vEveresting. Ever fancied it? It’s one of those challenges which appears too daunting for some to even contemplate undertaking! Others have the idea that this would be good to attempt, but then the reality of the scale of the task becomes clear – the possibility of 10+ hours in the saddle is just a bit too much. And there are a select few who actually fancy the challenge…
Everesting has built up its own language and cult following and has thrived as a concept during the global pandemic. It was originally the brainchild of the Hells 500 Cycle Club who are also the custodians of the Everesting Hall of Fame. There are different rides and challenges that individuals can complete to enter the Hall of Fame, be awarded badges, and unlock the ability to buy real life kit via the Everesting shop.
The newly-announced 3R vEveresting Academy aims to give riders the ability to complete a supported Basecamp (half the height of Everest) or full vEverest ride. In Zwift terms, a full Everest requires 8.5 repeats of Alpe du Zwift.
Team3R have put together a series of weekly training rides with the aim of helping people to train and build up the necessary strength, mental fortitude, and stamina to complete the daunting vEveresting challenge on May 29, 2021. The Academy has been put together to provide a COVID secure program and endurance challenge which cannot be impacted by lockdown regulations.
Each week, starting from March 13th and lasting for 12 weeks, there will be guided rides on the Alpe which will be hosted at a variety of times, making the Academy accessible to people across different time zones. There will be seven rides each week – three of which are set up as formal group rides in Zwift and four of which will be managed as Meetup rides.
All rides will be led by 3R Ride Leaders who have all completed a vEveresting themselves, so they are well-qualified to help and support you.
The Academy is the brainchild of George Parker-Fuller who heads up the Raise part of 3R (Ride, Raise, Race). George will happily tell anyone who will listen that he is an 82kg ZwiftPower Cat C who, at 45 years old, has successfully completed a Base Camp, vEverest and Roam (400km distance: 10km ascent) challenge year – and that with the right training and mindset, any reasonably fit cyclist can get involved in the Academy and the challenge.
The training rides will mostly take place on Alpe du Zwift. Scheduled group rides on Thursdays and Saturdays will be the main cornerstone of the training program where there will be guided Alpe repeats with the program building the number of ascents up the Alpe, topping out with 4 ascents on Saturday May 8 and Thursday May 13.
The Academy + World Bicycle Relief
In addition to leading riders during their training, 3R Leaders will join their Academy teams during their challenge on the day. Riders who sign up to the Academy will also get physiotherapist-approved exercises to help with injury prevention and advice on nutrition. In addition, Team3R has secured a 30% discount from Veloforte who harness nature’s finest ingredients to produce the world’s finest all-natural nutrition.
In return for joining the Academy, Team 3R would like people to try and raise sponsorship for the charity World Bicycle Relief. World Bicycle Relief is an international, non-profit organisation that specializes in large-scale, comprehensive bicycle distribution programs to aid poverty relief in developing countries around the world.
The expectation is that people who are completing a Base Camp ride on the day will aim to raise £120 (enough to be able to supply one buffalo bike) and that people who are completing the full vEverest would aim to raise £240 (enough to be able to supply two buffalo bikes). People who subscribe to the Academy will also get support in sponsorship raising from the 3R raise team and World Bicycle Relief.
The Main Event
Once training has been completed, the main assault at the vEveresting Challenge will take place on May 29. There will be groups of riders at different phases of the challenge, depending on what time zone they have started in. With 107 riders already signed up for the event, it’s going to be a busy day on the Alpe!
There will be four Base Camp rides setting off at six hour intervals with the first at 7am GMT and two vEversting rides setting off 12 hours apart (7am and 7pm GMT). The aim is to take over Alpe du Zwift for a 24-hour period.
The plan on the day will be for the Ride Leaders to keep to a steady 2.5w/kg. This is a marathon and not a sprint and the aim will be to maintain the 2.5 w/kg pace for the whole of the ride. In time terms this translates to 75 mins per ascent and the plan will be to have breaks after the 3rd and 6th laps for food, showers, and general refreshments. One beauty of doing the challenge on the Alpe is that you get ten minutes of free time after each ascent while your avatar descends!
Prizes and Endorsements
For those who complete the challenge and raise the minimum sponsorship, there will be a prize draw with prizes from two of the partners who are sponsoring the event – Veloforte and Marmot Tours.
The Academy program and event is endorsed and supported by Hells 500 and Saris, who as part of their ongoing support will donate $5 per purchase between 19th – 29th March 2021 to the fundraising for World Bicycle Relief.