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British cyclist raises funds for Pinoy kids

By Edward Lao, ABS CBN News

1323 days ago   Article ID# 1545698
Original URL


Hope For Children

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (ABS CBN News) - Mark Pain aims to raise £10,000 for a charity in the Philippines by cycling the entire length of the United Kingdom within two weeks.

The 38-year-old Briton set himself the challenge last year after watching the BBC documentary 'The Toughest Place to be a Bus Driver'.

In the show, London bus driver Josh West was sent to Manila to learn how to drive a jeepney from Paco to Pier South during a 13-day stint.

During his time in the Philippines, West was emotionally moved by the hardships of his host family, headed by jeepney driver Rogelio Castro.

Upon West's return to the UK, he set-up a fund through charity Hope For Children with the aim of raising enough to cover the education of Castro's two grandchildren - Russel and Janell, and possibly other underprivileged children.

Pain, married to a Filipina, has cycled for various charities in the past like Cancer Research. This time, however, he wants to do something for the Philippines.

"Josh is an inspiration. Having been to the Philippines and seen the traffic, I've never seen traffic in my life quite like it. It's incredibly busy, the roads there are insane,” Pain said.

"That must have been a very tough thing for Josh to do. I'm not sure I could do it, I hate the traffic, but I love cycling. So for me this will be enjoyable,” he added.

Pain will cycle from Land's End in Cornwall, the southern most tip of England, to John O'Groats in the Scottish highlands.

The journey will be approximately 1,000 miles (1,609km). To complete the challenge in two weeks, Pain intends to cycle around 80 miles a day.

"It will be a challenge for my fitness, my endurance, mentally and psychologically. But hopefully every mile that I put on the clock will be a mile that puts some money in the pockets of people in the Philippines who need it more than perhaps we do,” Pain said.

The first section of the journey will take Pain through the southern counties of Cornwall and Devon. He anticipates these first few days to be the hardest in the trip because of the hilly terrain. He knows the weather will also have an impact.

"The most challenging thing in this trip I think will be the weather. Last May, last June wasn't fantastic. If it's windy it's going to be tough,” Pain said.

"My body needs to withstand the rigors of two weeks in the saddle. I will probably be quite saddle sore in places – definitely the first few days you'll get saddle sore. So, I've got to work on through that and battle through the pain barrier,” he added.

The last charity ride Pain participated in was a 56-mile (90km) journey from London to Brighton in 2011. Before then, he completed a 90-mile (145km) ride in Scotland in 2010.

This trip will be the toughest he has ever encountered, but he remains confident.

“I've been cycling back and forth to central London for the last 5 years, so I do roughly 2000 to 3000 miles of cycling anyway,” Pain said.

“I feel equipped for it. I've got the right back-up team,” he added.

Providing support will be Mark's wife Jane and their Victorian bulldog Alfred.

"Basically I will be Mark's support system. I'll be driving the support vehicle for Mark and I'm also a nurse. Hopefully there will be no medical emergencies,” said Jane.

Asked if she would ever consider doing something similar, she replied, "No, I think its crazy. It's insane. A thousand miles, come on! I think that's crazy, but he's got this passion so I'm just supporting him".

Pain will be starting the challenge on May 25. Along the way he will be stopping off in cities like Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle to visit the local Pinoy communities.

Josh West has said he would like to join Mark for a leg of the journey during one of the southern sections.

Aside from raising money for Hope For Children, Pain revealed he is also doing the fundraiser in memory of his late father Brian Pain, who passed away in December 2010.

Copyright 2015 ABS CBN News   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1323 days ago   Article ID# 1545698

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