Thursday, 7 November 2013

Day 22 & 23

Day 23 was a quiet day for updates from Mark.  The mobile signal had once again cut off meaning that limited information was filtering through.  

Fortunately Mark has a satellite phone as a back up and has been able to receive calls as and when possible.  Yesterday was a regular phone call, to the breakfast show on Real Radio.  This is usually hosted by Gary and Lisa but they're off on their hols this week so Justin and Kelly stepped in for them.  

Mark's intentions from the start of the run have always been to tell the story as it is and share the full journey with the public.  If you listened to the interview yesterday morning then this is exactly what you got.  Mark was very honest about how he has been feeling and revealed to Justin and Kelly that he considers giving up on a daily basis.  The continuous struggles against the heat, the flies, the pain in his feet and the target of 41 miles per day have been really haunting Mark of late.  The interview certainly projected the emotion of this (if you missed it, log onto

Justin and Kelly did a great job and really helped Mark to reach out to their listeners.  They asked for as much support as the North East could sum up - offering words of encouragement as well as donations for the two charities.  What a response! 12 hours after the show tonnes of good luck wishes had been sent to Mark and over £700 in donations had been made.  Truly incredible.  Mark was (and still is) over the moon with this and it certainly helped to lift his spirits as he started day 23.  These donations have helped to push the fund over the £20,000 barrier.  

While all of these amazing donations were pouring in, Mark was making brilliant progress on day 23.  By 14:15 he had ran 28 strong miles and was feeling great.  The temperature was a little cooler following the storm from the previous day although Mark was still faced with risks - mainly with the spray from the road trains.  As usual, Mark did what he had to do.  He dug deep and finished the day on 41 miles.  This was the first day that he finished before darkness.  The change in the time zones has certainly been a great boost and he will need to take full advantage of this before he enters a new time zone upon arrival at Adelaide.

Twitter and Facebook were inundated with messages of support from Mark.  Please remember that although he is out of reach of a mobile signal, he will always catch up with them once normal service is resumed.  

There was an additional message of support which came through on Twitter late afternoon yesterday.  This was posted by George Caulkin who is a patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.  Conscious of Mark's low spirits he recorded this very special message hoping that it would help give a little boost: "It's not Spielberg, but a heartfelt thanks to @rungeordierun for agony he's putting himself through." Click here to watch. Thanks George, and thanks Alan!

A great way to end day 22 - 41 miles done, the charity fund over £20,000 and so many messages of support.

Day 23 welcomed a mobile signal! 

11:00 - "HELLO WORLD! I must be picking up a signal from the Madura mast. Slow going today. Very cold and wet."

The updates continued to follow:

"@JasonStobbs has been collecting rain water today which will be used to wash socks (I don't have enough) and base layers."

"I'm in near perfect shape (other than my feet) thanks to Sports Therapist @JasonStobbs. Feet would be a lot worse without his treatment."

"If the thunder storms work in my favour today then I should break through 800 miles."

"he recent problem I've got is lack of appetite or being too tired to eat. It's a struggle to eat 2500 calories. I'm burning 5000 - 7000."

"Last nights overnight parking spot was subject to a very loud thunderstorm. Not the best sleep was had even with ear plugs in."

Day 23 introduced #stobbsytales - Mark's new found source of entertainment for the day.  As if Jason didn't have enough grief with the nasty feet.  Watch out for the stories to follow!

"Today's game of "only communicate with each other with a Yoda voice" with @JasonStobbs didn't last long. He's no impressionist."

"Finally, I'm up to #now50 on the #iPod. #bobthebuilder #bootylicious #rgrdownunder"

"#roadtrain near #mandura"

"Near #Madura"

"Legs like jelly. Can see RV a mile away. Pushing hard to get there. Exhausted. #eyrehighway #madura"

Unpublished: "I'm very tired. Nothing left in the tank.  Going to get to Madura (22 miles) and call it a day".  Thankfully this was only a temporary measure and having spent an hour in the company of a new friend Mark was ready to hit the road again.

"Now in #Madura to force feed myself some chicken. Going back out after to try and salvage day 23."

My new sounds: Day 23 - Japanese Alan

"A good luck message from Japanese Alan ("

"Japanese Alan pulls a 100kg cart with his supplies in and sleeps at the roadside most nights. He hopes to reach Sydney by March."

