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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2007, 13:31 GMT
Midway point in global challenge
Mark Beaumont
Mark hopes to beat the previous record by more than two months
A cyclist who is attempting to beat the world record for pedalling around the globe has reached the halfway point in his epic journey.

Mark Beaumont, from Fife, set off from the Champs Elysees in Paris on 5 August in an attempt to shatter the previous record of 276 days.

After just 97 days, he had reached the halfway point in his 18,000-mile bid to circumnavigate the globe.

Mark has been cycling more than 100 miles a day on his arduous journey.

He reached the halfway mark in South Australia after crossing Europe and South East Asia.

Despite dealing with chronic saddle sores, stifling heat, rain and snakes, he told BBC Scotland that he remained confident of circumnavigating the globe in 210 days.

It's like being hit on the backside with a cricket bat but you have just got to keep going
Mark Beaumont

However, he admitted that no amount of money would be enough to persuade him to repeat the pain of his first three months in the saddle.

Mark said: "I'm not sure I would do the last three months again. I hope the next three months are easier.

"The exciting thing is I've got good roads ahead, I can get the food I need and things should be a lot easier.

"The 1,200 mile section from Bangkok to Singapore wasn't fantastic. The fact it was wet all the time aggravated the saddle sores and words can't describe how uncomfortable that is for hours on end.

"It's like being hit on the backside with a cricket bat but you have just got to keep going."

Mark said the fact that he had arrived in Australia earlier than expected meant he was now cycling in the cooler spring weather.

Hustle and bustle

The emptiness of the Australian outback was in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of his ride through Pakistan.

He said: "I don't think we Europeans can really comprehend the scale of Australia.

"Today I did a 120 mile stretch where there was literally nothing, not a house, not anything. After the hustle and bustle of the last couple of weeks it is such a contrast."

Mark, or Monty as he is known to his friends, cycled across Scotland from Dundee to Oban at the age of 12.

Two years later he bought his first road bike and then aged 15 did the classic End to End journey, riding from Land's End to John O'Groats for charity.

After high school he helped raise 50,000 for the Erskine Hospital by cycling the 1,334 miles from Sicily to Innsbruck.


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