Mark Allison, Run Geordie Run, is now continuing with his run across Australia to raise funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children’s Foundation.
This was not planned and something Mark announced overnight via this Soundcloud link on Twitter – http://soundcloud.com/rungeordierun/it-aint-over-until-its-over#c=0&t=1%3A55.
Yesterday (27 December), Mark decided to stop the run on safety grounds as he was unable to reach Bondi Beach, Sydney, within the time available to him without running along a motorway in the dark.
It was an extremely difficult decision for him to take. However, he woke up to many messages of support and the stark reality that his challenge was over. He has therefore decided to continue but change the end point for the run.
All being well, he will now finish at the coastal town of Shellharbour on 3 January. The new end point will save around 40 miles off the previous route but, importantly, Mark will still have run across Australia – coast to coast.
He is still working out the finer details of the new route but it will require him to run around 140 miles - 90 on motorway (not in the dark) and 50 on safer roads.
It also involves him running up Macquarrie Pass, which is very steep and contains a large number of hairpin bends (buses and trucks need to reverse to get around some of these). After this point, it will be 15 miles to the finish line.
Mark is sorry for any worry and inconvenience caused by his decision yesterday. As we're sure everyone appreciates, he is mentally and physically exhausted by this run, which has been so much harder than he anticipated.
He is more determined than ever to complete this challenge despite the problems with his feet, which have become numb. He will rest his feet in the hope of restoring some feeling in them and begin running again on 1 January.
We're sorry for confusion caused by our announcement yesterday and thank you for the wonderful support given to Mark during this incredibly difficult challenge.