Run Geordie Run charity fundraiser Mark Allison is powering ahead with his gruelling 2,600 mile challenge across Australia.
For 70 days, Mark, of Blyth, Northumberland, will run 41 miles each day, while enduring the soaring heat of the Australian outback to raise vital funds for charity.
The Journal is backing Mark’s epic adventure and in support we launched our 41 Challenge, where we will urge readers to make positive lifestyle changes, such as walking an extra 41 minutes a day or climbing 41 stairs.
Personal trainer David Fairlamb is helping Mark to complete his mammoth task and each week he is giving readers an update on how the adventure is going, as well as a new weekly challenge to focus on.
A big boost for Mark as ex-pats Melanie and John unexpectedly joined the support team.
They brought more food rations and as John is a keen runner he will do a fair amount of running with Mark until day 12.
It was good to hear Mark so upbeat on his regular talks with Gary and Lisa on Real Radio, talking to them certainly helps Mark’s mindset.
Another 41 miles completed today, his feet are still causing all sorts of discomfort but he broke the 300 mile barrier - 304 in eight days!
Mark tweeted: “41 miles done. Everything hurts. 304 miles ran in 8 days. All to do again in less than 10 hours time.” #rgrdownunder
A very strong start to the day was interrupted by a lightening storm. This gave Mark a chance to attend to his failing feet and eat more of his favourite food, bacon + egg sandwiches, this wasn’t in the script before he left!
Mark has started to use Run Breeze socks which seem to be really helping his feet and he pushed on to reach 41 miles again today, however, he feels there may be a slight tear in his left hamstring - lets see how that is tomorrow - remember Mark has no masseur or medical support with him at present.
Mark tweeted: “1 mile left to the finish line near Coolgardie. Very tired. Feels like a small tear in my left hamstring. Been like that for 20 miles.”
The hottest day so far by 11am temperatures were over 30 Celsius and this meant that Mark was up against it all day today.
Progress was very slow, only 23.4 miles done by 4.30pm due to the heat, left hamstring issue from yesterday and now a tight right one today - plus a very sore right foot.
Mark finished on 25 miles the least amount of miles since he started. He went to ice numerous areas. Thankfully physio Jason, the next support team member, arrives in two days - not a moment too soon.
A milestone of £18,000 was reached today for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and the Children’s Foundation - the public, like they did when Mark ran across the USA, are being very generous.
Another hot day today and an extremely tough finish for Mark, he was in pain pretty much everywhere for the last few miles.
His body has been under so much stress for the last 11 days, the good news was day 12 was meant to be a rest day but Mark tweeted “41 miles done today. 411 miles in total in 11 days. 41 miles behind schedule. Planned rest day tomorrow. Don’t think I’ll be using it.”
A very emotional day as Mark had to say goodbye to Melanie and John. These two amazing people have given up their own time and driven hundreds of miles to help a complete stranger - an amazing act of kindness.
They have undoubtedly played a huge part in the success of the run so far.
Mark was reduced to tears when they set off on their journey back home to Perth making this the lowest point of the run so far.
This was meant to be a rest day but conscious of the mileage deficit Mark set off running as normal despite the pain in his feet, he tweeted: “Feet are so sore. Internal pockets of fluid are forming as they did in the last few weeks of the run across the USA.”
The harsh realisation was that without adequate rest and treatment to his feet, he could jeopardise future days.
Mark ran 9.5 miles then had more treatment on his feet before finishing after mile 17. He brought the mileage deficit from 41 - 24.
After 12 days Mark has covered an awesome 428 miles.
Today, Mark finally entered Norseman where he took a left turn and started running along the Eyre Highway. This road is 932 miles long and will take him over three weeks to complete - mentally, a very tough thought.
There are next to no amenities and he will probably be unable to receive a phone signal.
This is why he has a tracking system and a satellite phone for safety.
39.5 miles completed today and his feet are still a major issue.
He tweeted: “90 minutes to get through all off the treatment and massage by @JasonStobbs. My feet are in a lot of pain. I could almost cry.”
The incredible start continues for Mark which has given him and all those associated with the run a huge boost.
His feet are a major worry and I hope the infection does not spread.
Physio Jason who is with Mark at present continues to do a fantastic job.
The next three weeks will be spent running 932 miles on the Eyre Highway and will be a really tough mental battle for Mark - but that’s his strength and like always he will be attacking it in his own way.
I’m sure there will be some stories for me to write about in the coming weeks.
THIS WEEKS 41 CHALLENGE
The last two weekly challenges were:
Week 1 - walk/run for 41 minutes per day.
Week 2 - 41 squats and/or 41 press ups. The press ups can be full press up, half ones where you have your knees on the floor or the easiest version against a wall.
This week is a diet challenge - cut out any unhealthy snacks such as biscuit, cakes, and chocolate. Many of you will have fallen in to bad habits which may have continued for years, its important to break that routine.
If Mark can run 465 miles in 13 days, cutting out any snacks for at least a week doesn’t seem too difficult!
Ideally, adding this weeks along with the previous weekly challenges would be the ultimate but whatever you choose stick to it 100%.
If you would like to donate to either of Mark’s two charities the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation or the Children’s Foundation you can find all the details and Marks blog at www.rungeordierun.com also follow his ongoing progress via twitter @rungeordierun