Fulfilling a challenge is known to be one of the most rewarding feelings you can experience. Well, Mark Crowthler of our Leighton Buzzard site is currently experiencing that sensation right now after having just completed an incredible but demanding challenge. With just him and a trusty support crew of two, Mark has successfully completed 1003.5 miles of cycling within 16 days, consisting of him visiting 18 cricket grounds across England and Wales whilst burning 28,000 calories, being stuck to his saddle for 60 hours and ascent climbs in excess of 45,500 feet.
A devout cricket fan and a keen cyclist, Mark decided to combine these two interests of his into one very special test of mental and physical strength. Along his journey around the UK, and also leading up to his cycle, Mark was able to collect cricket memorabilia from top cricket clubs, including the England cricket team - that he auctioned off at the end of the cycle ride. The proceeds of these sold mementos going to a very special cause.
This tremendous effort was born out of a tragedy very close to Mark; a tragedy which created a desire to help children across the country battling cancer. Very close friends of Mark sadly lost their 13 year old daughter to a rare condition known as Ewings Sarcoma. After standing brave against the illness for a number of years, unfortunately their daughter, Ziggy, lost her battle in 2007. Throughout this tough time though, Ziggy received a tremendous amount of support along the way from CLIC Sargent, and Kids Cancer Charity.
To commemorate Ziggy, and to help provide families with the support that Ziggy and her family received, Mark decided to take to the road in order to raise awareness and contributions for these wonderful charities.
Mark commented on his thoughts as he approached the final few stages of his cycle challenge:
“The final day of cycling into Lords Cricket ground and finishing at Oval Cricket ground was thoughts of reflection over the journey I had embarked on for the previous 18 months and also the challenge of the 16 days and 1,003 miles to complete the challenge.
On arrival at Oval cricket ground, I was greeted by friends which was an emotional experience and relief that I had completed the challenge and thoughts turned to nervous anticipation for the auction being held in the evening which was a huge success thanks to everyone’s support”
Mark’s first push of the pedal took place on July 29th Chester-Le-Street, home of Durham County Cricket Club. With that done, the 1000 miles countdown was on, and 15 more grounds to follow. Headingley, Old Trafford, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston were all being ticked off with confidence and belief. Not to say though the Mark did have his moments of doubts.
“A challenge of this size wasn’t without it’s doubts and difficulties, in particular, navigation challenges due to diversions and managing to avoid busy roads unsuitable for cycling. From a cycling perspective, there were challenging periods, especially, over a 7 day period which I cycled 550 miles. 5,000 training preparation miles though ensured that I was able to complete the challenge and enjoy this amazing and worthwhile experience whilst raising monies for the 2 chosen charities’ that are important to me”
With the full support of his friends and family, and his work colleagues from UK car retailer CarShop, as well as the collection of cricket memorabilia from each of his cricket ground stops, Mark managed to raise £3,257 to date, with a lot more donations still to come to add to that sum.
Operations Manager of CarShop Leighton Buzzard, David Palmer, has been extremely supportive of Mark’s cycle ride and was on hand to congratulate his colleague’s success.
“A huge congratulations goes out to Mark for not only completing a Herculean task, but also raising a lot of money for a very worthy cause. It’s this level of unselfishness, determination and commitment displayed, that makes him nothing more than exemplary! We are all very proud to have him in our team at Leighton Buzzard and part of our CarShop Family. He certainly echoes and accentuates the following Pillar ‘Great Teams Deliver Great Results’ – Mark what you have done ticks all the boxes, be proud, like we are of you!”
- On: 31 August 2016
- By: CarShop
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