A truly inspirational speaker, Mark Beaumont is a record-breaking round-the-world cyclist and ultra endurance adventurer. He first appeared on our TV screens in 2008 with the BBC1 BAFTA-nominated documentary series The Man Who Cycled the World, telling the inside story of his extraordinary 18,000-mile round-the-world bike race, where he smashed the previous Guinness World Record by a staggering 82 days.
To qualify for the World Record Mark was required to travel a route that passed through two approximately antipodal points. The route began and ended in Paris, riding through 20 countries across Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, Australasia and North America. He endured many hardships during the voyage. In Louisiana, USA, he was involved in a collision with a car and then robbed later the same day, and elsewhere he struggled with illnesses such as dysentery.
Just a year later, Mark set out on his second ultra-endurance expedition, travelling the length of the Rockies and the Andes — cycling 13,080 miles (21,050km) in 268 days from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia in Southern Argentina and climbing the highest peaks of North and South America. Mark's journey was again captured for a BBC1 documentary series, The Man Who Cycled the Americas.
Mark grew up on a farm in Perthshire, Scotland and, having been home-schooled by his mother until the age of 11, he was then educated at the High School of Dundee. At the age of 12 he cycled across Scotland, and by the time he was 15 he had pedalled his way from John O'Groats to Land's End. Mark then went on to gain a degree in politics from the University of Glasgow.
Off the bike, Mark has also been involved in two major ocean rowing expeditions. In 2011, he joined a team of six in a historic row through the Canadian Arctic, as BBC cameraman and presenter for Rowing the Arctic as well as on the oars. Their aim was to reach a former location of the North Magnetic Pole. Early in 2012 Mark joined another team to break the world record for rowing across the Atlantic. They were 27 days and over 2,000 miles into the expedition when disaster struck; they capsized and had to be rescued.
In 2015, he achieved another World Record when he cycled 6,718 miles the length of Africa, solo, in just 41 days, 10 hours and 22 minutes, destroying the previous record.
In July 2017, Mark again smashed the World Record for circumnavigation with a quest to cycle Around The World in 80 Days. Not only did he succeed and set a brand new Guinness World Record, but he completed the challenge in an incredible 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes!
Mark Beaumont was awarded Graduate of the Year 2009 from the University of Glasgow, and won the 2010 Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award. In 2012 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from the University of Dundee, and was made Rector of the University of Dundee in 2016.
In the 2018 New Year Honours, Mark was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to sport, broadcasting and charity.