Mark’s Challenge

February 28, 2019 2:04 pm

2,019 Miles in 2019

Mark Smith of Stephen George + Partners likes nothing better than a big challenge!

2018 saw him attempt to run from John O’Groats to Lands End raising money for local charity Alex’s Wish. Sadly that attempt was foiled just 186 miles in due to a car failing to see Mark (who was dressed head to toe in high-viz clothing) and Mark having to take evasive action to avoid being hit.  However, that hasn’t stopped Mark from planning his return to fitness… and another challenge for Alex’s Wish!

“I had trained for 12 months to run the 900 miles down from John O’Groats to Lands End but…I realised there’s no guarantee with challenges like this. The most important thing is that I’ve managed to raise £6,100 for Alex’s Wish and I am now just about recovered after damaging tendons and ligaments in my left foot after having to jump up a bank onto rocks to avoid being hit by the car that just didn’t see me.”

Mark continues to explain “As all those who kindly sponsored me and donated appreciated the plan was to recommence the JOGLE challenge again in May 2019. However, following medical advice, and with a heavy heart, it is felt that my injury and the toll the challenge would take on me physically would be too great, with a real risk of sustaining life changing damage to my foot following the injury I’d sustained in September. But because of the loyalty and ethical responsibility towards those who had previously sponsored me I needed to think of something else to honour their donations and sponsorship. So I looked for another challenge.  In 2019 I will run 2,019 miles which is the equivalent of 1 ½ marathons each and every week!, 5.5 miles per day, 168 miles a month. However whilst this is still a true test of endurance the beauty with this challenge is that I can fit the running into weekends, bank holidays and around work and give my body sometime to recover between runs”

“I’ve booked a number of Ultra Marathon events to contribute to my challenge – as I’ve shown in the table below, as there title suggests (Ultra Marathon) there are a few significant distances.

Race Title Distances
Miles Kilometres
Waterway 30 Ultra Marathon 32.5 52.3
Lulworth Ultra Marathon 31 50
Burnsall Trail Half Marathon 13.3 21.4
Pembrokeshire Ultra Marathon 34.5 55.5
Great Barrow Ultra Marathon 32 51.5
Grim Reaper Ultra Endurance 70 112.6
Pembrokeshire Coastal Endurance Race 100 160.9
Equinox 24 Hour Endurance Race 100 160.9
North Yorkshire Moors Ultra Marathon 33.6 54
Suffolk Ultra Marathon 33.1 53.2
Dorset Ultra Marathon 42.5 68.4


I’m really looking forward to these event and training is starting to seriously ramp up again.  It feels good to be back out there and getting the miles under my feet again.”

Emma Hallam, Founder of Alex’s Wish and Mum to Alex after whom the charity is named commented on the new challenge saying, “We were heartbroken for Mark when we heard of the accident and what it meant for him.  However, his recovery has been strong and to contact us and let us know what he’ll be doing for us in 2019 was amazing!  He has already inspired us so much and we can’t wait to support him across 2019!  It’s a brilliant idea which enables Mark to challenge himself and boy does he like a challenge, whilst working full time too.  I just don’t know where he gets the energy from!  Thank you Mark for all you have done and all you will be doing to support Alex’s Wish and the boys with Duchenne across 2019!”

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