Saturday, 28 December 2013

Day 67

(Saturday 21st December)

"2 am and the temperature has dropped slightly to 33 Celsius in the RV. Asleep within the hour I reckon."

05:44 - "I think this is the warmest morning of the tour so far. There is absolutely no hiding place from the heat for us."

"Today is simply another day to survive and get as many miles in as possible. At least 40 is the target on this day 67."

"Today's miles are dedicated to the memory of Eric Rosher, who lost a battle with cancer earlier this year."  

"I'll be trying to think of every positive to keep me going today such as this is the last Saturday of the tour."

The relief in Mark on day 66 was remarkable when he announced that the run would be extended.  Every day he analyses the route; how many miles ran, how many miles left, how many days left, how much money has been raised.  This is part of the ongoing mental struggle that I have watched Mark go through day after day. Aside from having to deal with Mark's feet this is quite simply the hardest part of being on the support team.  Mark tries to share all of his feelings through Twitter/Facebook but it only really scratches the surface when you witness this first hand as I'm sure other members of the team will agree.

As ever, the donations continued to pour in.  So many kind people out there contributing to the ever growing charity fund and Beaconhill Primary School in Cramlington were kind enough to donate their dress down day fees.

Mark continued battling through the heatwave, 32 Celsius at 08:30!  Day 66 took us through a town called Marrar where even the locals were complaining about the unseasonable conditions.  

"I can't overstate just how sick this heat is making me feel. It's horrific. I'm sweating buckets out here."

"The good news is that a breeze has started. Bad news is that it's very slight and very warm. Hairdryer warm."

"Just been chased by a massive dog in #oldjunee. It looked like a biter with head dyed blue. I was close to passing out. Shaking now."

"That's a speed I didn't think I'd be reaching today. That was too close."

"3 hours left today then there is the prospect of an RV park where we'll be able to use the air con."

"I've lost concentration a few times on the road today. That's 12 hours of sleep in 4 nights for you."

"That lack of concentration can't happen when I get to the motorway on Monday. Just to have 1 night to catch up on sleep will really help."

"The last 4 nights accommodation is uncertain. It's more than likely going to be the hire car."

"Tiredness has taken its toll (and probably that dog chase!). I made it to #junee after running a marathon today."

"There was no chance of an attack on the miles in the end. It's currently 42 Celsius and has been for many hours."

"There is now a chance to have my first shower in 2 days and get a decent nights sleep."

"I'm so tired after 67 days of running with just 1 rest day. The extreme heat weather warning ceases after tomorrow thankfully."

"I need to get through Monday unsupported on the motorway with the threat of thunderstorms then the conditions improve on the road to Sydney."

"A big attack on miles was originally planned for this weekend. You can't plan such a thing in this country."

"I hope I'm wrong but I sense I'm getting much weaker as the days progress."

"I've lost a lot of lean weight as well as a considerable amount of fat weight of course. I just can't get enough food into me."

"I think 67 days of calorific deficit has taken its toll. I feel weak not strong. Every mile is a battle that has to be fought for."

"My staple diet is porridge of course. Eating it in this climate is a horrendous experience. Poor @Donna__Houghton has to cook it."

"So those are the negatives in this period of unseasonally hot weather. What about the positives."

"I'm desperately trying to get to the motorway as soon as I can. It's the Hume Highway."

"Previous experience of running on busy dual carriageway means that I'll have to fully concentrate all of the time."

"Running in these conditions will give me a lot to focus on and the miles should go a lot quicker."

"I'm desperate to not only finish this run but finish it in some style. I'm hoping that there will be at least 1 day off good attacking left."

"Sleeping in the car once the RV has gone from Monday night could work both ways. I'm hoping it will be a good thing."

"I'm hoping that having a direct road with Sydney at the end of it will also work in my favour providing a clearer incentive."

"The peak temperature for the last 4 days is a "chilly" 28 Celsius. I'll need my top coat."

"The amount of support I have and people "behind me" is incredible. It's unprecedented and very much appreciated."

"Finally, the amount of money that has been donated has been amazing. It's going to be the difference between success and failure."

"That's all for now. I put as much as I can on twitter. I will eventually get round to completing the story next year."

"2 hours until lights out. Time to eat some porridge and it's 40 Celsius. Later…"

Mark then spent time answering questions on the run across Australia so far.  Some very interesting questions were asked around why Australia in the summer, do you wish you had ran a different route, favourite places in Australia so far…

So many positive and encouraging messages as ever through social media to end the day along with the hope of the temperature in the RV reducing to something a little less than 32 Celsius!!