In April 2015, Mark embarked on a new adventure, Africa Solo: 10,000km in pursuit of a new World Record. Mark completed the journey from Cairo to Cape Town in a brand new record-breaking time of 41 days, 10 hours and 22 minutes and has received official approval from Guinness World Records. In September he took on a new challenge – the newly iconic North Coast 500 coastal route; hailed as Scotland’s version of Route 66 with hairpin bends and steep gradients.
Cycling through the night whilst battling rain, wind and shine, Mark completed the NC500 in just under 38 hours., Mark completed the NC500 in just under 38 hours.
Rowing the Arctic and Atlantic
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.
Cross Scotland Swim
In June 2013, Mark set out on a 10-day cross-Scotland challenge in aid of the STV Appeal. Having ditched the bike, Mark had to cover 230 miles of Scotland under his own steam. Following the Highland Fault Line from the west to the east coast, Mark had to swim 11 miles of open sea and cold lochs, run 219 miles over mountains and tough terrain, and face miles of unforgiving tarmac.
From October 2013 to July 2014, Mark followed the Queen’s Baton Relay across the continents as part of the BBC’s global coverage of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. He covered the epic global tour for the likes of The One Show, BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio Two and BBC Radio Scotland along with BBC News outlets and wrote a blog for the BBC along the way. Mark was also involved in the Baton’s arrival at the Opening Ceremony, live on BBC1. He was a guest on Saturday Live for BBC Radio 4 and on Kitchen Garden for BBC Radio Scotland as part of the BBC at The Quay season.
Mark has also presented on Country Tracks for BBC1 and numerous BBC Radio Scotland programmes. He has raced against the sun along Scotland’s north coast, to watch the sunset at beautiful Sandwood Bay as part of BBC2 Scotland’s Midsummer Live and also took part in the Trois Etapes, the world’s largest pro-am cycling race, which was televised for Channel 4.
When not on expedition, writing or at events, Mark works with a number of charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Orkidstudio, the Saltire Foundation and Scottish Student Sports.
Mark grew up on a farm in Perthshire, Scotland and has been adventuring since an early age. After cycling across Scotland at the age of 12 he went on to solo John O’Groats to Lands End at the age of 15 and also became a ski instructor in his teenage years.
The Man Who Cycled the World and The Man Who Cycled the Americas have gone on to become bestselling books and along with Rowing the Arctic as well as being acclaimed BBC TV series.
In July 2017, Mark set out on his latest record-breaking attempt – 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! In the 2018 New Year Honours, Mark was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to sport, broadcasting and charity.