Yorkshire woman breaks world record for tandem ride around globe

Smashed it - Yorkshire's Catherine Dixon and her friend Rachel Marsden who smashed the round-world tandem record Credit: PA

A lawyer from Yorkshire has smashed her way into the record books after riding a tandem around the world.

Catherine Dixon, 54, left her post as chief executive of Askham Bryan College near York to take part in the challenge with her friend Rachel Marsden, 55.They spent 263 days, eight hours and seven minutes covering 18,000 miles and travelling through 25 different countries and across five continents.

They beat the previous record of 281 days, which was set last year by two men.

And their exploits raised over £40,000 for Oxfam and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Worldwide ride - Cat and Raz en route during their world record challenge. Credit: Oxfam

Catherine and Rachel, known as Caz and Raz, cycled round the globe on Alice, their pink tandem.

The pair set off from Oxford on 29 June 2019, before completing their journey and arriving back in London on the 18 March 2020.

But they have been waiting until now for the Guinness Book of Records to verify the achievement.

The experience was incredible and certainly not without its challenges – most notably racing to make it home as borders closed behind us due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Setting the world record really was the adventure of a lifetime and we hope that it will inspire others to believe that anything is possible if you follow your dreams.

Cat Dixon - World record holder

Their record was one of the last to be broken before lockdown.

It was a race against time, as borders were closing and countries were entering lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They managed to board the penultimate passenger ferry back from Caen in France to the UK on the day that the travel ban started.

The tandem travels involved covering over 18,000 miles, 25 countries and five continents Credit: Oxfam

In order to cover the vast distance in record time, Cat and Raz cycled between 80-100 miles on average each day, occasionally completing as much as 120 miles in one day.

The pair were also faced with challenging weather conditions throughout their trip.

This included a heatwave across Europe, extended monsoons across Asia and the Australian bush fires which forced them to take an in-land route across the country where temperatures often climbed as high as 50 degrees Celsius.

It's been a joy following Cat and Raz's big adventure. I'm sure these two remarkable women will be an inspiration to anyone looking to expand their horizons and discover their world.

Craig Glenday, Guinness World Records Editor in Chief

The friends met during a charity cycle ride from London to Paris in 2016 and kept in touch from then, meeting regularly for bike rides.

They have since had their achievement was recognised with an inclusion in Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling for 2020.

The announcement of their record also marks the launch of this year’s Guinness World Records Day, which is the annual celebration of record breaking that takes place in November each year.


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The pair's tandem trail included: France, Monaco, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Gibraltar and back through France to the UK.