Name: Mark Allison
Year of Birth: 1971
About You: I’m a 44 year old software developer who enjoys fundraising for local charities in the North East of England.
Tell us about the sport you compete in? I’m currently on a run around the world aiming to raise ½ million pounds for The Children’s Foundation and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.
The journey is being done in 8 segments with 3 having been done already:
2007 - UK (£51,634 raised) - John O'Groats to Lands’ End. 874 miles in 37 days.
2011 - USA (£105,717.80 raised) - Huntington Beach, California to Coney Island New York. 3100 miles in 100 days.
2013 - Australia (£55,126.60 raised) - Cottesloe Beach, Perth to Shellharbour, Sydney. 2384 miles in 82 days.
The future segments are:
2016 - Europe (£31,177.00 as at 17/12/15) - Lisbon, Portugal to Istanbul, Turkey. 3400 miles in 100 days.
2018 - Central Eurasia - Istanbul, Turkey to the Kazakh/Chinese border. 3700 miles in 110 days.
2020 – China - Kazakh/Chinese border to Shanghai, China. 3000 miles in 84 days.
2022 – Japan - Cape Sata to Cape Soya. 1800 miles in 50 days.
2024 - New Zealand - Northerly tip of North Island to Southerly tip of South Island. 1463 miles in 33 days.
In total, that's 20,000 miles around the world, on 4 continents, through 24 countries running for approximately 1 year and 8 months.
How did you become involved in it? Looking for a way to raise funds for local charities in the 1990s I decided to take up running. Starting off with The Great North Run, I progressed to marathons and then started to organise my own fundraising events.
What does an average training week consist of? On average, I run 35 – 45 miles per week. In the build up to the run across the USA I was running over 100 miles per week. I also attend 2 or 3 Cross Fit classes per week.
How does the CherryActive product range help you during training and competition? I always call Cherry Active my “secret weapon”. It was recommended to me by staff at the University of Northumbria when I used their heat chamber training for the run across the USA.
Cherry Active made a huge difference to the runs across the USA and Australia. When you run up to 60 miles per day for 100 days you tend to ache a bit!
I used Cherry Active on a daily basis in the USA and Australia and the aches and pains in my legs were kept to an absolute minimum. I can’t imagine running without it now.
More recently I’ve started to use Beet Active. The results are more difficult to measure than Cherry Active but I’m definitely having more good runs than average when I use it.
Highlight of career? Every major run I do is a career highlight. I think starting the run across the USA at 260 pounds and finishing 100 days later at 182 pounds is definitely up there. Getting across Australia having suffered terrible foot damage and mental exhaustion was the latest highlight.
I suspect safely navigating 18 Tour de France climbs during the run across Europe in summer 2016 will soon be another highlight.
Who are your hero’s? I think my sporting heroes are my greatest influences. I was an impressionable teenager when I saw Charlie Spedding do so well at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Another hero is a fictional one: Forrest Gump. I saw that movie when my Mam sadly lost her battle with cancer. I often wonder if I’d have ever tried to run across the USA without seeing that movie.
Likewise, I would never have considered running around the world without seeing Mark Beaumont set the cycling world record in 2007. I’ve attended a couple of Mark’s inspirational talks over the last few years. His adventurous spirit and enthusiasm is very inspirational.
What are your future goals? To complete the run around the world raising at least £500,000 for local good causes is the only goal I have at present.
How do you relax away from your sport? I’m a season ticket holder at Newcastle United. On reflection, it’s probably not too relaxing following the trials and tribulations of the Magpies!