Mark’s walk for Spinal Research
Mark Laws recently completed a week-long gruelling walk and cycle from Twickenham to BT Murrayfield in aid of Spinal Research.
Mark set off from Twickenham on Saturday 11th March at 10am and spent the next 7 days travelling up the spine of Britain by foot and bike to arrive at BT Murrayfield at 8.55am on Saturday 18th March – just in time for kick off of Scotland’s final Guinness Six Nations match against Italy.
Mark undertook this intense ordeal all in aid of Spinal Research. He came across Spinal Research due to the strong rugby connections from Jason Leonard who is their patron.
Mark covered most of the 463 miles by bike and completed the remaining miles on foot or by wheelchair.
In order to make sure he arrived to BT Murrayfield on time, he took as a direct route as possible. This meant he spent hundreds of miles on public footpaths, ankle deep in mud and, on one occasion, thigh-deep in water. This increased the difficulty of his challenge as he was regularly changing from riding to running and from cycle/footpaths, fields and quieter roads.
Mark was on the move for at least 8 hours a day and to as many as 11 hours in the one day. This meant his hydration levels and calorie intake had to be of a higher volume than usual and as he was burning through quickly, this added an additional challenge.
As a rugby fan, Mark made sure to stop at as many rugby grounds as possible from Premiership teams to grassroots clubs.
Once arriving at BT Murrayfield, Mark watched Scotland claim the victory over Italy to retain the Cuttitta Cup for another year. Post match, Scottish Rugby were delighted to welcome Mark pitch side to snap a photo at the finish line. Mark also got the opportunity to meet some of the players, including his former pupil Ali Price.
Reflecting on his fundraising efforts, Mark said: “Overall it was a fantastic experience. Physically gruelling, but it taught me a lot about myself and my ability to sidestep ‘problems’ and that I am capable of far more than I imagined.
“If I plan to run 5km then I start feeling tired towards the end…which is probably my natural instincts wanting to preserve my body as much as possible more than me actually being tired and needing to stop.
“I was already conscious or suspicious of this process…but I have learned to ignore the little devil on one shoulder telling me ‘I am tired, I need to stop, I cannot do any more’ etc.
“The final aim from this whole experience is to inspire other people to learn to do the same and to stop living trapped beneath self-imposed glass ceilings.”
Mark has raised £4941 so far and donations can continue to be made here.