In November 2021, Mark Adams (W 1974-1979) was descending the escalator at Bank Station, London, when he tripped and fell. Unconscious, and with a severe head injury, he was fortunate to be attended by two off-duty paramedics who together with the London Air Ambulance Service, undoubtedly saved his life.

That same weekend, his lifelong friend, Tim Proudman, (W 1979) was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Mark Adams spent the next four days in a coma and was in hospital for several weeks. Assisted by his partner, Becky, his mother, Jan, and his brother, Guy, he slowly learnt to overcome the impairments caused by his brain injury. This started with learning to feed himself, and then to walk, and finally to run.

Tim Proudman, a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon from Australia, underwent brain surgery, followed by radiotherapy and an extended course of Chemotherapy. This continues to this day.

The road to recovery has been long and arduous for both of them. But if ever you want to find an example of the enduring Sedbergh Spirit, then this is where you will find it. These two remarkable men didn’t give up, but having run marathons together on six continents, they decided to enter the Antarctica Marathon on King George Island, which takes place on 12th March. 

Both have been training hard. Neither are sure whether they will make it all the way around, but they see this as a celebration, of life, of the freedom of running, and most of all, of friendship.

It is not just that these are two remarkable men, but they are also generous of spirit. I remember as a boy at Sedbergh, both, on separate occasions and as senior members of the school, went out of their way to congratulate me on my reading in Chapel when I was still quite new to the School. I have always remembered their kind words. It was therefore a great privilege for me to speak to them recently, and we will be showing extracts from that interview prior to the Wilson run on 21st March.

In gratitude to those who helped him when he was injured, Mark is raising money for the London Air Ambulance Service. If you would like to support this charity, you will find the link to the Just Giving page here:

Tim Proudman, has done much voluntary work with Interplast (ANZ), and is the coordinator for reconstructive surgery in Bhutan. While he is no longer able to work, he continues to raise funds for this vital organisation. If you would like to know more about it, or to support it, please see the YouTube link here: Tim has also said if anyone else is suffering a similar experience and wants someone to talk to, then please feel free to contact him.

We wish them every success on 12th March and we will be thinking of them as they run their last marathon, on their last continent.

Jan van der Velde

Avoiding Lionsbig Five
Finish Bagan Nov 2014