Cyclist James McCallum demolishes Mark Beaumont's North Coast 500 record

Edinburgh cyclist James McCallum was a very tired but proud man today after he demolished the record held by Mark Beaumont for the North Coast 500 route.

Wednesday, 22nd June 2016, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:47 pm
James McCallum, pictured during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. Picture: Neil Hanna

The 37 year old had embarked on the daunting 517 mile challenge to raise money for the Thrombosis UK charity in memory of his sister-in-law Charlene Doolan who died in 2015.

McCallum set off from Inverness on Saturday morning and, benefiting from a tailwind in the early part of the ride, covered almost 50 miles in the opening two hours.

Driven on by the cause for which he was riding, he continued his progress through the night, and after taking breaks of only a few minutes at a time, he reached his destination 31 hours after his departure, having actually spent 28 hours 57 minutes in the saddle.

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McCallum’s time was a massive seven hours faster than adventurer Beaumont had managed last year. The new record holder, a former British champion, who represented Scotland at four Commonwealth Games and won a track medal in 2006, was met at the finishing line by a group of supporters that included his wife and daughters.

McCallum’s record was the reward for months of intensive training which he fitted around his work with the professional cycling team One Pro Cycling.

His fund raising effort had an initial target of £10,000 and, with almost £8,000 pledged by the time he completed his epic challenge and more money expected to come in over the days ahead, he is also set to beat that objective.