It isn't that he did it, but how that makes Chris Hopkinson's Zwift achievement stand out.
“I started cycling in 1998 when I lost my driver’s license for a short while,” explains Hopkinson, and “I found out almost immediately that I was better at long stuff.” That would be an understatement.
The father of two from the British Channel Island of Guernsey served in the 1st Gulf War, has accumulated close to 500,000 lifetime miles, and has a list of Palmares longer than your arm.
His catalog of successes includes but isn’t limited to, these ultra-accomplishments.
- Four solo RAAM (Race Across America)—Jure Robic Award winner
- NCOM 1,000 mile ITT course record—71:58 on October 25, 2014
- Two-time IRONMAN finisher
- Held 27 Ultra-Cycling World Records
- 13 WUCA (World Ultracycling Assoc.) World Titles
- 8 WUCA European Titles
After winning eight of the 48 12-hour races and 13 of the 44 24-hours races he entered, Hopkinson earned the title of UltraCyclist of Distinction and six entries in the Audax UK Hall of Fame.
Hoppo discovered Zwift in 2015 and, in 2017, set his second Zwift distance record (1st was 1,010 miles) during a mind-boggling multiday ride that lasted nearly six days as he amassed 1,952.98 miles and 50,381 feet of elevation in 116 hours, 22 minutes, and 51 seconds. He holds the present Zwift distance record achieved on his third attempt—2202 miles in 143 hrs 35 mins. The three Zwift Distance Record attempts were performed according to WUCA Indoor Trainer rules in one continuous effort without sleep.
Chris says, “Yes, I do presently hold the Zwift record, and three times is enough. I shall not be doing that again, broken or not.”
He followed that up with a Virtual Race Across Europe victory, doing 3,154 miles in 12 stages (days) with short rest periods to sleep. Chris was also the Virtual RAAM age-group victor (3,000 miles) and overall runner up in 2020.
His long hours in the saddle, welcoming disposition, and sunny demeanor ingratiate him with the community. He fittingly celebrated his 100,000th Zwift mile with his virtual friends during the DIRT 505 ride on May 20, 2023.
It was a fine sendoff for the ultra-fit Brit boarding a ferry to Italy to defend his European 24-Hour Championship. From there, he will drive to Croatia to compete in another 24-hour race and will cap it off with the UK National 24-hour championship. By the way, he trained exclusively on Zwift.
Semi-retired as owner and director of his private Orthopedic Physical Therapy practice after over 20 years, Chris is blessed with the freedom to pursue his passion for virtual cycling and writing. On a continual quest to give back to his bike for all the rewarding experiences and relationships it has provided him, he created a non-profit. Chris is committed to helping others with his bike through its work and the pages of his site.
In the summer of 2022, he rode 3,900 miles from San Francisco to New York to support the charity he founded, TheDIRTDadFund. His “Gain Cave” resides on the North Fork of Long Island, where he lives with his beautiful wife and is proud of his two independent children.
You will read him promoting his passion on the pages of Cycling Weekly, Cycling News, road.cc, Zwift Insider, Endurance.biz, and Bicycling. Chris is co-host of The Virtual Velo Podcast, too!