In 2015 The Wood Foundation sponsored a solo challenge taken on by well-known Scottish adventurer and broadcaster Mark Beaumont to cycle the length of Africa while raising funds and awareness for Orkidstudio.
Mark is Patron of Orkidstudio, an impact design organisation whose focus is to benefit children and communities worldwide through innovative architecture and construction, with many of these projects in Africa.
This adventure saw Mark cycling 10,000km from Cairo to Cape Town starting in April 2015 with the aim of smashing the world record for the fastest solo cycle of the continent in less than 50 days. On Thursday 21st May 2015 Mark completed his challenge in a total of 42 days, beating the previous World Record by 17 days.
He completed around 150 miles per day while heading south through Egypt, through the searing heat of the Sahara desert and over the Highlands of Ethiopia before racing the gauntlet of great grasslands to South Africa.
Mark shot to fame in 2008 when he broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation by bicycle (18,296 miles in 194 days and 17 hours). Since then he has also rowed a 500-mile journey across the Artic to the North Pole, cycled from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego (13,000 miles), and climbed the highest mountains of North and South America. Through these experiences Mark has become a well-known broadcaster and author, with his documentaries shown in more than 100 countries worldwide.
This latest challenge has come about from Mark questioning himself about how fast he could go and quite how far he could push himself as an athlete. In 2015 Mark also became an ambassador for The Wood Foundation as he aims to help inspire the next generation of Scots to take on their dreams while playing an inspirational role within the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative programme.