Mark Starling along with his friend James Phillipson successfully completed one of the top 30 endurance races in the world over the Easter weekend and raised more than £3,000 for COINS Foundation with donations still rolling in.

When the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race started on Good Friday, the temperature was minus 11 degrees. Mark said,

We were very prepared for the race and had put in plenty of training, however, no one can train for manoeuvring a kayak through frozen water for two miles – we had to break the ice to get through, which was really tough!

The race has been held annually over the Easter weekend since 1948 and is a severe test of both skill and stamina. Mark and James completed the 125 mile race in an impressive 27 hours and 09 minutes and were welcomed into London by their supporters.

Mark and James flew the COINS Foundation flag along the way and were known by the other rowers as ‘Team COINS Foundation’. “It was a brilliant event,” said Mark, “We are pleased with what we have raised but are always glad of more!”

All money raised from this race will go directly to the COINS Foundation projects. You can still donate for Mark’s challenge online at You can also pledge by emailing

Mark is a long-term and passionate supporter of COINS Foundation, and the fundraising doesn’t stop here – Mark will be joining the COINS 24 Peaks Challenge in June – walking 24 Peaks in the Lake District in 24 hours.