Following his recent Everest record and subsequent denial of that record, Lachlan Morton has once again taken the Everest crown with a time of 7 hours, 29 minutes and 57 seconds on Colorado's Rist Canyon climb, taking the fastest known time away from Utah's Keegan Swenson, who had recorded a 7:40 on the iconic Empire Pass climb. An interview, courtesy of EF Pro Cycling follows.
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Last weekend, Morton thought he broke the Everesting record. The organizers of the challenge did, too. But alas… a glitch in the elevation data on the climb he rode more than 40 times proved the record’s undoing. He posted on social media shortly thereafter: “Well looks like I gotta do it again.” Mind you, it’s no simple day out — that meant he needed to ride seven plus hours again and climb more than 29,000 feet.
He made good on his promise Saturday, June 20, 2020, besting the standing record by more than 10 minutes. With his family for support on the road and a beautiful Colorado day, the Australian rode the required 8,848m of ascent in 7 hours, 29 minutes and 57 seconds, marking a new record that has been verified by Hells 500, the event administrators.
“We never intended for there to be Everesting records. In fact this whole challenge was always the opposite of racing. That said, like many of the community we feel we are now just an excited bystander, watching this whole crazy story unfold around us,” read a statement from Hells 500.
“Lachlan Morton's time of 07:29:57 is incredible, however the thing that will always remain — irrespective of what happens to this particular record — is that when faced with a result that didn't sit right, he just got back out on the bike and did it again.”
In true Morton style, he added an extra lap. Just to be safe. Hear from the man himself below, and check out his ride on Strava.
What ran through your head and heart after you found out the initial record didn't stand?
I guess I was confused, but I also understand that the creators didn’t really intend for Everesting to be about records, so I got how it could happen. I didn’t want anyone to think that I was being dishonest so I decided I’d just do it again.
How'd you approach it differently this time?
I worked with the guys at Everesting to triple check a shorter segment on the same hill so we could be sure it was legitimate. They were really helpful and had everything independently checked on their end — I appreciated that alot. I also had a bit of fire this time ‘round, which helped. Mentally knowing what I was in for helped a lot. I understood the effort that was needed. Doing it again so soon was a challenge, but I wanted to set the record straight, mainly for myself. For something like this internal motivation helps so much.
You said something surprising: that it was easier the second time. Really?
Yeah, purely from a mental perspective it felt easier. My legs still felt the effort of last week, but I was at peace with the effort that was to come. I took a fair bit of time the days before preparing my head for that, but I knew how to handle it.
Any tips for those looking to go out and Everest themselves?
I’d say pick a place that you enjoy riding, understand it’s going to be a big day and your head will get negative and you will need to deal with that. Finally, bring people you really care about to support you. It’s a great challenge that’s really accessible.
Is two times enough?
Yeah, I think so. I’m glad I could somewhat enjoy it. That’s important to me. I can put it to bed for now. I hope someone goes faster and pushes the limit further, I’ve done my part.