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Cyclists on top of the world as dragon boaters make a day of it

TWO GRUELLING, albeit slightly offbeat, sporting feats were written into the territory's history books on Saturday.

Two cyclists rode their way to the top of the world, climbing up and down Mount Ainslie a staggering 43 times, the equivalent of Mount Everest.

Meanwhile, a local dragon boat team performed a similarly impressive act of endurance on Lake Burley Griffin, setting the world record for the longest distance paddled by a dragon boat in 24 hours.

The crew of 20 paddlers from Komodo Paddle Club broke the existing record of 175.5 kilometres, taking the title back from a British Masters crew who had beaten the previous record of 168 kilometres.

The record of 168 kilometres was set by the the Canberra Ice Dragons crew.

Komodo Paddle Club crew member and attempt manager David Miller said the mammoth effort was made far harder by the loss of four rowers to injury during the race.


''With something like that, you get to the point where you just deal with a level of pain,'' Miller said.

''That was on me last night by about 10pm … it was just hurting all the time.''

The only record cyclists David Osmond, 38, and Adrian Sheppard, 41, were attempting to crack yesterday was their own accidental botching of the so-called ''vertical Everest'' two years ago.

A slight miscalculation in 2010 meant Sheppard stopped riding one lap short of the 8900 metres needed to equal the world's tallest peak.

This time the pair made no such mistake, riding the vertical Everest in just over 13 hours.

Speaking to The Sunday Canberra Times before the ride, Osmond said he was confident but ''nervous about how much pain we'll have to put ourselves through to get there''.

''We often thought it would be interesting to see if it would be possible to do Everest in a day, so it's something we've been mulling over for five years or so,'' he said.

The ride started at daybreak at 6am and ended as the sun went down about 7.30pm. In that time Osmond, who describes himself as a ''recreational rider'', clocked roughly 215 kilometres up and down the mountain.

Osmond is no stranger to such feats of endurance.

He came second twice in the Empire State Building stair race in New York and won the Sydney Tower Run-Up in the 1990s.

He also completed the 24-hour

World Mountain Bike Championships in Whistler in 2005.

The Mount Ainslie ride raised funds for Canberra-based charity Hartley Lifecare, who provide support to disabled people in the region.

The Komodo dragon boat team raised money for their club, and for cerebral palsy research.