By Graham Leslie
Perth to Sydney 2013
Could you run 2600 miles across Australia? Neither could I, but I know someone who thinks he can. I’m inclined to believe him because he’s already run the USA coast-to-coast from Los Angeles to New York. His name’s Mark Allison. I’m sure many of you in the club will have heard of him and his achievements but maybe there are a few who haven’t. Mark runs as Run Geordie Run and his 3100 mile epic across America in 2011 raised £105,223 for charity. This was after running from Land’s End to John O’Groats four years earlier and raising £34,108.
Not satisfied with averaging 31 miles a day in America, Mark wanted to raise his game for his next challenge and plans to take only 70 days from Perth to Sydney. This means maintaining 41 miles day in day out. He knows how hard that’s going to be and started training in earnest right after Christmas. For the time being he’s concentrating on gym work to strengthen his legs and core and to reduce his weight. From April he’ll be starting running as well, gradually building up the mileage. He sets off from Perth on October 16th this year.
I’ve a personal interest in Mark’s run in Australia as I’m one of his four first-line support team. I’ll be covering the first leg from Perth to the Nullabor Desert, driving the motorhome he plans to use as his base, shopping, cooking, and doing anything else which allows him to just concentrate on running. I’ve been doing a bit of work behind the scenes too, including looking into the various unpleasant beasties which may be encountered along the way and also researching suitable overnight stops.
As in America, Mark will update his blog and also use Twitter and Facebook to help people track his progress and offer encouragement.
Mark admits he doesn’t particularly enjoy running for its own sake, which to me makes his achievements even more remarkable. His motivation for what he does is to raise money for his chosen charities and you only have to look at the figures above to see how successful he’s been in that, especially as he started as a complete unknown. If you want to find out more, or make a contribution, why not visit his website at www.rungeordierun.com. He’s also on Twitter as @rungeordierun, and Facebook.