Press release

Ultramarathon pilgrim pit stops in Dundee

Published on 7 March 2019

An ultramarathon runner who is running 1,725 miles this year in order to fundraise for refugees returning to their homes in the Middle East will make a pit stop in Dundee this week when he is hosted by the University of Dundee

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Members of the public will get the opportunity to meet Mark Calder as he attends and sings at a service the University of Dundee Chaplaincy at 10.00pm on Friday 8 March.

Mark who intends to run 14 ancient pilgrimages routes in Scotland and Northern England, with the aim of raising £50,000 to help refugees return to their homes in war-torn Iraq, has already got off to a flying start raising just over £14,000 in less than two months.

His 95-mile run through Dundee, which will be his second route this year, will merely be a warm-up for his third run, a huge 200-mile stretch from Melrose to Durham.

Looking forward to visiting Dundee by foot, Mark said, “Running distances like this means experiencing intense struggles as well as high points. Two things give me encouragement when it gets tough. First, I'm inspired by the thought that what we're doing will change the lives of people with whom Embrace the Middle East is working in Iraq. Second, the support of people on route, such as Dundee University Chaplaincy, really makes a difference to when everything hurts. I just hope I make it in time.”

Embrace the Middle East, the charity Mark works for, aims to help Iraqi refugees rebuild their lives in the villages and towns from which they fled during the occupation of ISIS.

Rev Jeremy Auld, Provost of St Paul’s Cathedral who will be leading the service, said, “We are delighted to welcome Mark to Dundee this Friday. He has quite a challenge ahead of him.

“All in all, he will roughly run the distance from Baghdad to Damascus to Beirut to Jerusalem to Tel Aviv to Cairo and back to Baghdad – the capitals of the countries in which Embrace the Middle East works. It will be great to hear more about their work from Mark in person. All are welcome to our late night service.”

Mark will continue his run on Saturday, when he will cross the Tay ending the day and his second run in St. Andrews at St Rule's Tower.


Press Office, University of Dundee
Story category Events and exhibitions