Marc’s road to re­cov­ery hits the heights

Cy­cling

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sport - By An­drew Gi­d­ley

Marc White has de­scribed com­plet­ing the seven-day Haute Route across the Dolomites and Swiss Alps as an epic ad­ven­ture. The 44-year-old chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer was this week back home in Park Farm, Ash­ford, re­flect­ing on his in­volve­ment in the event, one of the world’s high­est and tough­est cy­closportive and dubbed the am­a­teurs’ Tour De France. The race took the riders over a route climb­ing 19,700 me­tres from Geneva to the fin­ish in Venice. White said: “It was epic. You can plan as much as you like but then you get to the start line and the nerves and adren­a­line take over. At the end, I was over­come with all sorts of emo­tions both men­tally and phys­i­cally but it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence and I hope to do it again next year.” He was all set to take part last year un­til an ac­ci­dent lay­ing a pa­tio re­sulted in him un­der­go­ing skin grafts on both knees. He said: “The lime in the ce­ment mix­ture I was us­ing soaked through my trousers and started eat­ing away at the skin around my knees. “I left it over 24 hours be­fore go­ing to hos­pi­tal and was then trans­ferred to a spe­cial­ist burns unit. “An X-ray showed the lime had al­most eaten through the bone and within 12 hours I was un­der­go­ing surgery. I was dis­charged from hos­pi­tal last Oc­to­ber, win­ter and spring came and went and I built up train­ing. I went to a train­ing camp in Mal­lorca, steadily build­ing up things from there.” Ex­plain­ing why he wanted to at­tempt the Haute Route, White said: “I have al­ways been on a bike. I have done moun­tain bik­ing and road rac­ing and com­peted in one-day and three-day events but had never rid­den in the Alps or Dolomites. “It was the chance to ride for seven days like the pros, on timed stages, a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion ev­ery day, across leg­endary moun­tain passes and ap­pealed to the ad­ven­turer in me. “My wife Mag­gie thought I was hav­ing a midlife cri­sis when I told her what I was do­ing and said I was to­tally crazy. “Liv­ing in Kent I could only dream of be­ing able to climb such lengths and al­ti­tudes. The long­est climb I have lo­cally is less than half a kilo­me­tre long! “The race sur­passed all my ex­pec­ta­tions as did the climbs, to be able to fol­low in the foot­steps of some of the great­est cy­clists ever was in­cred­i­ble.”

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