79 other cyclists as they aim to collectively cycle the same distance that Mark completed in his own challenge by covering an arduous 240 mile route from near Campbeltown in Argyll and Bute to Aberdeen in just 16 hours.
Dr Ingram was one of the team putting Beaumont through his paces before the challenge, including helping to conduct VO2 Max tests – identifying his ability to consume oxygen – and undertaking sessions in the University’s specialist environmental chamber, which mimicked a series of extreme high temperatures that Mark would face in locations throughout the ride.
Dr Ingram said she was “looking forward” to getting back in the saddle, adding: “I used to be a semi-professional mountain biker and I’ve always cycled in my life but I’ve never ever done anything on this scale before.
“Our challenge aims to mimic what Mark did in his own Around the World challenge. Our cycling will be broken down into four-hour blocks with 30-minute breaks in between.
“We are looking to do the 240 miles in around 16 hours at an average speed of 15mph, so it’s going to be tough.”
Taking place on September 22, the intrepid group’s route will see them undertake nearly 3,000 metres of climbing as it takes them around the Trossachs National Park and Ben More, before heading through Crieff, Forfar, Brechin and finishing at Aberdeen’s Duthie Park.
The challenge aims to raise up to £80,000 for the STV Children’s Appeal, which works to help improve the lives of children living in poverty.
Dr Ingram revealed that she had been training hard for the ride, however, she admitted it would be the furthest distance she had ever covered on two wheels.
She said: “I’ve been enjoying training rides at weekends and back home to Fife after work. Obviously, as a sport scientist, I’m a firm believer that fitness is a must have but for something like this you also need robust mental strength.”
Dr Ingram continued: “I’m fully prepared for the ups and downs the day will bring but I cannot wait to get started and to play my part in raising funds for what is such a worthwhile cause.”