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Mark Beaumont’s Highland Line Challenge

Written by Fiona June 06 2013

Have you seen what round-the-world record-breaking cyclist and adventurer Mark Beaumont is up to in Scotland right now? On June 1 he set off to swim and run the Highland Fault Line, starting on the Isle of Arran and heading roughly north-west to Stonehaven  and then Aberdeen. He will be stunned to find himself taking on this epic challenge in fabulous sunshine!

Here’s a link to his Half Way video


I caught up with Mark before he headed off. I wrote an article about him for my Sunday Mail outdoors column, which appears in the Seven Days magazine every week, and also for the Dumbarton Community Advertiser. (I like to spread the word!)

The Highland Line Challenge

The 30-year-old Scottish adventurer will take 10 days to complete his self-invented coast-to-coast 210-mile Highland Line Challenge. Mark will cross the open sea three times and swim Scotland’s biggest Loch, facing extreme cold, exhaustion and his fears.

He said: “This is the hardest I’ve trained for many, many years and quite different from my previous expeditions.

“I set the goal myself and it will be one of the most difficult and demanding adventures so far.”

Mark, who lives in Perthshire with his wife, reveals that the challenge is personally demanding because he’s neither a natural swimmer or runner.

He said: “I know this will sound strange from someone who broke the round-the-world cycle record but I’m not actually a sporty person. I wasn’t a sporty child and I only took to my bike because it was the ideal transport for having an adventure.

“Swimming and running are very hard for me to do and I am will push myself to limits I’ve never previously gone to.”

Since January, Mark has run up to 80 miles and swam six times every week. He said: “I have had to learn how to swim properly and I’ve made great progress in a short time.

“But it’s all relative and if you’d seen me in the pool at the start of the year you would have thought my Highland Line Challenge was way beyond me.”

Raising money for charities

The Highland Line Challenge is also part of Mark’s bid to “focus more on charities”. Well known for his charity work, the adventure film-maker is pledging the first six months of 2013 to fund-raising.

He said: “Charity is always something I have supported and I’m involved with Scottish Student Sport, the Saltire Foundation and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, among others.

“This year I wanted to give something more. I have a big project coming up later in 2013 and so I am fortunate to be able to devote more time and energy to fund-raising in the first half of this year.

“The Highland Line Challenge will raise cash for the STV Appeal, which goes to Scottish children living in situations of poverty, and it will be televised in August.”

Find out more at Mark Beaumont

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