Gobi Desert is last leg on Mark’s epic running challenge

Mark Lyons pictured during the Marathon Des Sables race

Mark Lyons pictured during the Marathon Des Sables race

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AFTER conquering the Sahara Desert, and the Scottish Ultrathon, Mark Lyons is now turning his attention to the Gobi Desert.

The Teri adventurer heads out to Mongolia next week for the last leg of his epic challenge, having previously completed races on home soil as well as finishing the gruelling Marathon Des Sables – a 151-mile race across the Sahara.

Widely considered one of the world’s remotest and most adventurous desert race events, the Gobi Challenge is now in its eighth year and sees competitors from all over the world battling it out over the 150-mile course which includes mountain gorges, desert plains and sand dunes.

With little rest between his previous two exploits, Mark has been busy pounding the countryside around the town and further afield in preparation.

And he admitted he can’t wait to get out there.

He told the Hawick News: “It will be tougher than the Marathon Des Sable so I’m not taking it lightly, especially as it’s more remote, the terrain more varied and the stages far longer. Most days are 30 miles or more and the temperatures will be even more extreme.

“I’m more experienced this time, I have a full summer’s training behind me and I learned a lot from the Marathon Des Sables, so I’m confident I’ll make it to the finish line.”

Mark is also fund-raising for the MS Society Borders and has already gathered more than £2,500 in sponsorship and donations.

And as he approached the end of his amazing mission, he added: “It’s not been easy, both in the competing and the fund-raising. I’d love to see more come in as I complete my challenges.

“It’s been a long way to get here, but now I’ve nearly finished what I started - thank God!”

Mark would like to thank the Teviotdale Leisure Centre for the use of the swimming pool in preparation for his challenges.

To find out more about Mark’s challenges, log onto www.runner786.com, while donations to MS Borders can also be made on his donate/justgiving page.