About the challenge

So what’s it all about?

Well if you’ve read the ‘About Mark’ page you’ll begin to get some idea

Why the Challenge?

As many of you will know our friend and colleague Mark Rylance sadly passed away in September 2010 after losing his battle with Cancer. During the last few weeks of his life he kept in close contact with friends from work and it was during this time that we discussed the idea of undertaking some sort of charity event in his name. Being a keen cyclist it is no wonder Mark had the idea of a bike ride, but not just any bike ride – a bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End by relay!  We are sure he is still laughing at his idea!

The ride will cover 976 miles in 14 stages and be completed over 14 days. The journey aims to take the most scenic route via quieter roads through many of the UK’s most picturesque areas such as the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales., Wye Valley and SW Coastal areas.

The event is totally inclusive and will be a team challenge in every sense of the word – the importance of a team was something very close to Mark’s heart. Anybody can join the team and take part either completing a number of stages, a few miles of a particular stage or assist as a support driver. Most importantly everybody can play their part and raise money for the Charity:

click here to donate online

The Story So Far?

The route is planned, J O G to Lands End over 976 miles. So far we have more than 50 cyclists and support drivers signed up for the event which just demonstrates how popular Mark was with his friends and colleagues. Logistics planning is now well underway with assistance from many people taking place behind the scenes.

As well as his friends Mark’s family will also be involved in the event and the fund raising target we have set is £25,000 although we hope to even exceed this figure.


18 Responses to About the challenge

  1. Nicola Slater says:

    Well, I just wanted to be the first to leave a comment because this is not only my first post here, but also the first time I’ve used a Blog! Mark certainly has a lot to answer for. I know there is already some training taking place; I’ve already heard of a few adventures so I just want to wish all those who are training (and all those who are not!) the very best of luck and I hope to hear of your experiences over the next few weeks via this Blog. Thanks so much to Jilly for setting up this facility.

  2. Nicola Slater says:

    Great News! It looks like we will be appearing in the Oldham Evening Chronicle during March as part of a series of articles marking 100 years of Macmillan. As soon as I know when this will be I will let you know.

  3. Janet Rylance says:

    I think it is fantastic that you have honoured Mark’s last wishes. A huge thank-you to NGP and other contractors that have been involved in the organisation of the event. Special thanks to Charlie, Mark, Nicola, Naomi, Helen and Elaine for taking the intial lead. You are a great group of friends that Mark worked with and he would be so proud of you all (only wish he was doing it with you). I have so much more so say but will leave it for now and keep posting little bits every and now and then.

  4. Janet Rylance says:

    Its fab to see all the names of friends and colleagues who are taking part in the challenge in memory of Mark.

  5. Janet Rylance says:

    Charlie, Mark, Nicola along with Richard will be visiting Buckton Vale Primary school (Mark was a governor at the school)(and it is the school which Hannah and Olivia attend) on Wednesday 4th May. They will be involved in the Wednesday morning assembly and will talk to the children and teachers about the bike ride. The children at the school entered into a competition to design a t-shirt for riders to wear. The team will be presenting prizes for the best design. I am sure the children will enjoy seeing the team dressed in their lycra!!!!!

  6. Janet Rylance says:

    Wow, a great presentation was given by Charlie, Mark and Naomi this morning at Buckton Vale school’s assembly. They were all very brave, bearing in mind that their audience was approx 270 primary school children. Richard welcomed the team and the children enjoyed listening and seeing pictures about the Mark Rylance Challenge. Beats the normal Wednesday morning assembly!!!!!

  7. Janet Rylance says:

    So far, so good, you guys are amazing! Tragically, there for nothing anybody could have done to make Mark better but you guys have done the next best thing and carried our Mark’s last wishes. For that, you are great people and Mark was lucky to have known you. As the saying goes ‘it takes one to know one’ and I know Mark would have done the same.

