It takes something else to ride across off-road terrain on a lightweight MX bike kicking out more than 50bhp, race over hills, tackle steep curves and think about how you beat a field of equally fearless riders.
And to do this as a veteran with previous sport-related injuries, getting back on the gas like ECL employee David Marlow is something else.
Some may call it madness, but as anyone who has ever ridden will tell you, it’s a love that never leaves you. Winning comes down to a combination of discipline, skill, and passion. David Marlow has all this in abundance.
His enthusiasm for motorcycling has seen him putting the laps in on the racetrack since he was 13. He raced for GB at school level, but sadly was forced to retire early due to a shoulder injury.
And then, some 30 years later, after prompts from his youngest son Alfie, Dave jumped full throttle back into the sport again, and it was as if motocross had never left his veins.
At 54 years old, getting back into the sport took a little more time, but with a number of podiums, including the Northern Vet’s championship and multiple club wins, Dave looks unstoppable.
“I didn’t think I’d go back to the sport. I tried to keep my boys well away from it because I knew how dangerous it could be. But my sons, Alfie and Ben, and my eldest daughter Kirsten love it. Actually, my youngest boy Alfie begged me to get back into it.”
“It took a bit longer to get back into it than I thought, but after a year, I’ve started to be a real contender with some good wins under my belt.”
Dave has been a black hat with ECL for the last four years, working on the ever-demanding Stanton Cross project. The project has recently released another 130 houses, meaning he’ll be there until the end of 2023. His eldest son, Ben, joined the company just over a year ago, working alongside his dad. And the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree where sport is concerned. Ben was, up until recently, a full-time player at Leicester Tigers Rugby Club until, sadly, he also incurred an injury that led to his sporting career being cut short.
“I’ve worked as a Black Hat on the Stanton Cross site for the last four years, and last summer, I had 50 men under my belt. So having Motocross helped me de-stress after a long week’s work. I love the adrenalin too, that feeling of being up against 30-40 other riders on the line is hard to beat.”
“Almost my whole family has some connection to the sport. My two eldest daughters, Kirsten and Shannen, partners ride motorcycles, and they all love MX. But my youngest daughter Lola who’s 13 is a bit more artistic and prefers the more gentle and quiet life.”
It is not without reason that motocross is considered one of the most challenging sports in the world. Motocross racetracks are full of jumps, steep curves, ramps and hollows. The riders can jump as far as 30 metres, often at great heights. Hence, it’s essential to be 100 % fit physically and mentally, and you need to be fearless.
To stay physically fit, Dave trains 3 to 4 days a week and as for mental preparation, Dave remarked, “Mentally, nothing stimulates and trains your brain more than being a Project Manager for ECL”.
Dave motivates himself to be at his best by enjoying what he does and excelling, and it’s this enthusiasm that drives him both at work for ECL and on the track.
Dave’s words of wisdom,
“While you can do it, you might as well do it.”
Behind every accomplished man is a great woman. Dave’s partner of 10 years, Rebecca, has supported him through each meet, washing his dirty race clothing and, on occasion, cleaning his bike.
Very Lucky Man 🙂