Gobi too much but Himalayas next for Mark

Mark Lyons
Mark Lyons

TERI adventurer Mark Lyons had to admit defeat in his “Hard race hat-trick” after falling agonisingly short on the last lap.

Having previously tackled the gruelling Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara Desert and the Scottish Ultrathon earlier this year, Mark was forced to pull out of the Gobi race after day four, suffering excruciating pain in his battered and blistered feet.

And despite being obviously deflated by his decision to drop out, the former High Street businessman has earmarked the Himalayan 100 race as the perfect way to bounce back.

Mark, who was forced to have a seven-week layoff before jetting out to the Gobi Desert due to a groin injury, revealed he tried to battle through the agony, but when running and even walking in sandals became impossible, he knew it was time to call it a day.

He said: “I had to consider the condition of my feet and how they would be on day 5 then 6 , I made the safe call and I regret this now. I feel that I could have endured a lot more but my feet really had been through enough pain for one year.”

“I’ve been told that I’m being too hard on myself, that I didn’t fail on completing the Gobi. I had attempted to complete three Ultra-hard races in three months, that’s what I came up short on. Maybe they are right but I still feel that’s even more reason I should have pushed on.” But Mark, who has kayaked and climbed in some of the most far flung areas of the globe, has plenty to look forward to, notably his challenge in the Himalaya, which takes place in late October and involves 100 miles of trail running across the lower Himalayan Mountains near Darjeeling.

“After a lifetime of being in the mountains, I couldn’t miss a chance to run with Everest at my back,” he said.

And following a year of intense training, covering hundreds of miles in preparation for each gargantuan event, he remains philosophical about his amazing achievements, which has seen him raise over £3000 for the Borders branch of the MS Society.

He said: “It’s not all doom and gloom. Despite falling short of my task, I’m far from a failure. I’ve achieved a lot over the past year. I’ve tried hard to become an ultra runner and I’ve pushed my personal boundaries a little further.”