On a tandem with cycling partner Graeme Chilvers, Mark departed from Oakwell Stadium (home of Barnsley Football Club) last Friday, cycling into a 28 mph wind and driving rain and finishing the first leg at Hull Kingston Rovers.
A rough overnight crossing to Rotterdam left the cyclists ready to face the final leg into the iconic Johan Cruyff Amsterdam Arena. This should have been a straightforward run to the finish but the storms that hit Holland over the weekend proved a challenge for all taking part.
The riders set off at 8.00am straight into torrential rain and hailstones along the coast road with an average headwind of 34 mph. This was made even harder with the additional wind gusts of over 52 mph and falling debris from the up-routed trees.
"It was without doubt the hardest and most dangerous day I have ever had on the bike," said Mark. "Half way through the day we finally got blown off the bike and finished entangled in an electric fence — not what you need in wet lycra, strapped to a carbon bike.
"We managed to finish the ride coming over the line with former England, Manchester United, Arsenal and Nottingham Forrest legend Viv Anderson.
"All things told it was a fantastic event and a privilege to represent Boston United and the Vanarama National League North alongside teams from Spurs, Wolves, West Brom, Stoke City, Charlton Athletic, QPR, Barnsley, Motherwell and many more. A good number of ex-professionals including England's Paul Parker (a hero from Italia 90), Titus Bramble and Simon Milton made the challenge.
"It was a fantastic atmosphere all weekend as regardless of your team's course, you pulled together sharing kit, helping with technical issues and words of encouragement as each cyclist battled the elements on both days."
In 2018 one man every hour died from prostate cancer in the UK, the most common cancer in men and a huge issue that cannot be ignored. One in eight men will get the disease and if you have a relative in the family that has already been diagnosed that statistic halves your chance to one in four. This cannot be ignored and we need to be united together and get checked out. The aim is to make prostate cancer a disease that the next generation of men does not fear.
So far the team that took part in this year's event have raised a total of just over £500,000 — a massive achievement from all 60 riders that took part. The money raised will help the core issues of diagnosis, treatment and prevention and will also help provide support and information to those affected by the disease.
Every donation counts towards this goal, so if you wish to contribute please donate using this link.
Updated 09:32 - 12 Jun 2019 by Craig Singleton