Cyclist breaks around the world record
Mark Beaumont has broken the world record for cycling around the world – by 44 days.
The 34-year-old, from Perthshire, arrived in Paris one day ahead of schedule having cycled the 18,000-mile route in 79 days.
He set a new world record of 194 days in 2008. Since then it has been broken by other riders, with the previous record set at 123 days.
To achieve his goal, Mark needed to cycle an average 240 miles a day.
He was on his bike for more than 16 hours a day and only slept for five hours each night.
Inspired by Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel Around The World In Eighty Days, he began his journey in Paris on 2 July and cycled through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China.
He then cycled across Australia, up through New Zealand and across North America before the final “sprint finish” thorough Portugal, Spain and France.
During the trip, Mark was also awarded the Guinness World Records title for the most miles cycled in a month, from Paris to Perth in Australia, verified at 7,031 miles (11,315km).
On completing the expedition, the Edinburgh-based cyclist, said: “This has been, without doubt, the most punishing challenge I have ever put my body and mind through. The physical and mental stamina required for each day was a challenge in itself, but I had an amazing support team around me.
“The success of cycling around the world in 80 days shows that what seemed impossible is possible and has redefined the limits of endurance sport.
“Each stage brought different challenges including different climates, which I had to adjust to quickly. Stage one through Russia and Mongolia was unknown territory, so to complete this phase and come out with a second Guinness World Records title is a real achievement.”
He added: “I am very grateful for the support I’ve received from people all over the world, from fellow cyclists joining me on the road to messages and wishes online.
“The experience has been incredible, and I’m excited to share this journey for years to come.”
During the trip the cyclist was exposed to sub-zero temperatures in the southern hemisphere and smog from forest fires in North America.
He had two falls – one of them in Russia requiring emergency dental treatment from his back-up team – but otherwise everything went to plan.
He said: “Ultimately, the magic ingredient that you need to be able to do something like this is grit, just the ability to suffer.
“Physically, of course, I’m incredibly sore but what you learn very quickly is there’s a big difference between hurting and being injured. I’m not injured, although it will take time for the body to recover.
“For one thing, I think I’d struggle to walk up and down a flight of steps at the moment because I’ve not really walked since 2 July.”
A crowd of well-wishers was waiting for the cyclist as he pedalled up to the Arc de Triomphe, completing the 240 miles of this last leg.
Mark began long-distance cycling at the age of 12 when he rode 145 miles across Scotland.
He was supported by a team including a mechanic, nutritionist, physiotherapist and manager.
The adventurer is raising funds for Orkidstudio, which works to benefit communities worldwide through innovative architecture and construction.