Mark Beaumont gets Wild about Argyll

Mark Beaumont's latest challenge, 'Wild About Argyll', takes place from July 24 to August 4.
Mark Beaumont's latest challenge, 'Wild About Argyll', takes place from July 24 to August 4.

Ultra adventurer Mark Beaumont will be returning to Bute’s landscape as part of his latest challenge, ‘Wild About Argyll’.

The Wild About Argyll challenge, which has been masterminded by Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC), will see Mark undertake 12 disciplines from cycling to running, and wild swimming to kayaking, across the region between July 24 and August 4. This would be a tough test already, but AITC has thrown down the gauntlet and added an ‘epic adventure’ on every day of the challenge. And when the AITC team say epic they mean it.

Mark will start his consecutive 12 day challenge with cycling part of the Caledonia Way to the north of Oban. Later on in the challenge he’ll pick it up again along the Crinan Canal as he heads through Kintyre.

The Caledonia Way, which stretches for 237 miles from Campbeltown to Inverness, has been influenced by the geography of Scotland and Mark can expect to travel through some of the most stunning scenery Argyll and the isles has to offer.

He will also cycle the 87-mile Mull Sportive, and will run the Tiree half marathon routes, as well as kayaking 30km of Argyll’s Sea Kayak Trail. Mark also intends to conquer the Paps of Jura as he fell runs his way across the island, and large sections of Argyll’s long distance routes including the Kintyre Way, Cowal Way, West Island Way on Bute, and Three Lochs Way. He will reprise part of his 2013 STV Appeal, which saw him run and swim across Scotland in just 10 days, with a wild swim in Loch Lomond, before possibly his biggest epic adventure, bagging all 22 of Colonsay’s McPhies in one day.

Mark said “The bags are packed and I am set for the widest variety of adventure sports that I have ever tried in just 12 days! Travelling on land and water through the islands and mainland of Argyll, I just can’t wait to get started. Adventures close to home always gain the biggest public support and I am looking forwards to people joining me on the road and online, to share the whole journey in as big a way as possible.”

AITC Director Calum Ross is looking forward to the start of the challenge, saying: “Argyll and the Isles has so many opportunities for visitors seeking an adventure. We’re absolutely delighted to have the chance to put one of the world’s best known endurance athletes to the Argyll and the Isles test, and we hope Mark enjoys the challenge as much as we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the region.”

You can follow Mark on his travels by following his tracker at www.markbeaumontonline.com or www.exploreargyll.co.uk, or you can tweet Mark @MrMarkBeaumont or the AITC team @ExploreArgyll.

AITC is very grateful for the funding and support provided by Argyll and Bute Council, Sustrans, Caledonian MacBrayne, Scotrail, Oban Airport, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Canals, HIE and VisitScotland, and to the many businesses and organisations supporting each day’s activities.