After two days of intense cycling, Arvid Loewen called it quits on his Guinness World Record attempt and is at peace with his decision.
"The first day went extremely well but the weather was very nice. The second day was starting to become a different story already when I struggled significantly in the afternoon heat," says Loewen. "When it gets hot, your body just tries to survive."
The initial goal to beat the previous GWR included 22 days of straight cycling. Each day of cycling roughly 450 km meant Loewen's body was burning about 12,000 calories, which then had to be put back.
"You can replenish your electrolytes if you're diligent with Gatorade but you're not really replenishing your energy levels and that's always a concern."
On the third day of the GWR attempt, Loewen's body wouldn't keep food down. That's when he knew he wouldn't be finishing this event.
"My wife and I have known that this time would come where I would need to change and stop doing these ultra-elite extreme events at a world-class level. I hung on for quite some time."
Loewen and his wife quit their day jobs in 2005 to start on this journey of ultramarathon cycling to raise money and funds for orphans in Kenya, through Mully Children's Family.
"In 2017 I had a DNF (Did Not Finish) in a race across America and it was a very similar situation. After that, we changed course and I no longer did 24/7 events with no end in a day."
At that point, Loewen only cycled events where he could give his body at least a few hours rest in between intense amounts of cycling. Now, he is going to scale back further.
"My wife and I, our heart and commitment to MCF have not changed one bit, it's probably gotten stronger. So we're looking forward to see how God will prepare the path forward. I will still use cycling as a platform but it will look a little different," he says.
Loewen's goal for this event was to raise enough money to give Kenyan orphans 600,000 meals, which at $0.50 per meal means $300,000.
"We're very close to the goal and cheques are still coming in. I am very confident with the support we've had and people believing in the ministry, that we will reach the $300,000."
For the first time since the couple started ultramarathon cycling for a cause, they will have an actual summer vacation.
"My wife has always taken a vacation for my events, to be part of my support crew, my crew chief, to be my soul mate both physically and mentally. Now we have some options to enjoy a typical life in a beautiful Manitoba summer."
As with all of his events, Loewen is trusting God for what comes next.
"I'm very much at peace not being able to accomplish my own personal cycling goal. The goal is one thing, but I'm only an instrument in God's bigger plan. If becoming a GWR is part of the plan, fantastic. It has been. But if it isn't, that's okay. All we are ever asked to do is to do our best and step out in faith."
In 2020 Loewen broke the Guinness World Record for the longest distance cycled in 30 days, coming in at 11,617.99 km and as of July 2021 still holds the title.
"When God lights the path, it's often only the next step. Very seldom does He light the path all at one time. The next step is for us to recalibrate our platform. We're looking forward to see which doors God will open up for us."
Loewen believes speaking about his adventures may be part of his next steps.