Home > News

Toronto Hustle’s second Crush COVID event raises $400,000 over 24-hour ride

"Ride for Mind" Zwift event supports Ontario's Michael Garron Hospital

After a grueling 24 hours on the trainer, Toronto Hustle’s Lucy Hempstead has broken the World Record for the greatest simulated distance on a static cycle in 24 hours by a woman.

At 6:00 p.m. on Mar. 12 Hempstead clipped in to ride for 24 hours straight on Zwift as part of her team’s Crush COVID 24-hour Zwift marathon fundraiser.

The 20-year-old broke the current women’s distance record of 680 km before 3 p.m., riding 681 km.

Toronto Hustle Lucy Hempstead 24-Hour record
Planning and plenty of math behind the scenes. Photo: Toronto Hustle

Planning for the long game

Leading up to the event Hempstead knew she had to focus on fuelling properly throughout the ride.

“I’m most nervous about a big nutritional bonk,” she said.

In the days before Crush COVID she tried to eat as much as she could, while tapering off her training a bit to prepare her body.

RELATED: A Canadian cyclist is going for the women’s 24 hour Zwift record

Toronto Hustle Lucy Hempstead 24 hour 3
Lucy Hempstead celebrates passing the official marker for a new 24-Hour world record. Photo: Toronto Hustle

Crush COVID: Ride for Mind

This year’s extremely successful Crush COVID fundraiser, which is focusing on the mental health impact of the pandemic, raised $417,987.10, surpassing its goal of $380,000.00. Donations remain open for another week, if you’d like to add to the tally.

This year’s Crush COVID event, “CRUSH COVID: Ride for Mind“, is aiming to highlight the pandemic’s growing mental health impact. The pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable populations, particularly racialized communities, youth, and those living in poverty. The funds raised by the event will support Michael Garron Hospital which provides care for many low-income and racialized individuals and families.

“Struggles with mental health have been felt by so many of us during the pandemic and this event is about bringing attention to the effects it has had on all of us,” says Hempstead. “By riding for 24 hours, it is my goal to raise awareness for sport as an outlet for the stress so many people have been dealing with while also raising money for mental health supports at the Michael Garron Hospital.”

Support from across Canada

The Crush COVID event drew riders and support from across Canada. Athlete’s joined on Zwift from as far away as Vancouver and California. Canadian pro riders, politicians and musicians dropped in to support riders on Toronto Councillor Brad Bradford’s live stream event on Facebook.