55-year-old Richard Thoday completed the 874-mile famous route in 4 days and 12 hours. He beat the record set in 1886 by GP Mills who did the journey in 5 days and 1 hour. The cyclist from Matlock, Derbyshire, raised £10,000 for Children in Need in the process. Thoday did the journey back in July. However, he had to wait for confirmation from the Guinness World Records.

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“I gave Guinness World Records all the evidence I could provide so if they said ‘no’ there was nothing else I could do,” Thoday told the BBC. “I certainly wouldn’t be doing it again anyway. It was just so hard.

Richard Thoday on his penny-farthing © Katielee Arrowsmith / SWNS / Profimedia

Thoday compared the preparations for the challenge to a “full-time job on top of having a full-time job”. The teaching assistant has been riding penny farthings for 10 years and even designed the one he broke the record on.

“It was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life but definitely a one off. It took 10 months out of my life and lots of support from my wife. I felt very relieved when I had the record confirmed.”

Congratulations, Richard!

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