Today's run was in memory of a Virgin Money colleague, Richard Lee, who lost his battle with cancer earlier this year. "Richard Lee was one of the nicest guys I've ever met. He sponsored my runs very generously over the years and was always supportive."
Also running in memory of Richard was support man @carlton46. The target for Carlton was a marathon distance of 26.2 miles and he chose a slightly different approach to getting through the day…
Naturally spirits were high and the great pace meant that Mark hit 23 miles before lunchtime. Miles 22 and 23 were the fastest out of the 40 days of running. Those last 2 miles were for Richard.
Mark continued the day running with various members of the newly configured support team and ended the day on a high. A fantastic sum of money was raised by Carlton for his 'marathon in a dress' to support Mark's charities and the total mileage for today was 38.2 miles.
The temperature was forecast to soar for the next few days so it was no surprise that day 41 was quick to heat up reaching 40.5 degrees Celsius by midday.
Mark had stopped running for the day at 19.4 miles, not because of injury or fatigue but for talk of a magical door. For over an hour Mark tweeted what most would think was a load of nonsense...
"I can't open the door but I know that magic things happen behind it."
"I'm going to hang around the door for now to see what happens. It's time to believe in magical doors people. #believe"
"My heart is pounding in my chest. The #magicaldoor has this effect. I feel sick with anticipation."
and so it continued until…
"This is THE pivotal moment in the run across Australia. Let the magic begin. #magicaldoor PLEASE STAND BY"
"I can't stop shaking. It's opening. Deep breaths. Must not pass out. #magicaldoor STAND BY"
The guesses continued until all was revealed - Mark had been waiting at Adelaide arrivals. Last week I broke the news to Mark that I would be travelling out early to join him and the team in Australia. As a team we agreed that one of the others would come and meet me so that Mark wouldn't drop any miles. Mark is too stubborn to be told what to do so after a 300 mile drive there he was waiting to surprise me!
A 300 mile drive back the following day would mean that Mark had sacrificed at least a full day of running. The focus was back on to ensure that Bondi on Christmas Eve was still realistic, this would mean 39 miles per day until 23rd December to allow for a 20 mile day on 24th December.