Tyne & Wear

'Run Geordie Run' finishes Europe leg of challenge

Mark Allison looking at Pobednik monument, Belgrade Image copyright Mark Allison
Image caption "The Pobednik is probably the most well-known landmark in Belgrade so it seemed a good place to finish things," Mark Allison said

Charity fundraiser "Run Geordie Run" has finished the European leg of his around-the-world challenge.

Mark Allison took 83 days to run 2,650 miles (4,265 km) from Lisbon to Belgrade, passing through 10 countries.

The software developer from Bedlington, Northumberland has already run the length of the UK, across the US and Australia and raised more than £250,000.

He said: "I can honestly say, this has been the hardest run I've done so far."

Mr Allison added: "It was nearly 300 miles further than my Australia run and every day there's been a new challenge to overcome," he said.

"The exhausting climbs were offset a little bit by the truly breathtaking scenery and we've met some really lovely people."

Image copyright Sir Bobby Robson Foundation
Image caption He set off from Guincho Beach, Lisbon and was not looking forward to tackling nearby hills

He ran through Portugal, Spain, Andorra, France, Italy, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.

His route included the Pyrenees, the Alps and the 9,045 ft (2,760m) Stelvio Pass.

A planned end point in Istanbul was rearranged because of the situation in Turkey.

Mr Allison is hoping to run through Georgia, Russia and Kazakhstan in 2018, then China, Japan and New Zealand by 2022.

Image copyright Mark Allison
Image caption Mr Allison was accompanied running through Belgrade by Jeremy Lang from the British Embassy in Serbia

"I'm pretty much completely exhausted now," he said.

"I can't wait to get back to the North East and see my son."

The money he raises will go to two charities, the Children's Foundation and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

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