HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – The 1,000-mile Arkansas High Country bike race had a record-breaking finish on Wednesday night.
Bentonville resident Ernie Lechuga completed all 1,000 miles of the course in just under 4 days, 14 hours, and 13 minutes, smashing the previous record.
Previously, the fastest time was set by Ted King in 2020, finishing in 4 days, 20 hours, and 51 minutes.
All 1,000 miles of the AHCR route, one of three that the cyclists could have picked, starts and ends in Hot Springs.
Lechuga, adding that he only slept 6 hours over the 4-day race, said, “It was a perfect ride, everything that could go wrong went wrong.”
The 76 cyclists, representing 23 different states, chose from the 180-mile Ouachita Triple Crown loop, the 500-mile South loop, or the 1,000-mile AHCR route.
The 1000-mile course followed a mountainous path that had an elevation gain of over 75,000 feet and covered most of western Arkansas
Many of Lechuga’s friends and fans, including Hot Springs mayor Pat McCabe, were there to see him cross the finish line.