(Thursday 19th December)
The hot Australia sun was here to stay. Previous days had seen a sauna hot RV and melting roads, what would day 65 bring?
Mark set off from Narrandera hoping that the cloud cover would remain. Unfortunately this would not be the case and a state wide alert would confirm this…
As with previous days the Australian sunshine is most intense later in the day. At 9am it was 30 Celsius, this could only get worse. Mark remained focused and and set the iPod to play @thatwineshow to see him through the miles (if you happen to tune in beware of a few naughty words!).
I left Mark fully prepared for hydration with the Camel Bak and waist pack. This meant that he was able to carry 7 litres of water until the next meeting point. This then allowed me to drive ahead and shop for supplies and sort out the laundry (a change of 2 or 3 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of shorts and a few base layers each day due to the excessive heat makes a lot of washing!).
Whilst running Mark received a tweet from Colin Murray, host of Talk Sport, who invited Mark onto the show. A few emails later and this was all organised for a live interview later in the day.
The heat continued…
"I've now got a breeze in my face like a warm hair dryer. Not refreshing at all!"
"This has got to be the hottest day of the tour so far. There is a smell in the air that you get in a sauna."
"You can inhale the air through your nose with mouth closed and taste the intense flavour of the heat."
"My trusty #iPod Classic has melted. It has survived the #Mojave desert and #deathvalley. This scorching hot Aussie day is 1 too many for it."
"I'm hearing of record temperatures for this time of year in #newsouthwales. Ambulance service says "stay indoors"."
At 18 miles Mark decided that he could take no more. The heat was becoming extremely dangerous and a serious threat to Mark's welfare adding to the battle with his feet and, of course, the flies. We decided to return to Narrandera for shade and something to eat. Whilst here I suggested that we find Mark a masseuse. The last massage that Mark had was when Jason was on the support team some 4 weeks ago. After visiting a few shops making some phone calls we spoke to a lady called Wendi who was more than happy to accommodate Mark's needs. Mark explained to Wendi the struggles that he was having in light of the miles ran so far. Wendi simply couldn't believe that Mark was putting himself through this.
Some 2 hours and 45 minutes later Mark's treatment with Wendi ended. She paid special attention to Mark's feet and amazingly applied pressure to the areas which were 'untouchable' due to the sensitivity. This was a much needed session and was actually soothing and relaxing for me too!
Mark left Wendi feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. A great result with great hope for the remaining 5 days.
Mark reflected on the high temperatures that we had been experiencing:
"The temperature hit 41 Celsius today and at 8pm has dipped to 36. Glad that @Donna__Houghton and I are still in 1 piece."
"The weather forecast for the next week is very dangerous for us. We have a continuing plan in place for @Donna__Houghton's and my safety."
"@Donna__Houghton supported me training in #deathvalley last Summer. Everything we learned there is being put into practise here in Australia"
"If we keep on doing what we are doing then the run is not in jeopardy and we are safe as we can be in these temperatures."
"We have been surviving in this latest heat wave for 2 weeks now. There is a week left to do the same and get to #Bondi."
"Lights out time. The RV temperature is down to 32 Celsius. 6 hours sleep in last 48 hours. I'm hoping to get to double figures tonight."