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World Record Bid By College’s CEO

Date: 1st March 2019

Chief Executive of Askham Bryan College Catherine Dixon is taking on a world record attempt in a bid to achieve one of her life’s ambitions and to help inspire young people to tackle seemingly daunting challenges.

Catherine Dixon, Chief Executive of Askham Bryan College near York, and fellow sports enthusiast Rachael Marsden have set their sights on setting the first ever world record as the fastest women to circumnavigate the globe on a tandem.

Their attempt will see them cycle around 80 – 100 miles a day, covering 18,000 miles across five continents and all within 320 days. They have registered their attempt with the Guinness Book of Records and will be raising money for charity through the ride.

Backing has already come from cycling legend and Olympic gold medal winner Chris Boardman, who is himself a world record breaker.

The College’s Chair of Governors, Maureen Vevers said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for Catherine and is an inspirational example for our students. Askham Bryan has achieved great success during her tenure, not least because the enthusiasm and passion which she brings to this new venture have also been evident in her drive and dedication to the college. We wish her and Rachael every success.”

Said Catherine: “Askham Bryan is one of the country’s top land-based colleges where every day I see young people achieving extraordinary success. This is the opportunity of a lifetime; it is incredibly exciting and it will be amazing to set the world record. I know it will be really tough to cycle 100 miles day after day. I hope this will encourage our students to grasp opportunities, to be brave and to follow their dreams.”

The charities Catherine and Rachael have chosen to support are Oxfam and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. The latter has particular meaning for Rachael as it links with her career as a specialist nurse in Oxford where she supports patients with MND.

As “Tandem Wow”, which stands for Women on Wheels, the pair plan to set off this summer in order to make best use of the varying weather conditions. Their route will take them across Europe and Asia, around India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, to Australia, New Zealand, North America, across North West Africa and through Spain and France back to the UK.

The duo are no strangers to tough terrain. Having met two years ago during a London to Paris charity bike ride they have since tackled routes in the Alps and the Pyrenees and one of the most difficult stages of the Tour de France – Alpe D’Huez and Mont Vendoux.

The expedition means that Catherine will step down from her role at the College. There have been important milestones and achievements during her leadership, most recently the announcement of the development of the Digital Farm Hub at the college’s main campus at York and also the official opening of its Middlesbrough campus following substantial restoration work.  Askham Bryan has around 5,000 students and 900 apprentices and has centres across the North of England.

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Askham Bryan College,
Askham Bryan,
YO23 3FR
01904 772277