Paul Oughton is the new World Record holder of the ‘Greatest Distance recorded on a motocross bike in 24 hours’ after completing a massive 191 laps and 565.742 km to topple the former record by American Perry Prichard which stood at 426.96km.
In Paul’s own words the attempt was a “roller coaster of emotions” as he battled mental and physical fatigue to achieve the record in just over 14 hours.
The pace started strong with 11 laps an hour being notched up before slowing down to 10 from hour four onwards to eight during the pitch black of the night. Paul and the team opted for shorter ride sessions of 50-55 minutes before each break to help keep him hydrated, fresh and focused.
The track at Rogershill Raceway near Bere Regis, held up well to the continuous barrage of Paul’s laps and his Honda CRF250 Motocross bike, sponsored by the Dave Thorpe Honda Off-Road Centre, needed not one spanner turned on it throughout the attempt.
During his riding Paul was joined by a number of riders including motocross legend and three-time World Champion Dave Thorpe, four-time British Motocross Champion Stephen Sword, Quad stunt ace the Kangaroo Kid, amongst others including his 13-year-old nephew Callum Gordon and friends from his motorcycling past.
The Tuesday evening also saw a good attendance of spectators and well wishers, with them being treated to a private show from Bike Trials wizard Nick Manning, and the Kangaroo Kid, along with the Air 107.2 guys doing interviews with Paul during his breaks over the PA system.
“This is by far the hardest, but one of the best things I have ever done. I had a schedule in mind that I wanted to achieve and I focused on that hour-by-hour and it really worked well. We had some extra auxiliary lights, but we had issues with them so we had to make do with the headlight on the bike and a £1 helmet lamp taped to my crash helmet so that slowed me down quite a bit and made the darkness hours really hard and mentally draining”, said Paul of his epic 24 hour battle.
Paul added: “The hours leading up to the point we broke the record were the longest in my life. I am so proud to have achieved this, but the most enjoyable thing out about it all was the support from my pit crew who were amazing. There was such a good atmosphere when I came in for my stops and everyone kept me focused and motivated but we also had a lot of fun as well”.
Paul also went on to pay tribute to his family and friends: “My family have been tremendous, right from the word go when I said I would be going for this they have supported me. My Dad has had a relentless schedule of bike prep to do and has been there every step of the way with my Mum. One of my main motivations in doing this was to be an inspiration to my little son Cian, and to have him and my amazing wife Siobhan there when I finished was a dream come true”.
When Paul was asked how he felt to be a World record holder he found it a struggle to put it into words: “It’s so hard to say what I am feeling right now, I am going through so many emotions as we have worked so hard for this over the last 18 months or so with the last 35 weeks being full on training, so to have finished it all and broken the record is just overwhelming. My final lap was so emotional I don’t normally get like that but I was welling up inside my helmet”.
Not only did Paul manage to achieve a magnificent feat but he was also doing it for charity by raising money for the Weldmar Hopsice in Dorchester and the Wings for Life Spinal Chord Research Foundation, the total amount raised has not been worked out as yet but a good final amount has been predicted.
Paul has always been quick to thank those who helped and supported him throughout his epic journey: “There are so many people to thank so here goes and I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone…
“Firstly my Family, Mum, Dad, My Wife Siobhan, Baby Cian, the Murphy and Gordon families for believing in me from the start.
“Dave and Ryan Thorpe, Stephen Sword and Molly from the Honda Off Road Centre for the faultless bikes and training.
“We also have the 24 Hour warriors who were there for me all day, night and beyond; Gary at Duck Smart and Mark from Rapid Moto Distribution who got everything setup on the day, Carl Long from Hedcamz for the onboard footage and The Kangaroo Kid for helping to maintain such a fun atmosphere for everyone. Paul Minihane for filming a documentary which we can’t wait to see on TV!
“Danny, Danielle Hall and everyone from Rogershill Raceway for so much I just cannot list it all here, not least the awesome track.
“Roy Barton and the MCF for timing, permitting and insuring the event along with Sally Cake, Natasha Abbot and the Ringwood MX club for lap scoring.
“The friendly team at Everyone Active Weymouth for keeping me fit and Gary Linge from LTA Training Academy for keeping on track with a training plan.
“Andi Deeks and EKS Goggles for supplying me with clear vision throughout, the guys at Madison for supplying my great Thor riding kit.
“Sports2 Nutrition, Paul from MXSpain, and fellow riders Robb Webb and Lewis Lacey for keeping me hydrated and energised.
“Johnny and Ryan at Torc1 Racing in the USA for their astonishing grips and Risk Racing for their Palm protectors. 24 hours and no blisters says it all, what a combination.
“Casterbridge Land Surveyors and Wessex Surveyors for surveying the track. I can’t forget Andy at YHC Hire Services for the top service and providing the Porta-Loo and Lighting Towers.
“James and Garry of Sign Shop Express for the print support they have given me. The local media for so much coverage, the Off Road press for the same reason. “Neil Hawker for creating the Bike Trials arena and grading the track, Nick Manning for his Bike Trial display.
“Wyke Regis garage for the bike juice.
“Mark Disney from Total MX and Alan at W R Cockings for their generous support.
“Lastly (but by no means least) Colin from So & So Marketing, Chris at Rapid for stepping up as Pit Crew Chef and all of the hour sponsors and people who donated to the charities, the fellow riders Dave Wright, Dean Bachelor, Jeff Goss and everyone else who came and supported the event and sent messages of support.”