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29 October 2014

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You are in: Tyne > People > Your Stories > The running man runs again

Mark Allison at St James' Park

Mark did a lap of honour in 2007

The running man runs again

Toon fan Mark Allison completed another challenge a year after running from John O'Groats to Lands End. He led a team who took on a gruelling 22-mile course over the Pennines.

When Mark Allison crossed the finish line in August 2007 after running 874 miles in 37 days, there was a feeling it wouldn't be long before he was on the road again.

His exploits in running close to a marathon a day for more than 30 days raised more than £34,000 for St Benedict's Hospice, in Sunderland, having attracted a huge swell of support from fellow Toon fans among others.

Sure enough in 2008 he was back with a new challenge.

Some of the Pennine challenge team

Some of the Pennine challenge team

Relentless hills

In June 2008 he led a team which tackled the tough 22-mile route between Castleside and Middleton-in-Teesdale, in Country Durham.

Mark and three others cycled 44 miles, from Castleside to Middleton-in-Teesdale and back, on 27 June.

Then on 29 June Mark and four others ran the route. Their efforts raised more than £1,000 for The Children's Foundation which aims to boost the health and well-being of children and young people in the north-east of England.

Mark said he had been honoured to be part of the team and praised the determination and resilience they showed.

Despite being a challenge, it was all just a warm up to the really big event when Mark plans to run more than 3,000 miles from the west to the east coast of America in 2011.

Mark said: "It's just to keep the momentum going.

"It's 22 miles but it's more difficult than the London or New York Marathons that I have done. The difficulty cannot be overstated.

Mark Allison at Lands End

Mark Allison at Lands End in 2007

"It's got a few major climbs that are just relentless."

Most of those who took part in the Pennine challenge were staff from Northern Rock, where Mark is a self-employed IT contractor.

USA challenge

Mark did the Castleside to Middleton in Teesdale route on day 16 of his John O'Groats to Land's End challenge in 2007.

His training for the 2008 challenge included some running in the Pennines but also a lot of cross training including spinning classes and boxercise.

Mark said it was a different challenge from the 2007 event but he liked the idea of being part of a team and the banter and camaraderie associated with that.

Mark started planning the route for his USA challenge in May 2008. He aims to start in California and finish in New York's Central Park with an average daily distance of 30 miles.

Mark Allison crosses the finish line at Lands End

Mark was supported by Toon fans in 2007

He said: "It's all I think about at the moment."

He is now concentrating on trying to find sponsors and things like mobile accommodation.

He estimates he will need between £12,000 and £15,000 for the trip and he has already started saving for it including cycling to and from work and putting the money he saves towards it.

His aim will be to raise £50,000 which he plans to split between St Benedict's Hospice and another local charity, which he hasn't chosen yet.

Mark is keeping a blog which he regularly updates. Read the latest here:

last updated: 04/07/2008 at 10:05
created: 03/06/2008

You are in: Tyne > People > Your Stories > The running man runs again

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