The Bowra 1000 has been designed by Mark to demonstrate that with courage, determination and cheerfulness in the face of adversity anything is possible. It is no coincidence that these key elements of the Commando spirit have helped to create the DNA of the Bowra Foundation.
This was to be Mark’s greatest challenge since that terrible day in 2014 when he suffered a devastating stroke and was told he would never walk again. The Bowra 1000 would see him cycle, yomp, paddle and swim from John O’Groats to Land’s End, joined along the way by members of the Armed Forces Community, people living with neurological disorders and supporters keen to show that “what’s inside matters.”
Mark was gutted when COVID-19 restrictions made it impossible for him to get to the start line but, undaunted, he will complete the Challenge day by day, mile by mile. Although he can’t physically travel to the planned locations, he will replicate each leg outside in his local area and using exercise equipment loaned to him prior to lockdown by AECC University College. This is now installed in his garage – AKA the Bowra Bunker.
The new Virtual Bowra 1000 Challenge starts on 3 June 2020.
This is your chance to be inspired, to achieve and in so doing, to motivate others - a truly life-changing opportunity.
inspiring an unrelenting pursuit of recovery from neurological injury
THE 1000 CHALLENGE
1000+ miles to cycle
4 mountains to climb
3 lakes to kayak and swim
Mark wants you to join him
JOHN O GROATS DAY 1
BEN NEVIS DAY 8
LOCH AWE DAY 12 & 13
SCAFELL PIKE / LAKE WINDERMERE DAY 19 & 20
SNOWDON / LAKE BALA DAY 25 & 27
PEN-Y-FAN DAY 30
PLYMOUTH LIDO DAY 36
JOHN O GROATS
SCAFELL PIKE /
Located at the most north-eastern part of the UK, John O Groats provides the starting line for the Bowra 1000 challenge.
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the UK, scaling over 1300m above sea level. The mountain is in the Grampian region of the Scottish Highlands.
Just over a week into the Challenge, Mark will again canoe the length of Loch Awe, following the difficult cycle through northern Scotland. Loch Awe is Scotland's longest body of freshwater, nearly 25km in length from end-to-end.
In back-to-back days the challenge sees Mark ascend Scafell Pike as well swim / canoe Lake Windermere. Scafell Pike is England's highest peak, towering nearly 1000m above see level. Lake Windermere, England's largest body of fresh water, exceeds 18km in length.
Wales's highest mountain, standing over 1000m above sea level, will be Mark's port of call just under a month into the challenge. Lake Bala, at over 3.5 miles in length, is the next waterway in the 1000 challenge.
Just four days after scaling Snowdon, Mark's endurance will again be tested by the impressive Pen-Y-Fan peak. Used for training by the UK Special Forces and standing 886m above sea level.
After 36 days of cycling, swimming, canoeing and mountain climbing, the challenge will continue at the Lido in Plymouth.
LANDS' END DAY 39
The challenge concludes at Lands' End, after 39 days of gruelling physical and mental demands.
YOU are cordially invited to join Team Bowra: people living with neurological disorders and carers, members of the Armed Forces community, people facing their own unique challenges and supporters from all walks of life… everyone can be part of Team Bowra.
There are no restrictions on ability, location, equipment – you can be anywhere in the world and any sporting level. Mark wants you to join him as he embarks on this epic journey!
Set your own challenges or replicate some of Mark’s, take advice from your medical practitioner and make sure that you have support to complete your personal Bowra 1000 safely.
We want to hear your story and how you plan to take part: what’s your Bowra1000?