Veteran off-bike motorbike rider Mick Boam has fulfilled a dream by conquering one of the world’s toughest events in extreme enduro racing.
Self-employed plumber Boam, who is 48 and lives in Bonsall, took up the sport, which tackles courses comprising obstacles, such as banks, rivers and hills, eight years ago. Travelling all over the country to compete, he has won many major events and has been crowned the British over-40s champion.
But few events compare to the Red Bull Sea To Sky challenge, held in Kemer on the Turkish Riviera. And earlier this month, Boam joined riders from across the world for the sapping three-day race, held on beaches, in forests and on mountains in sweltering heat of 30-plus degrees.
The main challenge came on the final day with the sea-to-sky climb from the beach to the top of the Tahtali mountain, which is 2,365 metres above sea level. Boam was one of 297 riders who aimed to reach the summit, and was one of only 67 who made it, finishing a superb 37th.
“It took me five hours, 12 minutes of skill and sheer determination, but meant that months of training had paid off,” said Boam. “it was the toughest event I have ever ridden in, and I was the oldest to reach the top of the mountain, so it really was a huge achievement.
“A huge thankyou to family and friends, who greeted me at the summit, and also to Beta UK, Herbalife and Twiggs, of Matlock, for their sponsorship and support. Same again next year!”
As a youngster, Boam was one of the best off-road trials riders in the country and was East Midlands youth champion three years running.
“I finished riding at the age of 22 because of other commitments,” said Boam. “But I bought a trials bike again at 40, fuelled with more adrenaline and speed. When a friend introduced me to enduro racing, I discovered a new passion and was soon hooked.”