Pair get ready for mammoth race
Two local cyclists are set to tackle one of the most daunting tasks in sport in March, with Shoalwater’s Phil McCorriston and Baldivis’ Callum Henderson set to ride across Australia in the 2018 Indian Pacific Wheel Race.
The IPWR is a solo, unsupported, single-stage race running 5500km which begins in Fremantle and ends at the Sydney Opera House.
There will be no prize money at stake in the mammoth race and the clock does not stop until an athlete crosses the finish line.
McCorriston comes into the race with an endurance background having competed in triathlons, while Henderson will bring a cycling background to the event.
Despite their athletic backgrounds, Henderson and McCorriston are wary of the unknown that lies ahead during the huge journey.
“It’s something different — I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do it but I’ll do my best to get over there,” McCorriston said.
“This is totally outside of my comfort zone and anything I’ve done before.”
Training in the build-up to the race has not been a walk in the park for the pair either, with both riders clocking up huge readings on the odometer as they prepare their bodies for a one-of-a-kind event.
McCorriston has been riding about 500km-600km a week in training, while Henderson has been hitting anywhere between 500km and 1000km a week.
While the massive distance is daunting enough, there are also obstacles to overcome off the bike.
“The biggest thing in the race is you’ve got the winners who will have no more than four hours sleep and on some days even less than that — and it’s constant,” Henderson said.
“It’s not just the training side of it — there’s so much more on the mental side of it.
“Being able to do stuff fast, so unpacking your gear, getting to sleep, packing it up, and figuring out when you’re stopping for food and water.
“What’s been a real eye-opener in training is how much time is wasted off the bike.
“When you stop for a task you’ve got to take it quickly.”
Throw in the safety risks associated with riding vast distances in extreme weather as well as the risks from passing and oncoming traffic and you have a race that is designed to push riders to the limit.
The race starts on March 17.
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