Mark took up running in 2007 to stop smoking and since then he has completed in dozens of events.
The first major physical challenge in Mark’s life came in 2009 when he and his Friend Matt cycled Land’s End to John O Groats. This trip made him aware that goals were achievable with the right attitude and preparation. On the back of this Mark began to plan his biggest challenge to date: a 56 day run across Europe.
The expedition took him from Amsterdam, through Belgium, France and to Barcelona and the finish line. The distance was 1,311 miles or 50 marathons in 56 days. The final marathon into Barcelona took Mark 3 hrs 08 minutes.
Mark was awarded the Inspiration award from Jog Scotland in 2010 and has received letters of support from ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and current SNP Leader Alex Salmond.
He was also recently awarded a certificate of congratulations from Headway UK, which was presented to Mark in the City Chambers by Edinburgh’s Lord Provost. Other nominations include the Daily Mail “Unsung Hero” Award 2010 and the Daily Record’s “Great Scot” Award.
2011 was a great year for Mark with some highlights – and some defining low points as well. He recorded his first DNF in a race – the West Highland Way Race. He plans to return to this event in 2013 and complete it.
In July 2011 he ran for 24hrs on a treadmill hoping to break the world record of 161.24 miles. He ran 129.2 miles and is planning another attempt in the future. This “debut” in 24hr treadmill running seen Mark enter into the record books in 17th position in the world. It was also the best performance by anyone in their first attempt.
Despite the events of the last three years the proudest moment of Mark’s running life is still finishing his first ever 10k race in May 2008. A message that Mark reinforces when when giving presentations and speaking to schools and businesses.
Mark’s favourite quote is “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)