Illi Gardner sets a new Everesting world record

Gardner takes over 30 minutes off her own previous record.

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Illi Gardner has broken her own Everesting world record with a new time of 8:03:29, just over 30 minutes quicker than her previous record breaking ride in August 2021. Already ratified by the Hells 50,0 keepers of the Everestig challenge, the ride brings the women’s record below the sub-8.5 hour barrier for the first time.

Everesting rides are always mind boggling, and Gardner’s Strava file for the new record is no different. Gardner set the new record on the steep slopes of the Crowcombe climb in south west England. With its 17% gradient and 148 m of elevation gain in just under a kilometre, the Crowcombe climb has proved popular for Everesting record attempts over the past year.

Gardner used those steep slopes to great effect covering just 107.82 km with 9,006m of elevation gain to break the record for a second time in 12 months. Demonstrating the incredible steepness of the climb, Gardner’s record-breaking ride had a moving time of 8:05:15 for the 107 km / 67 mile ride for an average speed of just 13.3 km/h, despite regularly hitting close to 80 kph on the descent.

Speaking to CyclingTips, Gardner explained she knew pretty soon after the first world record breaking ride that she wanted to do it again and felt she could go even quicker given ”a few things went wrong [on the first ride]”.

Gardner had actually attempted the record last weekend, but blew up after five hours having miscalculated her pacing early on. “In some ways having done it before actually made it harder to pace this time around. It was difficult to be patient and not start too hard.”

Undeterred, Gardner came back again a week later. “I still started a bit quickly and suffered massively around halfway and then it started raining.”

Despite the setbacks, Gardner suffered through, and says, “Although this ride wasn’t perfect, I feel very content with it and have no desire to go again.”

Behind every Everesting record is a great support team and Gardner was keen to thank her Dad, without whom she said, “None of this would have been possible.”

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