THE Scottish Ultra proved worthy of its reputation as “the toughest multi-stage race in the UK” for Hawick’s marathon man Mark Lyons.
Mark (pictured), who completed the gruelling Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara Desert only last month, was forced to pull out of the event ahead of the final day after contracting a parasitic infection.
By that time the former businessman had run 126 miles over four days, with over 17,000 feet of ascent in weather which included tropical heat, gale force winds and mountain storms.
And he admitted it was heart-breaking to have to withdraw with the end so close.
He told the Hawick News: “It wrecked my legs and made me work the hardest I ever have. I ran very well and managed to maintain a fourth place for the last two of my stages, before being pulled from the race.
“The infection had badly dehydrated me during the night.
“I was sad not to be able to complete the last stage, a relatively easy 20-miler with only 3,000 feet of climbing, gutted to be exact, but I was happy with what I had done and proud of what I have achieved so far.”
In a year packed full of unbelievable running challenges, Mark, who is raising money for the MS Society Borders, will be competing in the Edinburgh Marathon next Sunday before building up for a race across the Gobi Desert in July. And he will round it off with the 104-mile Ultimate Frontera race over the Andalucian Mountain range in Spain.
Mark would like to thank Teviotdale Leisure Centre for the full use of its facilities.
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.