A charity runner who has run across the United States and Australia is preparing his latest challenge – to run around the world.
Mark Allison, also known as ‘Run Geordie Run’, has raised thousands of pounds for charity and is keen to complete one more challenge.
It will take him until at least 2024 to complete as he will have to do it in eight segments – raising money for The Children’s Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
Mark, from Nedderton, said: “Australia was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. I had no idea how hard it would be. It almost broke me.
“When I came home I needed time to recover, mentally and physically, and I began thinking about why I run, why it’s important to me and why I feel the need to continue.
“It was clearly all very much on my mind because I dreamt about this world challenge. I could see a map of the world with segments crossed off which I’ve already covered. It sounds daft but that’s really how I came up with this idea.”
To run around the world, Mark will need to cover 20,000 miles, over four continents and through 23 countries. It will take him approximately 608 days to complete.
His challenge began with his John O’Groats to Land’s End in 2007 and has just 13,642 miles to go after completing his runs across America and Australia.
The next segment is the European leg, which Mark will undertake in 2016 starting in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 1, and finishing 100 days later in Istanbul, Turkey.
The route passes through Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
Mark said: “I’ve already begun detailed research on the European leg and my training started in September. There’s a massive amount of climbs on this route and I need to go into it as light and lean as possible.
“As before, my fundraising target for this run is £50,000. If I can achieve that for The Children’s Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, then I’ll feel like all the hard work is worthwhile.”
After Europe, Mark will tackle the Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Kazakhstan leg (2018), China (2020), Japan (2022) and New Zealand (2024).
For more information about Run Geordie Run Around the World visit www.rungeordierun.com
On behalf of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, Lady Elsie says: “Mark’s will to keep going and raise money for the two charities is unbelievable and we were stunned when he revealed his plans to run around the world for us.
“He had a terrible time in Australia and encountered a lot of issues he couldn’t have predicted. He’s talked to us at length about his new challenge and we know his safety, and that of his support team, are uppermost in his mind.
“We’re all so proud of Mark. The planning and effort which goes into this kind of challenge is just incredible.”
Natalina Sutherland, community fundraiser at The Children’s Foundation, says: “Mark never fails to surprise us, with each challenge he puts himself forward for another gruelling test of stamina, both mentally and physically – not to mention the difficulties in planning the logistics of a cross-country or cross-continental route.
“We cannot thank Mark enough for the loyal dedication in supporting The Children’s Foundation, as our Ambassador and our biggest individual fundraiser. Mark has helped to raise the profile of The Children’s Foundation, in creating awareness and raising vital funds to support the work we do across the region.”
If you would like to donate to the two charities, The Children’s Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/rungeordierun.