Mark O
Posted by

The start of my challenge

Mark O
Posted by
04 Aug 2014

Dear All,

Having received some very sad news about a good friend and former college and also a former Boss, it hit me hard that whilst I think I have experienced difficult times in the recent years, they pale into insignificance when measured against the personal battle, some friends and colleagues have faced against fatal diseases like cancer or Leukaemia & Lymphoma.

I was touched a while ago by the generosity of friends and family members, when a friend of mine Liam Noble, ask me and a number of our friends to undertake a challenge to walk from Oxford to Kettering to raise money for Cransley Hospice in memory of a great man, his Dad Super Gary.

I have decide to embark on my own challenge to raise money to help fight Leukaemia & Lymphoma, as it has a personal significance to me. I shall be riding my bike 100 miles, yes that’s 100 miles. Starting and finishing in Broad Street, Birmingham, the 100 mile route will take me into quintessential English countryside away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The route passes by rivers, chocolate box villages a-plenty and features a series of gruelling hill climbs which make this a test for the most experienced of riders! Which is clearly not me!
Route plan is at

Now those that really know me will realise I love a challenge but often talk a good game. So on Sunday 21st September at 08:00am, I will get on my bike and hopefully somewhere between 9 or 10 hours later I should be finished. At my current fitness level, maybe that should read days, not hours.

As always I’ve taken the typical O’Neill approach and brought all the gear and have no idea. Training is now well underway and I am a considerable way from my target. If I could respectfully ask for your support in any way, shape or form to help me on my way, I would be forever grateful.

I have set up an official donation page:

Please try and help in any way you can, even if it’s just to ridicule my outfit.

Thank you in advance for anything you do to help me.

Kind regards,




Hi Mark,

First things first, thank you so much for siging up to take part in the Birmingham Bikeathon. Welcome to the team!

As a blood cancer survivor myself I cannot tell you how much of a difference the support of people like you makes to patients - I and many others like me wouldn't still be here today without you - and I cannot thank you enough for your support.

Good luck with the training - 100 miles is a tough challenge for even the most accomplished of cyclists but you sound incredibly determined to do it and I have no doubt that you'll finish. I imagine you're already underway with the training but here's a link to a few tips which might be of interest:

All the best with the fundraising too. Again, I'm sure you have this covered but here are a few fundraising tips which should give you a boost:

Thanks again for siging up and all the best with the remainder of your training.


Hi Andy, 

Thank you so much for you support and great advice. I shall be following as best I can the training plan you've sent me. Also thank you for the extra advice on the fund raising front, I need all the help I can get to reach my target and the guidance you sent is really useful. 

Thanks again and glad my efforts can help. 

Kind regards,



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