THE race is on for a Spalding cyclist to smash the record for riding the length and breadth of America.
Christian Layton-Hannam (24), of Love Lane, and university friend Will Loxton, from Nottinghamshire, are hoping to finish their mammoth trek today – several days ahead of the previous Guinness world record of 44 days, one minute and 26 seconds.
Christian’s grandmother Thelma Hannam, speaking yesterday, said: “We never thought he would do it.
“We are so proud of him and it’s been so exciting receiving his news about his journey.
“It has been nail-biting stuff but they have done so well they now have a bit of a buffer to get to New York to beat the record.”
Christian and Will’s route has taken them from north to south, then west to east across America.
They have travelled around 4,600 miles, cycling from Washington to Mexico and then driving to Los Angeles where they set off on the second leg to New York.
The pair, who started out on August 14, hoped to cycle 120 miles a day, but have managed to get ahead of schedule by upping the ante – one day riding about 200 miles.
They are hoping their efforts will have raised more than £10,000 for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and Livestrong – a cancer charity set up by professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, who suffered testicular cancer.
Christian’s dad Andrew and sister Lucinda are flying out to New York at the weekend.
Andrew said: “We were hoping to be there when he finished but we are now expecting they will finish today or tomorrow.
“But I am sure it is going to be quite a celebration. I’ll make sure there’s a beer waiting for him.
“We are amazed at what he has achieved. We can’t believe it.
“I’m sure they will have done the charities proud.”