Small animal vet Penny Barker is set to undertake a non-stop 10-hour cycle marathon, including eating and drinking in the saddle, to raise money for Hounds for Heroes.

Penny Barker training
Penny Barker is in training for the 3,000 mile Race Across America in 2017.

Penny, who is currently training for one of the most gruelling cycle challenges in the world – the 3,000 mile Race Across America (RAAM) in June 2017 – will be on the Hounds for Heroes stand at Crufts on 12 March.

Revolutionary racer

She will start cycling at race speed on a turbo trainer (a device that locks the cycle’s back wheel in place and records the distance travelled, based on wheel revolutions) at 8am and will not leave the saddle, except to answer the call of nature, until 6pm.

Visitors who donate will have the opportunity to guess how many miles she will clock up over the 10-hour event to win a prize.

Penny, who works at the Burghfield and Goring Veterinary Surgeries in Berkshire, is a trustee of Hounds for Heroes, which provides specially trained assistance dogs to injured and disabled men and women of the UK armed forces and emergency services.

Future challenges

In June she will will undertake the Race Across the West (RAW) – an 860-mile cycle ride against the clock across the western states of the US. The event, which involves climbing more than 40,000 feet, will see Penny ride between 250 and 350 miles per day.

Starting at Oceanside in California and finishing in Durango, Colorado, the route takes in the mountains and deserts of the monument valley, with temperatures in the Mojave Desert hitting 40 degrees.

RAW is a qualifier for Penny’s ultimate goal – RAAM, that will entail riding 22 hours-a-day for around nine days.


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