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Perspectives Extraordinary Ambition

Mark Beaumont is a record-breaking long-distance cyclist, adventurer and LDC ambassador. His most recent achievement was to break the World Record for riding the length of Africa from Cairo to Cape Town in 42 days.

Fresh from his Around Britain coastal trip – a “warm-up” ride totaling 3,500 miles – we caught up with Mark to discuss his latest record-breaking attempt – a circumnavigation of the world in 80 days.

You’ve just cycled Around Britain as part of a 3,500-mile challenge. What’s the purpose behind this?
Believe it or not, Around Britain was a training ride for what comes next! By completing an event like this on ‘home’ soil I wanted to help people understand the endurance involved in cycling more than 240 miles a day. It was also an opportunity to see how my team worked together, and a chance to see if I could sustain 16 hours on a bike for two and a half weeks.

Ultra-endurance is not for the faint-hearted. Where does your personal ambition stem from?
I think everyone has that inner drive to know their personal best, to know their limits. Ultra endurance involves a lot of discomfort, sleep deprivation and long hours – but it has taken me to over 100 countries and given me a lifetime of wonderful memories. I also hope my journeys inspire the next generation to push their own ambitions.

What are the most important factors in determining your success when setting out on a challenge?
The initial planning phase of any challenge is the toughest. It’s when you are fundraising, building the team, doing the research and facing a lot of setbacks. Determination, clear goal setting and building a reliable network and accountable team are crucial.

The management teams that we back and partner face daily challenges in fulfilling their ambitions – what advice would you give them from the world of adventuring?
How you see yourself and how the world judges you can be very different! People see the milestones in your career, but only you really understand the hard miles. Every success involves a tough period of hard graft and commitment. Having the perspective to know that these periods become your life-affirming successes helps you stay motivated.

You are limbering up for another epic challenge in 2017 – tell us what comes next?
Around the World in 80 Days is the plan! This means 240 miles a day for 75 days with three days of flights and two days of contingency. If I manage to cycle 18,000 miles around the planet in less than 80 days, it will be a significant milestone in endurance and human endeavour and would take 43 days off the current World Record.

Mark embarks on the Around the World in 80 Days challenge from Paris on 2nd July.

Follow Mark's Journey