Mark has a ball raising more funds

Mark 'Run Geordie Run' Allison.
Mark 'Run Geordie Run' Allison.

A ball to celebrate a fundraiser’s run across Europe has helped raise more than £7,000 for two charities.

The summer’s run was Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison’s latest leg in his run around the world, which has raised more than £266,000 for charities to date.

Attendees at the 'Around the World' Ball.

Attendees at the 'Around the World' Ball.

And the Around the World Ball – held at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle – raise money for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children’s Foundation.

Mark took the opportunity to thank his supporters and sponsors and outlined exciting new plans to an audience that included Lady Elsie Robson and Jack and Pat Charlton.

The software developer from Bedlington, explained the difficulties he will face on the next leg of his journey – Belgrade (Serbia) to Astana (Kazakhstan) – and that he is exploring the possibility of running unaccompanied in future.

Running with no support team will mean transporting his entire kit, supplies and even his bed by himself using a specially designed buggy.

Mark said: “I’m so pleased with the money raised at the ball for the two charities. It was a wonderful night and it felt right explaining about my plans to run solo to a room full of enthusiastic supporters.

“There’s a long way to go before anything is set in stone though. Safety and feasibility issues need to be carefully considered.

“I’ve had sign off from my family and the two charities to explore the possibility of running unaccompanied and now I need to prove to myself and to them that it’s a viable option.

“That’s what I’m looking into now. I’ve found the right company to design and construct the buggy and begun discussions with possible commercial sponsors.”

If all agreements are in place and sufficient commercial backing is found, Mark’s buggy will be constructed to his exact specification by SJH Projects Ltd in Nottingham. It will be made from the same carbon fibre material found in F1 technology.

If all goes to plan, construction will begin in November 2016. Testing will be done in the UK and United Arab Emirates next year before the run resumes in Belgrade in May 2018.

Mark said: “This is a huge step up for me, physically and psychologically. Using the buggy offers incredible fundraising possibilities for the rest of the Around the World Run and my main aim is how I can best help the charities.”

“Hopefully I can get everything in place to reassure everyone that this is feasible and safe. It’s something I believe in and can’t wait to get started.”

In July, Mark completed his 2,633 mile charity run across Europe accompanied by support team volunteers and a motor home. The run, sponsored by SOS Group Ltd., took 83 days and included both the Pyrenees and Alps mountain ranges.

In total, including the money raised at the ball, the Europe run raised an incredible £53,909 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children’s Foundation.

He has now run halfway around the world, 9,000 miles, including the length of the UK, the width of the USA, Australia and Europe.

Mark will now tackle the Serbia, Georgia, Russia and Kazakhstan leg (2018), then China (2020), Japan (2021) and New Zealand (2022) – all timings are approximate and dependent on his circumstances.