If you haven’t read about it already, seen it on TV or heard it on the radio, genuine local hero Mark Allison on Saturday started his run across the USA. California to New York City in just 100 days, an average of 31 miles a day. In Mark’s own words “ Yes that’s right I’ll be running it, not walking, not cycling, not driving, running..and possibly crawling on hands and knees at times!”
The aim is to raise £50 000 for two Great North East Charities, “The Children’s Foundation and St. Benedict’s Hospice. Mark is no stranger to huge fundraising challenges, having raised £34 000 in Summer 2007 with an 874 mile run from John O Groats to Lands End in 37 days.
The Children’s Foundation has always been very dear to Mark’s heart and St. Benedict’s Hospice nursed his mum as she “spent her final days battling cancer and was ensured a dignified end to her life”.
Local optometrists Nigel and Judith Robinson from Robinson Optometrists Monkseaton first heard of Mark’s quest as they attended a session of the hugely popular Tynemouth Bootcamp run by fitness coach Dave Fairlamb. The couple were fascinated by the enormity of the task, but being optometrists were keen to quiz Mark about his eye protection. He has a huge potential for UV exposure, especially running through such hostile environments as The Mojave Desert, the driest and hottest of America’s deserts stretching from Southern California to Nevada.
“ It’s probably the last thing on Mark’s mind but the depletion in the ozone layer means that we should all be aware of protective lenses. Prolonged exposure to UV light can damage the lens in your eye causing cataracts and can be a contributing factor to macula degeneration in later life.” comments Nigel. “We were delighted to be able to supply a pair of the latest Oakley Sunglasses, the choice of all true athletes. Oakley Plutonite lens material stops every wavelength of radiathttp://www.newsguardian.co.uk/ion from the sun’s thermonuclear furnace, not just the lower wavelength UVA. We rest easy knowing that Mark’s eyes will be well protected. We urge everyone to visit his website www.rungeordierun.com where you will be able to track his progress. Please sponsor him. He is an amazing guy and efforts like this you will only see once in a lifetime. We wish him the very best of luck”
Mr. Fairlamb, who also owns and runs a commercial gym on Hawkey’s Lane comments “ I have never ever known anyone mentally as tough as Mark! If he doesn’t break a leg he will make it!” Mark was given a great send off from his final Bootcanp session, all proceeds being donated by Dave to the cause.
Above photo Nigel Robinson, Mark Allison and Dave Fairlamb at Mark’s final session of Bootcamp before his adventure begins.
Story from Whitley Bay Guardian.
Run Geordie Run image reproduced by kind permission of Gary Hogg.