At the finish line! Bluff. 07 Feb 2021
Joanna Sharpe... you did it!
Cape Reinga to Bluff!
6 days, 9 hours, 19 minutes and 21 seconds.
DESPITE THE MASSIVE (HUGE) CHALLENGES including HI WINDS, COOK STRAIT JUGGLES, HI ENERGY NEEDS, ROAD CLOSURES, CRAZY TRAFFIC, BODY BATTLES and more... you completed the journey... and set a new record.
The LWR team are super proud of Joanna Sharpe in completing this record ride. The first woman ultra-endurance cyclist to complete Cape Reinga to Bluff in under a week. A ride that has raised new awareness for Bowel Cancer New Zealand, and honours the memory of our great friend 'Britt Mill' who passed from bowel cancer in 2020.
While a lot has been achieved, and we are so very proud, there is still much that can be done. We hope that this ride will be able to continue to raise awareness, grow BCNZ funds and help save lives.
ULTRA ENDURANCE CYCLIST
Starting 6am 1 February 2021 I will be cycling the length of New Zealand, solo, to set a world record for completing the 2100km journey in the fastest time. I will be raising funds and awareness for Bowel Cancer New Zealand (BCNZ) along the way. I hope that by setting a woman’s world record I can inspire other people to dream big but to also raise awareness for Bowel Cancer NZ
Over the years I’ve found that I mostly just love having adventures. I’m not as excited by a win or a podium as I am by the challenge of achieving something that is seemingly impossible, to challenge myself to do what most think is insurmountable and so my love of ultra-distance cycling has grown. I’ve had some great adventure, represented New Zealand, stood on my fair share of podiums and set a few records along the way, it’s been one awesome ride already.
I wanted to use my sport and the profile that a crazy adventure can create to help increase awareness for Bowel Cancer NZ A very good friend of mine Britt Mill was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in 2017 after 6 years of misdiagnosis and sadly passed away in 2020. I had my own scare in 2019 and this has spurred me to do all I can to improve awareness, increasing early diagnosis meaning nobody need to experience a terminal diagnosis like Britt, Bowel cancer, whilst being our 2nd largest cancer killer, is in most cases treatable assuming diagnosis happens early and increasing peoples awareness of the symptoms and encouraging them to get checked is my “why” for this world record attempt
.We hope you enjoy following our adventure and feel inspired to support Bowel Cancer New Zealand along the way.
He ara roa, he ora roa - a long journey, long health and life.
Why Ride the length of New Zealand?
Joanna has now confirmed the new date of February 2021 to cycle the length of New Zealand, solo. And in the process looking to set a woman’s and Guinness world record for the 2,170km journey. It will be a massive (yes massive) challenge - but as Joanna says - totally worth it.
So it remained vital during the Covid pause to maintain and improve her fitness levels leading up to the February 2021 world record attempt. And Joanna is not short on motivation to maintain her ultra high level of fitness and focus leading up to the new start date. To help with this - Joanna embarked on other major endurance competitions starting 16 June 2020 - competing in the incredible 1550 km virtual Race Across the West of America. You can follow find out how Joanna won that huge event in her blog. Joanna then set to break the woman's 12 hr world record for cycling the furthest distance on a static bike and set a new 24hr woman's record at the same time. On 5th December 2020 Joanna broke the 12hr record distance in just 10hrs 50mins and set a new 12 hr world record distance of 400.4km. Joanna then continued on to set a new woman's world record of 757.54km in 24hrs. 5 weeks later on 17 January 2021 Joanna became the 12hr World Champion beating the best in the world to compete, virtually, on the world championship Borrego Springs California Course.
Added to this, in April 2020 Joanna has already contributed a 387km virtual ride, her part of a relay with a team from the UK circumnavigating the world in one day. This was to raise money for NHS Charities and resulted in £250,000 being raised in total. It took her over 17hrs to complete her part in the fund raiser and was the longest time she has spent on an indoor trainer in one go. Said Joanna: “it was a hot and sweaty day but I did get to watch a lot of tv as well so I’ll be dialling in some good tv shows for this next adventure that’s for sure.”
SUPPORTING BOWEL CANCER NZ ORG
A few years ago after going through her own scares Joanna realised just how very lucky she is, and in meeting persons less fortunate in their cancer prognosis - she realised and that if only we took our gut health more seriously, talked about it more and could make more people aware of signs and symptoms of this disease that more people would have an opportunity for early detection and hopefully saved from any terminal diagnosis.
In the lead up to this adventure and as part of preparations for such a massive ultra endurance ride, in November 2019 Joanna completed and was 'first woman to finish' the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge – The Taupo Maxi. That is a 640km race comprising four laps around Lake Taupo. It was a great chance for her and her support crew to practice and acquaint with a solid 27 hours 'non-stop' in the saddle.
In October 2018 Joanna won the K4 Cycle Race. It was ‘a dream come true’. The toughest 1 day race in the world, ‘so they say!’ She enjoyed every minute, which included 15+ hours in the saddle and 6000 meters of climbing that the 400km race presented.
Joanna is also the current womens record holder for the 300km Mt Taranaki race.
Understandably - Joanna is fizzing and ready to go to the next level challenge - The Long White Ride™.
If you are inspired by Joanna’s adventure and would like to donate to Bowel Cancer NZ, please click on the donation button below... ngā mihi maioha - with humble and grateful thanks.
We are a national patient and family-led charity aiming to reduce the impact of bowel cancer on the New Zealand community through awareness, education, support, research and promotion of access to appropriate screening and treatments. Through our work we aim to save lives from the second biggest cancer killer in New Zealand.