(Monday 23rd December)
Fortunately at the end of day 68 we were able to check into an RV park - this meant electricity which in turn meant luxury - air con!!
We woke in the morning to a very comfortable 20 Celsius inside of the RV and to our relief it wasn't much warmer outside.
Mark's tweets were as follows:
"What a great sleep. 20 Celsius in the RV and not much warmer outside. @Donna__Houghton and I have survived the heat wave of last 2 weeks!"
"The temperature shouldn't get much above 35 Celsius for the remainder of the run hopefully. Still very warm but not a 40 plus temperature."
"Our own extreme warm weather plan has worked a treat. No sunburn. No dehydration. No incidents. Just very uncomfortable days and nights."
"The motorway is only a few miles away. That takes me to Sydney. It's going to be really tough, as ever, but I'm very confident."
"I woke up this morning a very happy man after receiving such unprecedented support yesterday. There is a lot of love for this event."
"Having the backing and support of the general public is a key instrument in helping me run all of this way successfully."
"The run across Australia is far more difficult than I could ever have imagined. The toll that it has taken mentally is considerable."
"Physically I'm in the best shape of my life and no longer taking painkillers as if they were sweets."
"My feet are still very sore but massively improved. There is now a lot of loss of feeling in many parts of both feet however."
"It's going to take many months to email and thank everyone who has donated when I get back to the UK. I can't say thank you enough."
"The generosity of the general public and my friends and family has been incredibly humbling. Especially at this time of year."
Later that day Mark spoke to Gary and Lisa on Real Radio. It was during this chat that Mark announced a revised plan for the run across Australia and later shared his thoughts on Sound Cloud...
This wasn't an easy decision for Mark to make, but it was certainly the right decision. Seeing Mark struggle so badly for the last few days was definitely the lowest point of the run for me. Being unable to do anything other than offer words of love, encouragement and support was a real struggle. We talked at length about how this run could be saved. This was certainly the best option meaning that Mark's body and mind would have the chance for some much needed rest - in the last 68 days Mark had taken only one of six planned rest days.
So, a long drive back to Sydney was the distance travelled for day 69. With this came traffic, and lots of it! We said a very unemotional farewell to the RV and packed up the new support vehicle - a car. Extending the run meant that things would become even more difficult as we no longer had access to cooking facilities or somewhere 'comfortable' to sleep.
Mark received so many supportive messages following this decision, there were even offers to pay to extend the rental of the RV.
We arrived in Sydney and checked into our hotel - absolute luxury compared to living in the RV for so long! Mark was even more entertained by trying on his size 34 waist jeans and seeing just how much weight he had lost!
Day 69 was a fantastic day; the relief of Mark being able to recharge both physically and mentally, being able to have an amazing meal cooked by someone else (that wasn't in the RV), having a catch up radio interviews with Gary and Lisa from Real Radio and Colin Murray on TalkSport followed by a glass of fizz (diet coke!) with a fantastic view of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
"Happy Christmas everybody. I'll be back on Boxing Day to finish what I started 69 days ago. Peace and goodwill to all men (and lasses). X"
The run would resume on day 72 (26th December) in Cootamundra, 222 miles from Sydney.