Two business owners from Chester and North Wales have returned as heroes after successfully competing in the World’s toughest hard enduro motorcycle rally known as Romaniacs as it takes place in Sibiu, Romania.
This annual event, which is sponsored by Red Bull, attracts riders from across the world, including the top professionals in the sport, who face a challenge of survival and motorcycle skills without comparison.
One of the riders Mark Hollingsworth said: “Having competed and finished I can fully understand why this is known as the hardest race in the world.”
The co-owner of Data Pacific Limited, an IT support company operating from Wrexham Industrial Estate, added: “The course was brutal with hills so steep and so high your ears popped.”
Mark put his success down to a year of preparation and training with Lee Walters of Off Road Training, based in South Wales, and the support team of Desert Rose Racing headed by Patsy Quick who was the first female motorcycle finisher in the Paris-Dakar rally.
He added: “The advice of the team on how to deal with the demands of such a hard race was invaluable particularly when faced with thirty five degree heat.”
The other finisher on the team was Mark Lampkin, owner of Lampkin and Co Solicitors based in Broughton. Mark has only been riding enduro motorcycles for three years so to compete and finish was a major achievement.
Not only did the riders have to complete four days of the hardest, steepest and muddiest riding, they faced a 100 metre obstacle course just before the finish line that entailed dragging and carrying their motorcycles through skips, over tractor tyres and through a waist deep muddy bog, all in sweltering heat.
Mark, who confirmed he would never do it again, added: “The end of the course was brutal, cruel and inhumane. Despite that we were actually hatching plans for next year on the plane back.”
The third member of the team was Rob Rogers from Bagillt sponsored by Road Rail Cranes Limited of Wrexham. Rob unfortunately suffered a punctured radiator on the third day putting him out of the race.
He said: “I am totally devastated to have gone all that way and be so near to finishing and to be put out by something so silly as a branch going through my radiator. I would however like to thank my sponsors, Road Rail Cranes, Data Pacific and Lampkin and Co Solicitors for giving me this unforgettable experience.”
The team are also using the event to raise money for Taylor Marshall, the nine-month-old child of a client of Lampkin and Co Solicitors who suffered a catastrophic bout of meningitis leading to loss of parts of all four of his limbs.
Mark said: “We are hopeful of raising over £1,000 for this family in the most traumatic circumstances and thinking of Taylor certainly helped us get through the toughest times. This little chap has a bigger fight to face than we did and we wish his family all the best.”