This Saturday’s (10 October) Run Geordie Run Around the World Ball sponsored by SOS Group Ltd was a great success, raising an amazing £8,223 for The Children’s Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
As well as raising funds for the two charities, the night at Newcastle’s Biscuit Factory celebrated Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison’s running and fundraising achievements to date.
Mark also shared details about the next stage of his Around the World 20,000 mile run, which begins in Lisbon this May, with guests including Lady Elsie Robson and Dr Martin Ward-Platt (chair of The Children’s Foundation).
The event was hosted by long-time Run Geordie Run supporters, BBC Radio presenters Gary Philipson and Lisa Shaw, and was very special to Mark for a number of reasons.
Mark, from Bedlington, explains: “I’m really pleased by how much the night raised for the two charities. So many people contributed to the event and it’s a relief to know it worked well.
“It was an emotional occasion for me because there were so many of my supporters together in the one room. Walking around and just talking to guests felt amazing. Everywhere I turned I could see sponsors, support team members and well-wishers.
“It’s a feeling that will stay with me and I have no doubt I’ll draw on it when I find things tough during the next leg of the run. There are some brutal climbs in both the Pyrenees and the Alps, which I’ll need mental as well as physical strength to complete.”
To run around the world, Mark will need to cover 20,000 miles, over four continents and through 24 countries. 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 next segment of Run Geordie Run Around the World, the Europe leg, brings its own set of challenges, not least running through 14 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 8 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, 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. It is a huge step up from his previous runs in terms of distance and elevation and, as well as mental, physical and logistical difficulties, there will be language and cultural barriers to overcome.
Supporters helping Mark achieve his goals for the two charities include SOS Group Limited, Cherry Active, Fresh Freight Group, Sport Newcastle, Chapman Ventilation, and Virgin Money.
For more information about Run Geordie Run Around the World please visit www.rungeordierun.com and follow Mark on Twitter @RunGeordieRun.
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.