AN OXFORD nurse has entered the Guinness Book of World Records after she and her cycling partner set the fastest time for a circumnavigation of the world on a tandem bike.

Rachael Marsden, a nurse consultant for Motor Neurone Disease at the John Radcliffe, and friend Cat Dixon covered 18,263 miles and 25 countries on a journey that took them 263 days, eight hours, seven minutes, as they smashed the existing record of 281 days.

The record was announced at the launch of Guinness World Records Day 2020 today.

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Ms Marsden, 55, and Ms Dixon, 54, set out from Oxford in June, 2019, and arrived back on March 18 this year.

The pair were faced with the additional challenge of making it home before borders closed and countries went into lockdown as the coronavirus pandemic worsened - managing to board the penultimate passenger ferry back from the French post of Caen on the day the travel ban started.

Oxford Mail:

The pair in Italy, before the lockdown came into place

The pair cycled on average between 80 and 100 miles each day on the tandem bike they named ‘Alice’.

They were faced with challenging weather and environmental conditions throughout their trip: a heatwave across Europe, extended monsoons across Asia; and bush fires and temperatures of 50C in Australia.

Read more about tandem pair's journey

Not only did the pair achieve the Guinness World Records title, but also raised more than £40,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and Oxfam.

Describing it as the 'adventure of a lifetime', they said: “We are incredibly proud to be Guinness World Records title holders and excited to help celebrate the launch of Guinness World Records Day this year.”