11 Nov

The Runner Of Oz


Not content with completing a 3,100 mile trip across the USA earlier this year, Mark Allison has now set himself the target of covering Australia in just 70 days. Mark, whose Run Geordie Run challenge gained widespread publicity and raised over £100,00 for charity, plans to commence his outback quest on October 16, 2013.

Mark\'s Australian challenge will begin in Perth and finish at Bondi Beach, Sydney, with the expected arrival date set for Christmas Eve. The distance of the route amounts to 2,600 miles, or just under 100 marathons, and if successful, he will be the first Geordie to run the width of the country.

The duration of the run will coincide with the Australian summer, meaning the 40-year-old, who experienced extreme temperatures in his trans-stateside challenge, will encounter some of the most arid and humid plains in the world. Daytime conditions in the Nullarpor Plain, Southern Australia, have been known to exceed 48.5°C.

On the prospect of dealing with the Australian weather, Mark commented: "Of course, there are the extreme daily distances and the unfathomable temperatures to cope with. People die in those temperatures." The 40-year-old runner doesn\'t seem to be underestimating the brevity of the challenge either: "It\'s going to be hard but I\'m planning to give it my best shot."

The intended completion date is clearly one he wants to commit to, adding: "My motivation is to complete it in the tight time-scales is that I have to finish in time for Christmas, so I can spend it with my family. We\'ve never spent a Christmas apart and I plan to keep it that way."

Mark will once again be fundraising for his two chosen charities, the Children\'s Foundation and St. Benedict\'s Hospice, in Sunderland. You can keep track of all the preparations for his outback challenge or make a donation by visiting his blog.