Guinness World Record for global tandem cycle challenge

Guinness World Record Tandem
Image courtesy of Guinness World Records

Fundraisers Catherine Dixon and Rachael Marsden have secured the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation by tandem bicycle after completing their trip around the globe in just 263 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes.

Not only have the pair achieved the title, but they’ve also raised over £40,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Oxfam. Both have a special connection with the Association – Catherine is the long-term partner of Chief Executive Sally Light and Rachael is an MND Nurse Consultant.

Catherine and Rachael set off from Oxford on 29 June 2019, covering 18,263 miles on a route that took them through 25 different countries, before completing their journey and arriving back in London on the 18 March 2020. Catherine, from York, and Rachael, from Oxford, also broke the male record of 281 days set in 2019.

In order to cover the vast distance in record time, Catherine and Rachael cycled between 80-100 miles on average each day, occasionally completing as much as 120 miles in one day on the tandem bike they named ‘Alice’. As well as facing challenging weather and environmental conditions throughout their trip, Catherine and Rachael were then met with the additional challenge of making it home before borders closed and countries went into lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened. They managed to board the penultimate passenger ferry back from Caen, France to the UK on the day the travel ban started, as they completed the final leg of their journey.

Record holders Catherine and Rachael said:

“We are incredibly proud to be Guinness World Records title holders and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year. The experience was incredible and certainly not without its challenges – most notably racing to make it home as borders closed behind us due to the coronavirus pandemic. Setting the world record really was the adventure of a lifetime and we hope that it will inspire others to believe that anything is possible if you follow your dreams.”

Linda Allen, Director of Fundraising for the MND Association said:

“We are thrilled with the news that Catherine and Rachael have secured a Guinness World Record for their incredible tandem cycle around the world. Our hearts were in our mouths when the borders were beginning to close around them during the final stretch of their cycle, and it is testament to their grit and determination they made it back to Oxford in record-breaking time. Catherine and Rachael are an inspiration to us all and on behalf of the MND community I would like to say a huge thank you for raising awareness of MND and much-needed funds for the MND Association – we are truly grateful.”

Catherine and Rachael’s achievement has not only earned them a place in the up-coming Guinness World Records 2021 edition, but the announcement of their record also marks the launch of this year’s Guinness World Records Day; the annual celebration of record breaking that takes place in November each year.

For more information about Catherine and Rachael’s cycle, visit

For further information and support contact our MND Connect helpline

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