On Saturday 22nd June, over 900 cyclists taking part in “Chase the Sun South” set off from Minster on Sea on the Isle of Sheppey, their target, Weston-Super-Mare, some 205 miles away on the Bristol Channel. They began at sunrise (04:41) and aimed to finish before sunset (21:33).

Josh Worley from Godalming, Surrey, was one cyclist taking part. He used the challenge as a fundraising opportunity, raising over £3,000 for The UK Sepsis Trust. He was determined to do well, if only to repay all the support he had received from friends and family.

Josh had to join the queue of starters and crossed the start line in around 100th position and settled into what was to be a long stint on his saddle. His target was to average a speed of 18mph but a 10mph headwind on the day was going to make that challenging. Josh intended to join a group of cyclists ahead of him, so they could slipstream each other, sharing the effort of breaking through the headwind.

But by mile 25, Josh realised that in maintaining his target speed, he had passed the 100 riders ahead of him and was now on his own. He would be fighting the remaining 180 miles alone. He pressed on, mile after mile, regularly refuelling on the go with energy gels, bars, and drinks. By mile 140 his body was tiring. Aches and pains had set in and it became a mental fight to continue pushing through the fatigue. Family and friends who had lined the route to support him provided much needed motivational boosts.

By mile 190, Josh had reached the top of Cheddar Gorge and it was mostly a descent to the end. His body rejuvenated, he increased his pace, using what energy he had left in reserve to reach the end at 16:50, 12hrs 19mins after he set off from Minster on Sea. He was first to reach the finish line. His fellow riders crossed the finish in the hours that followed, with some still crossing after dark on a day that all who took part will remember as the day they cycled across the country in a single day.

Well done Josh!