Epilepsy Forward Cycling
Katharine Ford has over 25 years first hand experience of epilepsy, including major transformative neurosurgery and the re-occurrence of her condition 5 years post surgery. She has experienced both extremely high and extremely low volumes of seizures pre and post surgery and has experience of almost a dozen mainstream AEDs.
She is still currently the Youngest British rider to officially finish the 3000 mile Race Across America within it’s 9 day time limit, as part of her 4 Woman Team in 2008. Following her initial awareness raising attempts in 2008, Katharine started her own, more epilepsy focused cycling project - Epilepsy Forward in 2016, with the aim to raise epilepsy awareness and generate rare raw data of the effects on an epileptic athlete’s body being exposed to high intensity physical activity, sustained over abnormally long periods. Earlier this year as part of Epilepsy Forward, she became the 12 Hour British Static Cycling distance record holder, setting in the process, the second greatest distance over 12 Hours for a female in history at 340.04km (less than 8km short of the world record).
Implications of Sodium and Epilepsy in Ultra Endurance Sport
An explanation of the research and science behind the 12 Hour Track Cycling World Record attempt, applied to raise epilepsy seizure threshold through diet, enough that the rigours of ultra endurance sport can be safely undertaken without high risks from Hyponatremia – a known cause of lower seizure threshold.
The project involves the first British attempt of a Track Cycling WR of 12 Hours or greater on an Indoor Velodrome. It is also the first project to attempt major Ultra-marathon cycling world records globally, involving an athlete with epilepsy, with less than a handful of extreme endurance athletes with epilepsy, being able to contribute knowledge.
The hope is by pushing the physical limits of an individual with epilepsy, the data can be used in new general research involving using both diet and medication to control seizures and side effects of AED’s.