Halfway during his uphill quest to set a new Canadian record, Vernon cyclist Braden Kersey began questioning the goal.
Kersey and riding partner and coach Jordan Cheyne of Kelowna both established new Canadian marks Sunday, July 20, in a cycling event called Everesting, which consists of cycling repeats on a hill of the athlete’s choice equal to the elevation of Mt. Everest (8,848 metres) as fast as possible.
Kersey and Cheyne picked a 1.6-kilometre portion of Beaver Lake Road in Lake Country and each rode that section 57 times to achieve the elevation gain required.
Fifty-five laps would have done it but the pair threw in a couple of extra loops to be sure they had bested the record.
“I started out pretty hot, I was on an eight-hour pace,” said Kersey, 18, a W.L. Seaton Class of 2019 graduate. “About halfway through I thought, ‘Why am I doing this?’ And it felt like that every single lap to the end.”
Kersey completed the event in eight hours and 58 minutes while Cheyne, 28, set the new Canadian mark of 8:12. Both beat the old record set only a week prior by Kersey’s good friend Jacob Rubuliak of Kelowna, 17, who climbed the Knox Mountain road 38.5 times in nine hours and 33 minutes.
Kersey road a few laps with Rubuliak on Knox Mountain and that’s when the thought struck that he might be able to go after a new record.
A former triathlete coached by Vernon’s Laura Medcalf, Kersey gave up swimming and running to concentrate on cycling in September 2019, and enlisted the help of Cheyne. The pair discussed setting a new Everesting record and mapped out their course the day before.
After he completed his goal, Kersey was more than happy to get off his bike.
“I was pretty rough at the end,” he laughed. “I fell off my bike and stumbled into a chair. I’m pretty happy if I don’t see Beaver Lake Road again for a while.”
Kersey is a biology student at the University of Victoria. He’s working at Sun Country Cycle. Cheyne is a professional cyclist who rides for the Elevate – Webiplex Pro Cycling team.