A Special Forces veteran from Poole hasn’t let a massive stroke deter him from raising funds for charity.
Decorated officer Mark Bowra and a hand-picked a team of veterans and civilians living with a range of disabilities set out to tackle Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis over three days following the lifting of Covid restrictions.
Through their efforts, Mark and the team have raised over £11,000 to fund innovative ‘Bowra Bags’ and deliver challenge events through his own Bowra Foundation to help other people with living with neurological disorders and the Armed Forces community.
Mark, 47, who lives in Poole with wife Iona, said: “Recovering from a stroke is probably the hardest thing I have ever had to do but my experience in the military has helped me so much.
“The Three Peaks has without doubt been the toughest individual challenge I have ever set myself and I was so inspired by the team I had around me.
“Everyone showed that with courage, determination, unselfishness and cheerfulness in the face of adversity anything is possible.”
‘Improvise, adapt and overcome’ became Mark and the team’s the watch words as they attempted the challenge while braving horrendous weather conditions.
They faced incessant wind and rain with gusts of more than 50mph during an arduous 11-hour climb and descent on the first peak, Snowdon.
With more unpredictable and treacherous weather forecast over the next two days, it was clear the Three Peaks Challenge had to be reset.
A “Climb Bowra” sub-team of sponsors and volunteers successfully scaled Scafell Pike on Mark’s behalf, while he and beneficiaries made their way to Fort William to prepare to take on Ben Nevis.
Despite another alarming weather forecast and a difficult, rocky surface, Mark successfully reached the Halfway Point in four hours.
The Climb Bowra team went onto to conquer “The Ben” in whiteout conditions as Mark and the support team tackled the enormously challenging descent.
Mark added: “Many thanks to everyone who has sponsored us or supported us in any way. You have really helped to make a difference.”
Mark was due to scale the Three Peaks in 2020 as part of his Bowra 1000 – cycling, swimming and canoeing from John O’Groats to Land’s End – but COVID-19 restrictions put paid to the plans.
Undeterred by the global pandemic, Mark completed the 1,000-mile epic remotely in his home gym and then onto local roads, before finally crossing the line at Land’s End in July 2020.
Mark suffered a massive stroke in 2014. He was at the pinnacle of his distinguished career in the Royal Marines and the Special Boat Service (SBS) having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received the MBE.
Please share post:
Follow us on