On 11 May Dean Stott became the fastest person ever to cycle the Longest Road in the world. Destroying the previous record of 117 days and 5 hours, he completed the 14,000-mile journey from Argentina to Canada in 99 days 12 hours and 56 minutes.
Dean spent 16 years serving in the military with the UK Special Forces unit the Special Boat Service, however his career sadly came to an end after sustaining a serious injury.
After leaving the Armed Forces, the Legion stepped in to help Dean with his compensation claim, ensuring he was awarded a GIP (Guaranteed Income Payment) and a War Pension. This helped guarantee financial security for Dean and his young family, allowing him to take on the Pan American Highway challenge.
Through the challenge and working with Heads Together - a mental health campaign driven by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Dean hopes to end the stigma around mental health.
“No one seems to question a physical condition yet still so much stigma surrounds mental illness despite suicide being the biggest killer in young men in Britain,” said Dean.
“I know men really struggle to speak about it and feel their mates may see them as weak.
I have many friends who have struggled and some who have spoken to me since I started this campaign who told me they were having problems.
“Not one of them I have seen as weak. It takes a lot of strength to speak about it and that’s always the most important step.”
As well as breaking the record for cycling the length of the Americas, Dean also broke the world record for cycling the length of South America.
Speaking of the toughness of the challenge, Dean said: “Physically it is definitely the hardest thing I’ve had to do.
“The winds have not always been my friend, the rapid changes in temperatures and altitude have also been difficult.”
With the challenge now over, dean plans to donate £75,000 to The Royal British Legion.
“I want the campaign to promote to my other veterans what services are available from The Royal British Legion as I don’t think its fully understood,” he said.
“I myself received help when I left and I wouldn’t have known it was available without a friend telling me.
“I knew they were there but didn’t realise they could help with claims, pensions and general support.”