Kelowna cyclist Meaghan Hackinen set a new record at the 6-12-24 World Time Trial Championships, beating out her competition by more than 37 miles.
Hackinen has just returned from the championships, held Nov. 1-2 in Borrego Springs, Calif.
After finishing second in 2018, just a few minutes behind the winner, Hackinen was stronger than ever this year as she completed 460.8 miles in 24 hours and set a new record for the female solo category.
She was the only Canadian in her category and one of two Canadian participants in the event, which takes place every fall and draws cyclists from around the globe.
"It was very surreal, actually. After I came in second last year, I was really excited and I was actually happy with the result. Part of me wanted to come back and win, but as the year progressed and I saw how well the woman who had won last year was doing ... I was like oh, OK, I just want to go back and beat my previous time, I don't need to compare myself to her.
"And that's what it took to win the race this year, so that worked out really well for me."
Hackinen spent just 15 minutes off her bike during the 24-hour time period, and says despite the ride getting tough at times, she powered through for a strong finish.
"I think a lot of people see this and think we’re a bunch of crazies out there, and that’s true ... but I also think someone can just get on their bike and go for a ride to the grocery store, and that can be so enjoyable. It can be such a stress relief. It’s just a little boost to your health. It doesn’t feel like a workout, but it gives you those endorphins.
"I think biking is super accessible for people, and I really think that Kelowna’s a cool place to live because there’s a lot of trails, there’s lots of routes you can do, there’s a lot of places you can ride with kids that are really safe, so I’m just excited to see people on bikes."
Hackinen hopes to attend the Trans-Continental in 2020 to race across Europe against some of the best in the world.