Run Geordie Run on his marks for next leg of around the world challenge

Mark Allison (centre) with pupils and Andrew Skelton (right), director at SOS Group, during his visit.
Mark Allison (centre) with pupils and Andrew Skelton (right), director at SOS Group, during his visit.

A charity fundraiser is gearing up for the next stage of his Run Around The World Challenge.

On June 3, Mark ‘Run Geordie Run’ Allison will be picking up where he left off on his bid to run around the world.

Mark Allison inside 'Chappie' chatting to Year 4 pupils and Andrew Skelton, director at SOS Group (right).

Mark Allison inside 'Chappie' chatting to Year 4 pupils and Andrew Skelton, director at SOS Group (right).

The fifth leg of his challenge will see him leave Belgrade and run 2,900 miles through Serbia, Romania, Ukraine and Russia, finishing in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Sponsored by SOS Group, Mark will be raising funds for St Benedict’s Hospice in Sunderland.

However, in contrast with his previous runs, this time Mark will be without a support team or support vehicle on the run itself, and his only means of shelter and storage will be a specially designed buggy called Chappie.

Last week Mark visited Corbridge Church of England First School in Northumberland to show the pupils Chappie and talk to them about his epic challenge.

Mark, 46, from Bedlington, said: “I really enjoyed talking to the children about my run Around The World.

“There were some fantastic questions put to me, as you’d expect, and it was inspiring to see the children run around the track on the school field. We might have some future Team GB stars there.”

To complete Run Geordie Run Around The World, Mark plans to circumnavigate the planet, covering 20,000 miles in 657 days to raise funds for charity. He has already ‘ticked off’ the UK, USA, Australia and a significant part of Europe.

To reach Astana, Mark will be running 31 miles per day, giving him just seven rest days during the 100-day run, and pulling his fully laden buggy that weighs 110kg.

Andrew Skelton, director at SOS Group, said: “As a company, we’re very proud to sponsor Mark and it’s fantastic to see the interest his visit has created.

“The children have asked some great questions, probably questions adults wouldn’t think to ask, and it’s good to know the pupils are now even more inspired to get out there and run themselves.”

Jennifer Ainsley, headteacher, said: “Through the installation of our ‘daily mile track’ in school this year, the children’s interest and understanding of running is being developed.

“They’re always excited about raising money for others and now, following Mark’s visit, they want to set a new school running challenge in order to achieve this.”

For more information, visit www.rungeordierun.com
Mark first started fundraising in 1994 following the death of his mother, Margery Allison, from cancer. The team at St Benedict’s Hospice cared for her and Mark was inspired by the treatment she received.

Mark has previously run the Great North Run and both the London and New York Marathons in aid of the hospice. This year, he has set himself the target of raising £30,000 for the charity.

His Run Around The World is divided into eight segments and has benefited a range of good causes, with stage five earmarked for the hospice. Mark embarked on the challenge in 2007 and hopes to finish it in 2024.

He has already completed 9,000 miles, with 11,000 still to run, and has raised an incredible £298,000 for local good causes to date.