Charity

Epic charity journey was an 'emotional' challenge for Dundalk man Mark

Mark Nugent

Jason Newman

Reporter:

Jason Newman

Epic charity journey was an 'emotional' challenge for Dundalk man Mark

Epic charity journey was an 'emotional' challenge for Dundalk man Mark

Last Sunday Dundalk resident Mark Nugent ticked a major challenge off his bucket list when he completed the 380 mile cycle from Mizen to Malin head on a hand bike.

Mark suffered a spinal cord injury when he was knocked off his bike by a truck on his way to kayak training in April 2016.

“It went phenomenally well, we had a fantastic week and the support team were brilliant and for the most part everything ran like clockwork,” he told the Democrat.

It wasn’t all plain sailing though, this is Ireland after all and it was inevitable the weather would have an impact.

Mark explained: “The weather was good most of the way, but Enniskillen to Derry the rain was absolutely torrential, going into Derry on Friday you could hardly see a thing, visibility was very poor.

“I’m only a few inches off the ground so the rain was bouncing off the road onto my face and I couldn’t get any roll on the bike, it was like wading through a river of water. The puddles were so bad we had to send people walking ahead of me to see if it was shallow enough for me to go through.”

Mark also got a kidney infection towards the end of the cycle but it wasn’t enough to stop him and his months of hard training stood to him.

“The physical side I was fit for, the emotional side was tough; you’re trying to do your best for the two charities you’re cycling for and that’s always on your mind. I had tears flowing down my face going over the finish line and everybody was cheering me on, it was a huge relief to get over the line,” he added.

In total Mark raised over €15,000 for his two chosen charities Spinal injuries Ireland and Breast Cancer Ireland. You’d be forgiven for thinking Mark would take a break after completing such a monumental challenge, but speaking to him on the Thursday after his cycle he was planning to start back training on Saturday for the Berlin Marathon in September.

There are even whispers of an east to west cycle being the next challenge on the cards.