Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison is preparing for the next leg of his Around the World challenge. With all eyes on him, Mark says he is part of a team and he couldn't do it alone.
The North East fundraiser will set off from Portugal in 234 days.
The European segment is 3,400 miles long and follows on from his previous runs down the UK and across the USA and Australia.
Mark supports two charities, The Children’s Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. He praises the team work that goes into his challenges.
Sponsors are enabling Mark to raise additional charity funds through t-shirt sales and events, while sports therapists, fitness instructors and training partners are helping ensure he is preparing himself correctly for the tough challenge that lies ahead. Sponsors are also helping kit Mark out with the specialist equipment, dietary supplements and footwear required and, on the route itself, he will be accompanied by a extremely dedicated support team. The support team consists entirely of unpaid volunteers who are taking time off work to join the challenge. Paying for their own travel expenses, they will accompany Mark each day, helping him cope with the physical and mental pressures.
Mark’s support team and sponsors came together at Jury’s Inn, Gateshead, to meet with representatives of The Children’s Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, including Lady Elsie.
There are currently 13 on the support team and Mark is hoping to recruit three more people before his next challenge begins.
It will take Mark until at least 2024 to finish the Round the World challenge and he will have to do it in eight segments as family life, work and finances permit.
He will need to cover a total of 20,000 miles, over four continents and through 23 countries and it will take him approximately 608 days (1 year and 243 days) to complete.
His challenge began, although he didn’t know it at that time, with his John O’Groats to Land’s End 874 mile run in 2007. He has also already ‘ticked off’ the USA (2011) and Australia (2013), 3,100 miles and 2,384 miles respectively, but still has approximately 13,642 miles to go.
The European leg brings its own set of challenges, not least running through 13 different countries. Mark will begin on 1 May in Lisbon, Portugal, and will finish 100 days and 3,400 miles later in Istanbul, Turkey, on 9 August. The run is 500 miles longer than the USA and will be completed in the same number of days.
The chosen route passes through Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
It includes both the Pyrenees and the Alps and will take in many huge climbs including the Stelvio Pass (9,045 feet) in the Italian Alps.
After Europe, Mark will tackle the Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Kazakhstan leg (2018), then China (2020), Japan (2022) and New Zealand (2024) – all timings are approximate and dependent on Mark’s circumstances.