Charity fundraiser Mark Allison today begins his gruelling 2,600 mile challenge to cross Australia.
The inspirational runner set off at 7am Perth time to embark on the journey as he raises vital funds for two charities.
For 70 days, Mark will run approximately 41 miles, while enduring the soaring heat of the Australian outback.
Mark said: “People keep asking me if I’m nervous. Really, I’m just anxious to get going.
“I’ve been talking about this run for so long now and it’s time to put those words into action.
“I need to justify the support I’ve had from my sponsors and from the generous people who have already donated to the two charities.”
Mark lost both his parents to cancer when he was a young man and has spent 20 years raising funds for good causes. To date he has raised more than £170,000.
Before he left for Australia, Mark met up with former Newcastle United player Alan Shearer, a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Alan said: “When I went to Australia it was seriously hot and not conditions that made me feel like running, so I have huge admiration for what he is taking on.”
Mark, who has previously run across America for charity, sets off from Cottesloe Beach, in Perth and is due to finish on Christmas Eve at Bondi Beach, Sydney.
The dad-of-one added: “It was an honour to meet Alan to discuss the run across Australia.
“To meet one of my idols, a man who I’ve seen score hundreds of goals home and away, and talk about my running and the charities I raise funds for was thrilling.”