Kelowna cyclist reaches for the top — and breaks record

Meaghan Hackinen didn’t have to leave the country to conquer her Mount Everest challenge.

She did it by riding her bike up and down Knox Mountain 43 times until she reached her goal of climbing 10,000 metres.

“I went from the gate of Knox Mountain to the top and then I just U-turned and came back down,” said Hackinen.

She took breaks every three to four hours to rest, have a snack and to rehydrate.

“It took 19 hours and 14 minutes in total time and 17 hours 13 minutes ride time,” said Hackinen.

The summit of Knox Mountain is 646 metres above sea level whereas the highest mountain in the world is 8,848 metres above sea level.

Hackinen estimated she would need to do 42 laps to complete the challenge but it took 43 laps the cyclist to climb the equivalent of Everest but an extra 150 metres just for good measure.

“As it got close to the end of the day I realized by looking at my bike computer I was going to have to do 43 (laps) to hit that 10,000-metre mark and it hit me with a sense of dread but my father borrowed an e-bike so he came with me for the last couple laps to keep me company and it was just beautiful to see the lights of the city,” said Hackinen.

Hackinen is the world record holder in the gruelling 24 Hour World Time Trial Championship where the best of the best compete to smash records and she broke another record while Everesting.

“I’m the first woman in Canada to do a 10,000-metre hill repeat effort so that’s exciting, I’m glad to have that on my resume,” said Hackinen.

The cyclist is hoping that her accomplishment will inspire others to take on the sport.

“I think that in cycling, women are definitely underrepresented and it’s really cool to see people like yourself whether it’s your ethnicity or your gender or your age group,” said Hackinen.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Hackinen is already looking for her next Everest.

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