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Triathlon to Bikepacking. Entering the world of Ultra-endurance

Who the founder of All Pace Races is and where it all started.

Tom Levy bikepacking and camping on Norfolk beach
Founder Tom Levy Bikepacking

Who is Tom Levy?

HELLO! I am Tom Levy. I founded All Pace Races and created the inaugural event, Norfolk 360, to bring ultra cycling and bikepacking races to novices and beginners. I have a passion for long-distance events and endurance sports.

It all started many years ago when I discovered Triathlon. Falling deep down the rabbit hole I quickly moved from sprint distance events into the longer stuff. Doing my first half ironman distance event in Ely. Realising that I could never swim, cycle, or run fast enough to beat anyone over short distances I trained for the longer stuff.

In 2016 I proudly qualified to represent Great Britain at the European Middle Distance Championships and the Long Distance World Championships. Sadly I had a major cycling accident that put me into hospital only 4 months before the races. So with a broken arm, broken hand, cracked cheek, swollen eye, and not many memories of the accident, I got back on my turbo and started training. Unsurprisingly this wasn't the greatest preparation for the races. Both races were in heat waves and neither went to plan. My best finish was 17th in my Age Group at the Worlds.

Tom Levy completing an ironman distance triathlon
Tom in the final 200m of the Frenchman

After triathlon but before bikepacking

Skipping on a few years. I had completed ironman distance races and working out what my next steps were. Then... COVID HIT!!! Lockdown came just at the right time, bang on my 30th Birthday. So instead of going out and having a party with friends, I went and bought a better turbo trainer.

Having nothing better to do whilst in lockdown, I sat on my bike and ticked off as many routes and challenges on zwift as I could find. Unsurprisingly I became a far stronger and better cyclist. Feeling strong I entered the Red Bull Timelaps race online with 3 friends. Here I started to discover the peace of cycling through the night. Although on the turbo, it was peaceful and painful. I LOVED IT.

With my newfound fitness and love and going even longer and hard on the bike than ever before, I decided it was time to challenge myself once again. This time in the form of an ultra bike event. Sadly we were was still in lockdown. We could move around but events were still not a thing. The only way to go was to create one myself. Living so close to the most easterly point of Great Britain, why not start there and ride as quickly as possible to the most westerly point of Great Britain? So that's what I did. Raising money for a local mental health charity, The 12th Man Group, I set off with a support vehicle in tow to carry my extras. 69hrs 26minutes later I arrived at Ardnamurchan Lighthouse. What thrill! The greatest physical challenge I had ever taken on. I loved it! So much so there is a film made about it. Give it a watch.

What next after 600 miles?

After having completed my East-to-West journey and discovering the love of multiday ultra-endurance events. I entered a few races. These were long, cold, hot, and FUN! I realised though that there was a problem.

What if you wanted to, or needed to quit halfway round a loop? What if you have no experience of wild camping and are scared? What if you don't have all the gear? Well, I wanted to correct that. I wanted to make the safest beginner ultra-endurance race possible. That why Norfolk 360 is created using 4 loops all coming back to the start in the centre. When ever you want to call it quits, your car is right there. Instead of being hundreds of miles away you are only ever 30miles away. Far easier!! Having that central checkpoint gives you a warm and safe place to sleep. No need to risk sleeping in a field or behind fency. Sleep in safety, watched over by a marshal. The central checkpoint isn't just good for sleep, its good for leaving kit. Meaning you don't need fancy bags or racks. Leave a rucksack full of kit at the starting point and grab what you need as you come through.

And that is how we arrived here!!

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