A charity fundraiser from the county is getting kitted out to start the next leg of his around the world challenge.
Mark Allison – AKA Run Georgie Run – will set off for Portugal in just over 200 days, and has received his new kit at a special meeting with his support team and sponsors.
Mark, from Nedderton Village, said: “There are so many people behind-the-scenes who have become part of our team and I couldn’t do any of this without them.
“We have relationships that have developed over many years and I treasure that support.
“It’s personal. I need to know I can rely on my support team and they need to know they are working with someone who will give everything for the two charities.”
Generous commercial sponsors, including headline sponsor SOS Group Ltd, are enabling Mark to raise additional charity funds through t-shirt sales and events, while sports therapists, fitness instructors and training partners are helping ensure he is preparing himself correctly for the tough challenge that lies ahead.
Sponsors are also helping kit Mark out with the specialist equipment, dietary supplements and footwear required and, on the route itself, he will be accompanied by a extremely dedicated support team.
Like Mark, the support team consists entirely of unpaid volunteers who are taking time off work to join the challenge. Paying for their own travel expenses, they will accompany and support Mark each day, helping him cope with the physical and mental pressures and providing vital encouragement as the miles take their toll.
In addition to headline sponsor SOS Group Ltd, Mark is receiving support from Fresh Freight Group, Chapman Ventilation, Cherry Active, Virgin Money and Sport Newcastle.
The European leg brings its own set of challenges, not least running through 13 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 9 August. The run is 500 miles longer than the USA and will be completed in the same number of days.
Mark aims to finish the Round The World challenge by 2024, by which time he will have covered 20,000 miles, over four continents and through 23 countries.
To donate, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/rungeordierun