  8. Buckton Vale Primary School says:

    Hi folks. Good to see that you are well under way and working hard. We will be watching where you are in assembly on Wednesday morning and will send some of the comments from the children. keep up the good work.

  9. Hannah Rylance says:

    I am really upset that I will not be joining in on the bike ride because I have just broken my wrist!!!! I will still be coming to watch you cycle past and wish you all very good luck.

  10. Nicola Slater says:

    Hannah, Don’t worry about not being able to cycle, you must come along and help anyway – that stage of the ride will really need you. The riders would be grateful for additional help with handing out drinks and food, there will be plenty for you to do (even with just one arm!).

  11. Tracy Ward says:

    I’m so proud of you all for doing so well. I’m following the blog and the photos are making me chuckle although I am not sure I’m looking forward to seeing Richard Alden in lycra!

    Hannah don’t worry about not actually being able to do the cycle bit – as Nicola says the support role is just as important and dad would be so proud of you for being involved.

    Keep pedalling 🙂

  12. Janet Rylance says:

    1st week nearly done and the riders have been amazing. I have had such positive feedback from John and Richard. Not only have they enjoyed the bike ride, yes they did say ENJOYED! but they commented on what a great bunch of people they had met. Said they made them feel really welcome. Only for work commitments, they were keen to carry on!!!!!!
    John also said “I am so glad I got to know Mark. He was a unique and popular guy. It is great to be part of HIS challenge. Boy will he be laughing at us”
    Richard also said “We’re looking forward to the ride today, really privileged to be part of this”
    To those of you who have participated so far, your fantastic and I can’t tell you how much its means to me.
    Hope Charlie is ok, only 1 more day to go and then you can take a well earned rest!!!

  13. Janet Rylance says:

    Well done to all the cyclists so far. Words cannot express how I feel about this challenge in memory of Mark. I was so glad to be there yesterday (in Lymm) to be caught up in the action (no I didn’t cycle, sorry)!!!! I left it to the professionals!!!!
    The atmosphere was brilliant. It was lovely to see that some teachers had turned up from Buckton Vale school to support the cyclists, even though they had a long wait, to say the least!!! But it was worth it. The children managed to cycle a short while, but wished they could have done a lot more. They’re obviously keen cyclists!

  14. Janet Rylance says:

    Come on Charlie, you’ve had a complete day to rest so why not start again tomorrow!
    Olivia thought it was great that you had cycled 600 miles and therefore thought that it would be very easy for you to do the remaining miles. Olivia words not mine and don’t worry I did explain to her that you had to go to work!!!

  15. Janet (Marks sister) says:

    What a really, really tough day all the cyclists had on Saturday!!!! I am full of admiration for how you all kept going and even managed to keep smiling (like I know Mark would have done if he could). It was wonderful to have been involved and I wish I could have done more – you are all (cyclists, support drivers, organisers) a fantastic group people and I will never ever forget what you have done, and are still doing. A special mention must also go to all your wifes, girlfriends, husbands, boyfriends, partners, parents and friends who also provided what must have been much needed help and support to you during the challenge so far. To all of you still doing the challenge good luck and keep smiling, we are all with you.

  16. Janet Rylance says:

    I am really struggling as to what to say. There is so much to say to people but I really don’t know where to start. Janet’s (Mark’s sister) has added lovely comments and I can, for now, only reiterate what she has said. You have all been truly amazing. Thank you so, so much for taking part in the challenge in memory of Mark.

  17. Janet Rylance says:

    On Sunday 3rd July approximately 35 people took part in ‘The Mark Rylance Challenge 4 kids’.
    There were around 20 children along with their parents who cycled 7 miles through Delamere Forest. It was a great family day and the kids were brilliant. Thank-you to Richard Vink who organised the day and to all of those who took part. Thanks to Derek who rounded the day by taking some of the children to a nice muddy stream which they all loved going through on their bikes. It was a nice end to a fun day!!!!

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