Fourteen countries and fourteen thousand miles in less than 117 days and five hours: this is the Pan-American Highway 2018 challenge that Dean Stott is determined to achieve. Is also the actual Guinness Record set by the Mexican cyclist Carlos Santamaria Covarrubias in 2015. Dean Stott, a forty-year-old former UK Special Forces soldier, wants to cycle the length of America even quicker. Everything to raise awareness and money for the Heads Together Charity Partners and helping to end the stigma around mental health issues.
His journey that started the 1st of February, in Ushuaia – the Southeastern most point in South America – couldn’t be going any better for Stott, who this Wednesday became the fastest man on earth to cover the South American length, doing it in just 48 days, beating the World Record by 10 days. Something remarkable for someone who never cycled more than a few miles and still suffers the consequences of a knee injury. Commenting on the achievement Scott said:
“It has been a gruelling journey so far, and both a physical and mental battle. The support of my wider team has been invaluable, but the hard work has only just begun, and there is still a long way to go. I’m hugely proud to break the South American World Record and even more determined to smash the Pan American Highway record too, raising money and awareness for the Heads Together charity partners and mental health issues overall.”
Dean has taken on this challenge to raise one million dollars for Heads Together Charity Partners. Until now they have raised 27% of it (around $275 million) – after being inspired by the work his friend Prince Harry has carried out through the organization.
This cause also has a personal meaning to Dean. The former soldier worked for sixteen years in the British military and Special Forces, but a knee injury forced him to retire and come back home, where he struggled to adapt to normal civilian life, facing mental health issues.
Dean’s challenge is being supported by the St. James’s Place Charitable Foundation, which is committed to helping mental health causes.
Donations for the challenge will be shared between the Charity Partners, which include Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Best Beginnings, Calm, Contact, Mind, Place to be, The Mix and Young Minds.