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Grandma, 82, breaks world record by cycling 960 miles

The grandmother-of-five celebrated her epic journey with a huge slab of chocolate cake

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By Adam Dutton via SWNS

An 82-year-old British gran has broken the world record for the oldest woman ever to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The grandmother-of-five celebrated her epic journey with a huge slab of chocolate cake when she arrived at John O’Groats on June 23.

Gina raising thousands for domestic abuse charities along the way. (Emma Trimble via SWNS)

Gina, who turned 82 in April this year, is now the oldest woman ever to cycle the length of Britain.

She took 28 days to pedal 960 miles from Cornwall to Scotland, raising thousands of pounds for domestic abuse charities along the way.

Mavis Paterson, from Dumfries and Galloway, in Scotland, was previously the oldest woman to complete the grueling feat, at the age of 81.

Gina, a retired photographer and gardener, only began cycling when she turned 50 and has previously ridden around parts of Europe and the US.

She was inspired by 87-year-old Laurence Brophy, the oldest man to have successfully completed the ‘end-to-end' challenge in 2019.

Gina Harris, 82, at the finish line in John O’Groats, Scotland. She had traveled 960 miles from Land's End. (Gina Harris via SWNS)

Gina, from Birmingham, said: "I rode my old steel touring bike and carried my luggage which was a combined weight of more than 30kg.

“It was a lot of hard work but when you get into a rhythm you just keep going.

“I didn’t get off to the best start, however, because I lost a sock on the first leg of the journey but luckily I had spares.

“It was a short cycle to Penzance but the next day we got lost immediately because it looked like the cycle path was closed.

“Eventually we found the route and managed 41 miles going up many steep hills but the weather was wonderful and the lovely Cornish scenery kept us going.”

Gina only began cycling when she was 50. She took 28 days to go 960 miles from Land's End to John O'Groats. (SWNS)

Gina was joined by her son Pascal, 47, for several days of the trip and she managed an average of 20 miles a day as she progressed through the country.

The superfit gran set off at 7 am every day and stayed in Airbnbs, Youth Hostels and hotels along the way.

Gina, whose husband Tim died two years ago aged 86, added: “A few of the days the rain was pelting down and some of the roads we chose were rough and potholed and a nightmare to ride on.

“We met other cyclists doing the route to John O’Groats which is thrilling and we all helped each other carry on.

“Getting to Scotland was a milestone. I enjoyed every moment of the trip and it’s quite a thing to think I’ve broken a world record.

“We’ll have to wait for the record to be verified but hopefully it’ll be official.

"Unfortunately my Garmin Sat Nav packed up on day nine and didn't register 15 miles of the journey but I'm hoping it won't matter."

Remarkably, Gina did not suffer any punctures and only fell off once near Carlisle when one of her toe-straps snapped leaving her with a few grazes.

Gina, who has two grown-up children, has so far raised more than $6,000 for two women’s domestic abuse charities, Women’s Aid and Refuge.

Louise Firth, director of fundraising and communications at Refuge said: “People taking on incredible challenges makes such a difference to our work at Refuge, enabling us to reach and support more women and children impacted by domestic abuse.”

Faye Connelly, fundraising manager at Women’s Aid, said: “We are so grateful to Gina for her incredible support for Women’s Aid, and we want to say a huge thank you to her for taking on this extraordinary challenge for the charity.”

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