You don’t have to be a cyclist or like the sport in anyway, to appreciate what Mark Beaumont has just achieved. Being a warm blooded human being qualifies you, to be amazed.
Mark has travelled around the world by bicycle in under 80 days – 78 days 14 hours and 40 minutes; in the spirit of Around the World in 80 days by Jules Verne
It’s not the first time Mark has gone around the world, he previously set a record of 194 days in 2008. He is what you would call a ultra endurance athlete.
Round the World Cyclist & World Record Breaker
He has taken a previously novel concept, and made it a reality, in what must have been the most difficult circumstances he has faced yet.
When I was initially inspired by Alastair Humphreys to plan my adventure, Mark‘s book was one of the first I came across – after Future moods of Joy & Thunder & Sunshine. I wrote him an email, to which he replied and offered advice aswell as his, name to help with media enquiries and fundraising efforts. Right then, I was in awe of the man for the many adventurous challenges he had embarked on.
Not only did he previously break the around the world record, but he also cycled from Alaska, USA to Southern Argentina. Stopping along the way to climb the highest peaks in North and South America!!!! Let’s not forget cycling from Cairo Egypt, to Cape Town South Africa.
I’ve had some pretty tough days, some real shit storms that make you want to smash it all up and jump on a plane. On those days, I would look to those who have inspired me, for reassurance in their suffering.
The list is lengthy, the following are the top few. Alastair Humphreys & Levison Wood, both have inspired large parts of my journey ( read about the wakhan here). Two guys I would love to grab a pint with, just imagine the stories? Pretty sure they have more exciting things to do. Ed Stafford, who makes me feel like a normal human being when I lose my shit or get f**ked off with someone. Hope he doesn’t mind that. Probably too busy with his baby or extreme filimg for a pint.
I would think about what they all achieved as well as what others had lost, especially the individuals whom my charities benefit. In doing so, I would tell myself as much as possible to Harden the fuck up. Curtousy of Amud Fredlund.
When my seat began to fall apart and the padding on my shorts disappeared, I began thinking of Mark. I thought about his 400km average to my woeful 130km. His state of mind cycling for hours on end, woth four to five hours of sleep. The hunger and the pain he must have endured ever second. Suddenly I felt very silly.
On paper, our respective challenges don’t match, not in the same universe let alone league. But, in theory they are very similar, in that this adventure takes me to my limit as did his, just at very different altitudes. I look at Mark as an inspiration not only for the record, but for his attitude, dreaming big, working hard and never giving in.
Young children will no doubt hear of his feat, and beg their parents for a new bike, dreaming of adventure. He will inspire a generation, and continues to inspire this big kid.
Congratulations Mark, you absolute legend.