Kirrie stop-off for adventurer Mark

THE ORGANISERS of a major fund-raising effort by world record breaking Scottish cyclist and adventurer Mark Beaumont are hoping the people of Kirriemuir will turn out to support him on his latest challenge in the summer.

Giving his trusted bike a rest, the unique expedition will see Mark swimming and running the breadth of Scotland.

He will follow the scenic Highland Boundary Fault Line from the Isle of Arran to Stonehaven, before finishing his epic journey in Aberdeen.

Mark will set off on Saturday, June 1, and, if all goes according to plan, he will pass through Kirriemuir on Sunday, June 9.

Hoping to complete the challenge in only 10 days, he is set to cross the open sea three times and swim across Scotland’s biggest Loch, facing extreme cold, exhaustion and his fears.

Mark’s toughest mission will be a six-mile swim from Millstone Point on Arran to Scalpsie Bay on the Isle of Bute, a gruelling task which has never been attempted before.

He will also endure ultra-marathon runs, over rough terrain and mountain climbs, making it one of his most difficult and demanding adventures so far.

Along the way, Mark will stop to meet with people, schools and local community groups who have all done their bit to raise funds for the STV Appeal 2013.

With the challenge only a few months away, Mark is following an intense training regime on land and in water to build up the skill and stamina needed for the enormous task ahead.

He said: “I have never been a strong swimmer and only ever run as a small part of my expedition training, and so this mammoth Highland Line Challenge is genuinely terrifying.

“As a major charity challenge for the STV Appeal, I wanted to create something which was a real test, and that will capture the imagination of supporters across Scotland. In truth I don’t yet know if I am capable of this, but I am putting my absolute all into training and have a great team in support.

“After the scare of capsizing mid Atlantic, I never imagined I would be committing to an open water 10km swim! But it will all be worth it when we can raise as much as possible for Scottish children who are living in poverty.”

Elizabeth Partyka of STV Appeal said: “We’re very excited to have Mark on board and we are all in awe of the gigantic challenge he’s about to take on. Mark will pass through a raft of local communities on his journey from Arran to Aberdeen, so this is a great opportunity to get involved and help raise funds for children and young people affected by poverty in Scotland. And of course to cheer Mark on!”

Starting at Blackwaterfoot on Arran, Mark’s challenge will take him to Ardberg, Luss, Dunblane, Gleneagles, Crieff, Dunkeld, Blairgowrie, Kirriemuir, Edzell, Fettercairn and Stonehaven, to name but a few, before arriving at his final destination of Aberdeen.

If your business, school or community group would like to get involved with Mark’s challenge contact campaign manager Ami Anderson on ami.anderson@stv.tv or 0141 300 3729.