Weston woman hoping to be part of oldest group to cycle across America

PUBLISHED: 07:55 19 May 2019

Margaret Sills and Joanna Armitage. Picture: Joanna Armitage

Margaret Sills and Joanna Armitage. Picture: Joanna Armitage

Archant

A Weston-super-Mare woman is hoping to become a world record holder at the age of 69.

The Serpentine Golden Girls cycling team. Picture: Joanna ArmitageThe Serpentine Golden Girls cycling team. Picture: Joanna Armitage

Margaret Sills is part of the Serpentine Golden Girls cycling team tacking one of the toughest cycles in the world, the Race Across America (RAAM).

The group of four will become the oldest group to complete the race when they cross the finish line, with a combined age of 287.

RAAM takes cyclists from the west to east coast of America, taking in iconic scenery including the Rocky Mountains and the plains of Kansas, before finishing the 3,000 mile journey in Maryland.

The group will have just nine days to cycle through 12 states, overcoming tiredness, the risk of injury and the unforgiving terrain which will see them climb 170,000ft.

Margaret Sills and Joanna Armitage. Picture: Joanna ArmitageMargaret Sills and Joanna Armitage. Picture: Joanna Armitage

Margaret said: "I am anxious but excited at the same time, it is stressful at the moment fitting in training and sorting out last-minute details like making sure we have enough food.

"We would not be taking this on if we didn't think we stood a chance of breaking the world record, obviously I would be elated if we managed it.

"We will have our work cut out and I'm sure we will feel exhausted afterwards."

Margaret will be racing with three other women from London and Wiltshire, Edwina Brocklesby, aged 76, 72-year-old Hilary Webber and Hilary Walker, aged 66.

The team will be supported by a crew of 10 people, including Joanna Armitage, a self-employed sports massage therapist from Weston.

Joanna will provide sports massage as well as helping with the driving and navigating throughout the day and night.

Margaret took up running in her early 30s and ran her first London Marathon in 1982.

She qualified for the Great British age group triathlon team for the first time in 1995 and has raced standard, middle and long distance in world and European championships.

The team will be raising money to support the Hutton Dabaso Twinning Association and Silverfit, a charity which specialises in supporting older people to take up an active lifestyle.

To donate, click here and for training updates, visit the Serpentine Golden Girls website.

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