Five Minutes With... Mark Thorpe

Jan 19, 2024|

In ‘Five Minutes With…’ we share the stories of our Bisley colleagues and business partners, allowing you to get to know them a little better. In this feature, we talk to Mark Thorpe, our Section Leader on PP1, the powder plant line, as he dicusses his charitable work and upcoming events.

How long have you been working at Bisley and what do you enjoy most about your role?

I’ve been working at Bisley for over 28 years now, starting as a youngster on PP1, our powder plant line, and although I moved to a different part of the shop floor for a little while, I’m back now where I started. I really enjoy what I do, I get to work with a variety of good, hard-working people and have made some friends for life while working here.

You’ve done some amazing charitable work. Why is this so important to you?

I really enjoy running and a new challenge, so I thought, why not combine the two?! I’ve ran many marathons over the years, raising money for a number of charities that mean a lot to me and my family.

I think it’s really important to support our charities, especially when they do some incredible work that directly impacts you or someone you love. More recently, Newport Mind has really helped a family friend, which is why I decided to take on the Cardiff Half Marathon in October last year.

Newport Mind works for the better mental health of people in the community, by providing a range of services. They work to share more information about their organisation, services, and how they work.

We all have different stories and experiences to share, or have an affinity or association with a charity for all sorts of reasons. Without the public’s consistent support during challenges such as the Cardiff Half Marathon, these charities quite simply, wouldn’t survive.

I’d also like to mention how much support I receive from my friends, family and Bisley, donating and cheering me on at every race. I raised around £770 when I did the marathon last month, so I’d like to thank everyone for always being so generous when I sign up to a new challenge!

You’ve ran many marathons. How do you prepare for a long run?

I’ll be really honest; I don’t have a routine before a big run. If I do have an event coming up, I’ll try to do as many runs as possible, upping the mileage as the date nears. I won’t run in the week leading up to the event to give my body the rest and recouperation it needs.

On the day, I’ll get up early, enjoy some breakfast, walk to the starting line, get the motivational music going, put the map on my phone and get ready to go! There’s a real feelgood energy when we’re all getting ready to start the race, it’s like electric, but you really can’t beat that feeling of relief when crossing that finishing line!

Have you got any upcoming events planned?

Not imminently but I would love to do the Newport Marathon in April, likely raising money for Newport Mind again, as it’s a charity that is so close to my heart.

Do you have any dream events that you’d like to complete?

Not a major event, as such – I just want to keep running marathons and raising funds and awareness for our local charities. I’m 47 now and although my wife wants me to stop running, I’d like to carry on for as long as I can!

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