The Wollongong local running 7 marathons in 7 days across 7 states and territories…with his 71-year-old dad

295 kilometres is the approximate distance from Wollongong to Jindabyne. That’s how far Wollongong man, Mark Upton, and his 71-year-old father, Brian, will be running as part of the 777 Marathon starting on Monday.

It’s 7 marathons in 7 days – and that doesn’t include all the travelling they’ve got to do. Starting on Monday, the pair will run a marathon a day in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Tasmania, Canberra, Sydney and the Gold Coast.

“It’s a pretty solid week. Each day we’re up at 4:30, 5 o’clock in the morning getting ready, and then we’re off at 7 O’clock in the morning for the first of the the marathons in Perth. We should be done roughly in about four, four and a half hours. Then we’re off on a plane at about 2:30, 3 O’clock every day, back in the hotel for the next state roughly around dinner time. Hopefully we get some dinner and a sleep, and then up again up again same time and off again,” Mark told Tristan and Gareth on Saturday Breakfast.

To train for the marathons, Mark and his dad have been running more than 100 kilometres each week.

So what would possess someone to do this?

“It’s pretty simple. You gotta be able to run with a purposes, and that purposes for Dad and I, and 17 other national runners, is Bravehearts,” Mark told Gareth and Tristan on Saturday Breakfast.

Bravehearts is an organisation that helps support and guide kids who have been affected by child abuse. It’s a cause that Mark and his dad are very passionate about, and they’re close to reaching their $40,000 goal.

For the last seven or eight years, Mark and his dad, Brian, have been finding challenges like this to do together. At 71, Mark’s dad Brian is the oldest person to ever do the 777 marathon.

“That father and son connection is pretty special. A lot of people don’t get that chance and I’m certainly privileged to be able to do it with my dad,” said Mark.

“He’s an incredible athlete. He’s been doing these sort of things all his life.”

Brian has competed in Iron Man Triathlon in Hawaii five times.

Mark hopes for a good cheat meal after the last marathon. “Gold Coast is Gold Coast, so I’m hoping it lives up to its name and we can have a bit of fun on that Sunday night.”

You can donate to Mark and Brian’s fundraiser here:

You can listen to Tristan and Gareth’s full interview with Mark Upton here.