Number 26- Help a Stranger: Mark’s Miracle Marathon

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June, 2011…

Meet Mark

The latest campaigner I’ve been in contact with is Mark. Now Mark not only has a list but also has a massive challenge in completing it due to a undiagnosed neurological disorder that he’s had for a while. As a result, he is sadly confined to a wheelchair with very limited movement.

After seeing me give an interview on TV, Mark contacted me and told me that he too had a bucket-list. Seeing that someone was out there ticking items off gave him the motivation to re-address his list and so asked if I would help him with one of his own items; to shave his head. Immediately I fulfilled his request by flying to Melbourne and meeting him on the side of the road with a set of hair clippers, but this was just the beginning of this story.

Mark- losing his hair!

After sharing a few laughs he then told me that it was a dream of his to complete a half marathon.

Being slow on the uptake, I asked how someone in his condition would go about completing a half marathon, to which he replied;

“I just need someone to push me.”

To cut a long story short; I immediately enrolled us into the Melbourne Half Marathon where I’ll be pushing the whole way. The reason I mention this is because we’ve started a team for the race and are looking for people to join. If you’re interested in helping to get Mark across the finish line; please email me on seb@100things.com.au.

July 13th, 2011…

Half Marathon this Sunday!

I’m not going to lie to you; I couldn’t be more excited about this Sunday’s half marathon. Twenty-one kilometers of Melbourne’s toughest roads (maybe a slight exaggeration) is quite the consideration specially in light of the fact that the furthest I’ve ever run before in 10 km. This though is only part of this weekend’s challenge.

This feeling of nervousness and excitement that inside me right now is something I’m more used to feeling in anticipation of ticking off one of my own items but completing the 21k circuit this weekend is not something from my list, instead it’s an item on Mark Rostok’s list.

A long time ago this 100 Things journey turned from something about personal achievement into something that was clearly more about the community. Over time I’ve found that there’s an important message in all of this and one that shows people that anything is possible; Mark is testament to this.

July 18th, 2011…

One of the Best Days of my Life….

Yesterday at 7am on a beautiful but chilly Melbourne morning, a single hooter was sounded, indicating the start of the RunMelbourne half marathon. Moments later 20,000 competitors gathered from all over the world took their first stride on the beautiful 21 km course.
I am absolutely over the moon to announce that 3 hours, 38 minutes and 42 seconds after starting the race, this dream became a reality for Mark.

Mark and I Flying around the course!

On a personal level I don’t think I’ve ever been involved with something so rewarding but this wasn’t about me, it was about Mark and after the race he looked at me with a big smile on his face and simply said “That was special”. The day couldn’t have gone any better.

Deep breaths at the fininsh line- WE DID IT!

What’s more is that in-between making our initial agreement that we’d enter the race together, a few of Mark’s full-time carers also joined the race as well as one of his childhood buddies. As such we were a team of 7 (including Mark) and a massive thank you has to go out to each and everyone of these guys who helped Mark get across the line. Jason, Eban, Dean, Page and Tahnee; you are all legends!

The Team

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