"A quite incredible journey. Please do check out"

"Japanese Alan thought that @JasonStobbs had been following him in the RV for the last few days. He was scared. #stobbsytales"

"@JasonStobbs is 5 miles ahead trying to dry my socks that he washed in the rain water he collected. #stobbsytales #someboy"

"@JasonStobbs laughed when Japanese Alan told us that he'd been dumped by his girlfriend 2 weeks ago. #stobbsytales"

"Japanese Alan thought I was @JasonStobbs Dad. #stobbsytales #gutted #needashave"

"#madura I think used to be ocean floor millions of years ago."

"#madura pass #eyrehighway #rgrdownunder"

"Running down #madura pass. #rgrdownunder with drivebenfield"

"#madura #rgrdownunder #eyrehighway"

"The next 2 #roadhouses on the #eyrehighway #rgrdownunder"

"I've got 10k left to run today. That will put the mileage deficit to nearly 100 miles."

"Tomorrow is a scheduled rest day. I won't be taking that so every mile ran reduces the deficit."

"If I have a good day then the deficit could be around 60 miles. It's still all to play for."

"@jasonstobbs has done an amazing job keeping me in good running order. Although my feet are almost beyond repair."

"Next on support is the tactical/motivational/comedy/cross dressing genius that is @carltonf46. He's 6 days away."

"He is then joined a week later by @df_fitness and Ian. This is the part of the run I always targeted to reduce the deficit."

"A week after that @carltonf46 leaves and my partner @Donna__Houghton joins the team in #Adelaide."

"These 3 collectively will continue to help keep me on track for a week."

"Then it's up to @Donna__Houghton to see me safely to the finish line at #Bondi."

"So with my guts and my plan I have a decent chance of succeeding. Question is, can I continue with this pain for very much longer?"

"There is so much more running to do, pain to endure and money to raise. The support of the general public the world over is so important."

"There is so much more running to do, pain to endure and money to raise. The support of the general public the world over is so important."

"#cliffs of an ancient ocean (probably) #madura #eyrehighway #nullarbor #rgrdownunder"

Other messages of support received today: David Fairlamb, Mark's personal trainer, writes an article each week in The Journal on Mark's ongoing battle (see below) and Mark's son, Jack, who was super excited to share a story from school: "Just spoke to @rungeordierunjr who tells me he shot the winning hoop for his school's basketball team in the final."

"Time for my 2nd landing strip. #rfds #madura #eyrehighway #rgrdownunder #nullarbor" 

"I'm almost in line with the #madura comms tower. I'll be losing that signal tomorrow morning.…"

"Thank you #madura #commstower for being here in the middle of nowhere."

"Another day in #australia draws to a close. #rgrdownunder with drivebenfield #eyrehighway #madura"

"1 mile to go and Born To Run appears on my iPod."

"Cliffs and now a fence! I'm spoiled with the change of scenery today. #madura #nullarbor"

"30 miles done today. Didn't think I'd make it past 18.75. A poor day rescued"

"I only just beat the darkness today. #madura #eyrehighway #rgrdownunder" 

"@jasonstobbs has almost dried my socks and is cooking tiny taters and peppered steak for tea. #stobbsytales"

"@jasonstobbs has heard his future in-laws are getting together with his parents and girlfriend tonight. #weddingbells #stobbsytales"

"@jasonstobbs is a bit like Neville off Auf Wiedersehen Pet being away from his lass. #brenda #stobbsytales"

"#timtams for pudding. If Fiona doesn't marry @jasonstobbs I just might. #stobbsytales" 

"Lights out time. All to do again tomorrow on my scheduled rest day."

"The mileage deficit is 105 miles (2.6 days). Looking to get that down to 64 miles (1.6 days) tomorrow. #rgrdownunder"

One final message of support before the day was out from Steve Harper, formally of Newcastle United: @steveharper37: @rungeordierun I've heard how tough it is mate & that you're digging in deep. Keep going Mark as we're all behind you for a fantastic cause!


Here are the remaining pictures from Mr Robinson's year 4 class at Beaconhill Primary School in Cramlington.  On Tuesday the children were learning all about personal qualities, in particular determination.  This inspired them on to create the following drawings.

On a closing note, Mark is ever grateful for the kind words of enouragement so please keep them coming.  The ultimate goal is to reach the £50,000 for the two charities so do what you can to spread the good word and encourage those donations.  Click here to donate.