Meet the South Yorkshire duo preparing to take on one of the world's most demanding biking endurance challenges
Two South Yorkshire thrill seekers are heading to Scotland this winter to take part in a 24-hour mountain biking endurance event.
Katie Marlow and friend Jason Beard will experience 17-hours of darkness, sub-zero temperatures, and miles of gruelling terrain as part of the brutal Strathpuffer 24-hour mountain bike race, which will take place next January.
The pair are already training hard for the challenge – thought to be one of the most demanding mountain biking endurance events in the world.
They will ride as MTB for Mental Health, and will embark on 24 hours of racing in the Scottish Highlands near Inverness, aiming to raise £1,000 for mental health charity MIND and promote the benefits of mountain biking for health and well-being.Katie, who works at Wake Smith Solicitors in Sheffield, and who set up cycle group MTB for Mental Health last year, said: “We have been lucky enough to get two of 150 places in the Strathpuffer 24 hour mountain bike race and will ride for MIND. That was my only condition for signing up.“This is widely renowned as one of the hardest mountain biking races in the world with 24 hours of racing in the Scottish Highlands in January, in the cold and in 17 hours of darkness. It’s a brutal mix of ice, wind, hail, mud and snow and maybe, if we are lucky, a glorious Scottish winter sunrise.“The aim of the game is to do as many laps of the seven mile course as possible in 24 hours. I am aiming for 10 laps, any more will be a bonus! I think Jason is aiming for glory so I will be cheering him on too.“My mountain bike group is called MTB for Mental Health and that is why we are supporting MIND charity. This cause means a lot to us and is more than a worthy cause to suffer for.“Mountain biking has really helped me gain a sense of adventure and fun back in my life and if we can raise money for a great cause while doing this event, then so much the better.”mtbformentalhealth.co.uk