Mick Marshall’s got one desert down, seven sandy runs to go

STEP ONE: Adventure runner Mick Marshall crosses the finish in the Simpson Desert. He turns his attention to Peru. Picture: Big Red Run, Facebook.
STEP ONE: Adventure runner Mick Marshall crosses the finish in the Simpson Desert. He turns his attention to Peru. Picture: Big Red Run, Facebook.

RACE one is run, won and dusted. Mick Marshall has been recovering in Ballarat from a 150-kilometre ultra-marathon through the Simpson Desert almost a fortnight ago.

Race two is next week in Peru, a completely different desert and sands in a South American summer.

This is just the beginning of his gruelling attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most desert races run in one year. He is aiming for eight and raising awareness for charities close to his heart along the way.

Marshall started with a win in the Big Red Run 150, clocking 16 hours, 24 minutes, 27 seconds. His focus is not on placings or times, it is just about getting the job done – in a mission this big even that is an uncertainty. But Marshall is determined to have a go.

  • Read more about Mick’s world record pledge here.

“I’m off and kicking but this whole thing is a real unknown for me and what my body can do," Marshall said.

“We all have the ability to change for the better and that’s how we came up with the idea.”

The Running for Change attempt is raising and funds for Berry Street, Victoria’s largest independent child and welfare organisation, where Marshall works as a therapeutic carer. He will also support charities RU OK?, River’s Gift and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation throughout the campaign.

Marshall had completed the Big Red Run prior to his world record attempt but the rest is unknown.

People ask why, but it’s just I like helping people. It’s about that simple for me

“I think what we lack is that we’re always asking why rather than taking action,” Marshall said.

“I’m not a top runner, I’m okay at it but only because I decided to do it...I make a decision everyday to look at things in a positive light.”

This is largely what drew Marshall to adventure racing, the discipline is about completion and testing your mettle. Marshall said it was not always going to be roses.

He credits a tight team about him for getting him across the line and prepared for Peru. Marshall is on a tight schedule, with a three week gap after Peru to race three in the Sahara Desert. Oman, India and the United States are also on his agenda.

To support Marshall and follow his progress, visit running4change.com.au.

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