Phil’s Mawson Multi Marathon

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Phil’s Mawson Multi Marathon

Sea Level to Salt Level

Sunday 21 September, 2014 to Monday 06 October, 2014



Phil has made it! After 16 gruelling days, Phil and Susan have made it to Lake Eyre North! Lots of blood, sweat, tears and plenty of stories to tell!

Click here to read Phil’s Mawson Multi Marathon Run Report-updated

Phil’s 42km daily marathon over 16 days (totalling more than 600km) was run from Port Augusta to Lake Eyre, through the Flinders Ranges in Sep 2014. The route took Phil from an ‘au natural’ beach swim at Port Augusta in South Australia to Quorn, along the Mawson trail to Blinman, then north to Leigh Creek, Marree then on to Lake Eyre North – the lowest point in Australia at 15m below sea level, and one of the hottest places on the continent in summer (unfortunately no water for a swim here).

For updates, see our news/blog section.

The official donation period has finished however you can still donate to Kate, just contact us and we’ll let you know how to do it.

Kate’s fundraising page:

Phil’s Mawson Multi Marathon
Dates: 21 Sep – 6 Oct 2014
Duration: 16 days
Distance: over 600km
Ave. Daily: 42km

Here is Phil at the end of each day (a few days missing but he did do it!)


Phil’s 42km daily marathon over 14 days (totalling 600km) is run from Port Augusta, South Australia to Lake Eyre North, Central Australia, through the Flinders Ranges.


Phil is raising money for his niece Kate, a single mother of two in her late 30’s, who is receiving chemotherapy for Triple Negative Breast Cancer – an aggressive cancer which requires a lot of love and financial support. Phil’s sister Jennifer, family and friends can provide the love and some financial assistance however they cannot do it on their own.


How can you help her? Please donate to Kate on our fundraising page at to help provide the financial support for Kate to try to overcome this cancer and see her son (age 18) and daughter (age 9) become independent adults well into the future.


Which of these challenges were the most rewarding?

Phil is renowned for his unusual physical adventures which have rewarded him with two entries into the Guinness Book of Records:

1986 – Rode a penny farthing 512km in 24 hrs, raising $9000 for charity.

1988 – Rode a penny farthing 15,000km around Australia (4.5 mths) raising over $100,000 for Rotary’s Polio Plus Campaign.

Phil’s other feats include:

1998 – After a quick ‘au natural’ swim at St Kilda beach, Phil ran to the top of Mt Kosciuszko – 600km in 12 days at 50km / day. Supported by his wife Susan measuring daily distances, keeping Phil fed and fighting.

2009 – riding a kick-bike scooter 215km ‘Around the Bay in a Day’ – an Australian record.

1980, 1985, 2009, 2014 – running four marathons

2014 – Mawson Multi Marathon

“The above have all been rewarding, but to have a good response to the website and knowing that all money goes directly to Kate’s medical expenses – that would be the most rewarding” says Phil.


Phil & Susan McDonald – co directors of AllTrails Bicycle Tours

Phil and Susan have also created a record by running their company AllTrails Bicycle Tours for 17 years – designing and directing cycle tours in all parts of Australia and overseas. The AllTrails company and community of cyclists have worked together over the years to give over $500,000 to selected charities.

Susan will be Phil’s support again on the Mawson Multi Marathon – driving ahead to pinpoint the daily finish, then cycling back to join Phil as he runs on the latter part of each day’s run.


September 2014 – for two weeks


The route takes Phil from the beach at Port Augusta in South Australia (after a ceremonial ‘au natural’ dip in the ocean) to Quorn, along the Mawson Trail to Blinman, then north to Leigh Creek, Marree then on to Lake Eyre North – the lowest point in Australia at 15m below sea level, and one of the hottest (unfortunately no water for a swim here).

This run completes Phil’s quest to run from sea level to the highest point in Australia, and sea level to the lowest point in Australia.

The Mawson Trail where half of this Multi Marathon will take place is named after Sir Douglas Mawson, Antarctic Explorer. Phil’s run will also coincide with the 100th anniversary of Mawson’s return from the Antarctic Expedition and his knighthood in 1914.


Phil has always been an active person and as the years slip by, he has concentrated on good, healthy food and plenty of exercise. Phil, 69 yrs, wants to be an inspiration to other people to keep active by walking, cycling or running for your life.

All money raised will go directly to medical costs for Kate’s treatment, not towards any expenses incurred on Phil’s run, so please give generously at the website link

Donation amount per km (total 600km) Total Donation Amount
10 cents per km $60
50 cents per km $300
$1 per km $600

The above amounts are examples only – feel free to give more or less as you choose. Any amount you can give will be graciously appreciated.

The cost to sponsor me on my run is as much or as little as you wish! 

Here are some examples only – feel free to give more or less as you choose. Any amount you can give will be graciously appreciated.

Donation amount per km (total 600km) Total Donation Amount
10 cents per km $60
50 cents per km $300
$1 per km $600
Get together with work colleagues or friends to make an impact with a large donation.

Click the link here to donate:

Every donation is appreciated, thank you.

Phil, Susan & Kate

Day to Day Plan:

The plan is to rise daily around 4:00am and enjoy a hearty breakfast of a banana, a slice of wholemeal bread and a herbal tea then start running around 5:00am in the dark. I’ll have to take a torch when running on a single track with the terrain very rocky with tree roots and other obstacles, but a lot of the route will be on gravel roads and tracks.

The excitement of running in the dark is always thrilling as you hear the animals scampering away as they are startled by the sound of a human running quietly through the bush. This pumps my adrenalin and stretches my eyes open to see as much as I possibly can in the dark surrounds – especially keeping an eye out for snakes that come out at night to catch the field mice scuppering around the bush. The birds will also be a big part of the excitement as they wake to another day and begin their forage for food.

My intention is to get at least 10km under my belt before dawn, then having a dried banana which will keep me going until about 20km. Susan will hopefully be with me by then with morning tea which I will take only a short break to devour, then keep running – eyeing the magic scenery of the Flinders Ranges and the wide open spaces of the harsh Australian outback towards Lake Eyre North.

Each day I expect to run at least a marathon (42km), sometimes 50km, stopping at abandoned homesteads, old rail stations, Wilpena Pound and tiny townships. Susan will keep me fed with lots of good fruit, nuts, bread, salads and mixed yoghurt fruit drinks and I hope to finish each day by lunchtime or later, depending on the detours I take to see all there is to see. Dinner will be a big meal, which could be anything, including an egg and lots of vegetables.

Due to the remoteness of a lot of the locations there will be a mixture of camping and accommodation throughout the run – we will sleep in the car on many nights.

I will be following the Mawson Trail map which shows elevation profiles and all the areas and points of interest that are ‘well worth a look’ along the way. Susan and I will camp out in the bush, have an open fire and cook our own food. We will slip into the back of our troop carrier about 9pm and relive the beautiful day just past and dream about the adventurous day ahead.

We should be able to get updates back to our office at many stages throughout the run and our office staff Midge & Rachael will be able to post updates on our website and Facebook for those interested in what I see, where I am and how we are feeling!

We are very pleased that we can undertake this challenge for our niece Kate, and appreciate all donations made to the page that has been set up to raise funds for Kate at

Thanks for your time and support,

Phil & Susan McDonald