Friday, 27 December 2013
RUN GEORDIE RUN FORCED TO STOP
He set off 73 days ago from Perth to run across the continent and had hoped to end the challenge at Bondi Beach, Sydney, 180 miles away from his current position in Yass.
The run is in partnership with the North East’s largest Motor Group, Benfield, and he has raised over £37,000. Unfortunately, Mark has run out of time to safely complete the challenge and both charities firmly support his decision to stop now.
Mark, from Blyth, Northumberland, explains: “I’ve just got too much left to do. I’ve reached the motorway section of the run, which was always going to be a potentially dangerous bit. But, because I’ve run low on time, I’d need to be running at least two hours a day in darkness and without a support vehicle.
“This isn’t a decision I’ve taken lightly. But ultimately I can’t put myself at that kind of risk. I hope everyone who has supported me will understand my decision. I just think this is the run which isn’t meant to be.
“Really I should have stopped at the beginning of November when I was struggling in the extreme heat of the Nullabor and when my feet were pretty much destroyed. I’ve never known pain like it and I’m proud that I wasn’t defeated then.
“My feet are pretty much numb now, which is another concern. I don’t know what I’m running on because I can’t feel it. I know in myself, it’s time to stop.
"I've ran through intense heat and the weather for the remainder of my time in Australia is going to be a lot cooler. That's frustrating.
“This is really a tough decision to take. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and I hope everyone who has donated to the two charities knows I’ve given this challenge absolutely everything I have. This one was just not meant to be.
"In my opinion, what I've achieved in Australia this year eclipses my achievement in the USA in 2011.”
Sadly, Mark lost both his parents to cancer when he was a young man and he has spent 20 years raising funds for good causes in the North East of England.
Running around 40 miles a day, Mark has endured heat so intense that it was subject of an Extreme Weather Warning, relentless flies, dangerous roads and terrifying storms.
It has been an incredible journey which has taken every last ounce of his mental and physical strength.
Sir Bobby’s son, Mark Robson says: “We’re 100 per cent behind Mark’s decision to stop the run now.
“We’ve said to him all though this challenge that his safety, and that of his support team, is of primary importance.
“This run has been so much harder than he could possibly have anticipated. I’ve been thinking about what he’s been going through every day. We think he’s super human and we’re extremely proud that he has been putting himself through this to help raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”
Libby Nolan, Fundraising Manager for The Children’s Foundation, says: “We couldn’t be more thrilled with Mark’s incredible efforts. He is an astounding individual with determination unlike most other human beings.
“We are so proud of him. Yet again, he’s pushed himself to the limit and raised an incredible amount of money for two North Eastern charities.”
For more information about Run Geordie Run Down Under with Benfield please visit www.rungeordierun.com and follow Mark’s progress on Twitter @RunGeordieRun.
If you would like to donate to the two charities, please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/rungeordierun.