A fundraiser who spent 82 days running across Australia was given a hero’s welcome as he returned to where it all began.
Mark Allison, aka ‘Run Geordie Run’, returned home to Newcastle from his gruelling 2,300-mile challenge last Monday.
And on Saturday he was back at Tynemouth Long Sands for the morning boot camp run by friend and personal trainer David Fairlamb.
He joined the 40 other members in a training exerise before answering questions about his run in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children’s Foundation, which has so far raised more than £52,000.
David, who spent two years helping Mark prepare for the challenge, joined him for two weeks of the run where they battled temperatures up to 49c as well as flies, wildlife and tough road conditions.
David said: “I’ve trained Mark for five years now. He is at the boot camps and at the personal training in the gym I run.
“As part of his training we would run up and down the stairs at King Edward’s Bay, although there wasn’t much chance of that on Saturday.”
Speaking about the Australian challenge, David said: “We ran at night once and we had the car behind us and the lights showed this big snake in the road that we had to jump over.
“On one morning I woke to find a red back spider next to my foot.
“It was also eerie at times. You could run for miles on straight roads and there was no one around.”
David, who has been an established fitness instructor for 18 years, hosts boot camps on Tynemouth Long Sands every Saturday and Sunday morning, attended by around 40 people, and hosts two more sessions at his North Shields gym on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
“There are people from ten-years-old to 70 who take part,” he added. “It’s really social and very structured. It all depends on a person’s fitness level.
“There is no membership or joining fee, people just pay £5 when they turn up for a session.
“I’ve been working on the beach for the last eight years.”
For more information about David and his two gyms, which offer private personal training by appointment only, visit www.davidfairlambfitness.co.uk or following him on Twitter @df_fitness