Today (30th May) the record-breaking Scottish adventurer and cyclist Mark Beaumont set off on his major cross-Scotland challenge in aid of the STV Appeal.
After months of intense training, including icy cold open water swims, Mark is now facing one of the most difficult and demanding adventures of his life as he endeavours to travel the 230 miles from Arran to Aberdeen by foot and in the water, in only 10 days.
Mark is urging schools and businesses along the route to get involved and join STV Appeal’s fight against child poverty in Scotland. Following the scenic Highland Boundary Fault line, Mark will cross the open sea three times, including a never-done-before six mile swim from Arran to Isle of Bute, facing extreme cold and exhaustion.
MARK WILL BE IN COMRIE FRIDAY 7TH JUNE – KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR HIM AND THE TV CREW. SAY HELLO AND CHEER HIM ON !!
He will also cross Scotland’s biggest loch, Loch Lomond, and endure ultra-marathon runs over rough terrain and mountain climbs – all to raise as much money as possible to help children and young people living in poverty in Scotland.
Day 1: Blackwaterfoot to Sannox on Arran
Starting at Blackwaterfoot on Arran, Mark will leave the cheering crowds behind as he makes his way across the island. Before reaching Brodick, Mark will go off-road and head north to the stunning Glen Rosa. After climbing the island’s highest mountain, Goatfell, for a view of the Sound of Bute and his next challenge, Mark will finish his first day in Sannox.
Day 2: Arran to Bute
On day two of the challenge, Mark will face the hardest part of his journey – an exhausting six mile swim from Fallen Rocks on Arran toDunagoil Bay on Bute. The gruelling swim, which has never been attempted before, brings with it a number of challenges, including jellyfish and a risk of dehydration. Mark’s open water training will prove absolutely vital to his chances of making the distance.
Day 3: Dunagoil Bay to Dunoon
Mark sets off from Dunagoil Bay after completing his great swim and follows the fault line to cross the Isle of Bute. After passing Loch Fad and Loch Ascog he makes his way to Ardberg Point where he will face a 1.6 mile swim to Ardyne Point, followed by an eight mile run up the coast to Dunoon.
Day 4: Dunoon to Garelochhead
On day four, Mark continues along the coast line to just south of Ardentinny and swims across Loch Long to south of Coulport. He will then run up Shore Road and cut through North Fernicarry Wood until he reaches the town of Garelochhead.
Day 5: Garelochhead to Balmaha
From Garelochhead, Mark heads along Glen Luss to the town of Luss itself. It’s now time for him to prepare for the final swim of the challenge, across Loch Lomond. He swims the 2.2 miles to Cashel Campsite, followed by a short run to Balmaha for some well needed rest at the foot of Conic Hill.
Day 6: Balmaha to Callander
On day six of the challenge, Mark sets off to conquer Conic Hill followed by a long run through the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and past Drumore Wood, before reaching Aberfoyle. He continues along the Rob Roy Way Path past Loch Venachar and the Coilhallan Wood to finish the day in Callander.
Day 7: Callander to Crieff (Friday 7th June)
Mark heads North from Callander towards Ben Vorlich and runs off-road until he reaches the Cultybraggan Road into Comrie. From Comrie he will run along the Strowan Road to Crieff.
Day 8: Crieff to Blairgowrie
Mark sets off from Crieff, running North on the Sma Glen, before reaching Amulree and heading East along the Old Military Road to Dunkeld. From there, Mark will take leave by the Boat Road, cutting across country on the quieter B947 road for the last 10k to Blairgowrie.
Day 9: Blairgowrie to Edzell
On the second last day of his challenge, Mark leaves Blairgowrie behind for one of his longest runs. He passes extensive farm lands and the town of Alyth before reaching Kirriemuir. From here, Marks runs past Drumclune with the mountainous fault line on his left. His final destination of the day is Edzell, and after passing a string of woodlands and Edzell Castle, he can finally rest for the night.
Day 10: Edzell to Aberdeen
On the final day of his challenge, Mark makes his way from Edzell Wood to Fettercairn and along Cairn O’Mount Road. Running along the base of the fault line, he passes by Loch Saugh, runs through Fa’en Wood Brae and past Drumtochty Castle, towards Stonehaven. The final leg of his journey takes Mark on an arduous 15 mile run up toe coastline, passing Newtonhill and Cove Bay, to his final destination ofAberdeen.