Ella Man to Iron Man


Posted on : 11-12-2013 | By : admin | In : News


Ella Estate Agent Mark Ayres has entered ‘Iron Man’ in South Africa next year…  An unrivalled test of strength, character and mind-body excellence!

Mark is the co-owner of Ella Homes, a local, independent Estate Agents and Letting Agents located in Buckingham and Winslow, North Bucks. Ella Homes has been up and running for 10 years, employing local people and operating with old fashioned values. As a company, Ella has always supported charities, largely those involved with leukaemia, but Tina, one of the ladies who work in Mark’s office, introduced him to Brian Jarvis. After he heard Brian’s sad story and about the local charity, Alec’s Angels that he runs, Mark thought it would nice to support this organisation.

Ella Homes decided to donate £100 from each of its sales to Alec’s Angels. The first target set out to aim for was £10,000, but after 6 months they had raised almost £9,000, so Mark set the target higher to raise £20,000 within 12 months.

£7.500 of the £9,000 had been raised by the company and Mark did a cycle ride from coast to coast – Morecombe to Bridlington, and raised the other £1,500.

Spurred on by this fantastic achievement, plus a few glasses of wine, Mark decided to enter himself in the Iron Man competition in South Africa. This involves a two and a half mile swim in shark infested water, a 112 mile bike ride, then, running a 26.2 mile marathon. For any (normal) person to do this would be daunting enough, but Mark has had six knee operations and was told by his surgeon ten years ago that with a 75 year old man’s knees, he should not be doing any running at all!


But Mark is clearly a determined character and has thrown himself into a fierce training regime to get fit for this gruelling event. He gets up at 5.30 am most days to train before he goes to work and then trains again after work, often not finishing until 8 pm at night. His training consists of four long swims a week, four long bike rides and four runs. Mark’s wife has even given up her job to support his efforts. Before April 2014, which is the end date for Ella’s fund raising period, he wants to exceed the £20,000 target already set. Mark has high hopes of achieving this and is talking to local businesses for their sponsorship. One has already offered a £500 donation. But  £20,000 is a big target and he will out there doing his best to spread the word about Alec’s Angels and what he wants to raise on their behalf.

Mark knows how much the charity touches people’s lives and is determined and very happy to contribute what he can to help this local cause. He knows that Alec’s Angels puts every penny they raise to good use.

The Iron Man challenge is not the last fund raising event that Mark has planned. He wants to do other things, such as hold a ball and an auction in aid of the charity. But these are for the future. For now, he has to get himself fit and concentrate on raising as much money as he can over the rest of the time period left. Having met this man, I feel sure he will do it!

Dr Jan Davidson – Alec’s Angels