RUNNING man Mark Allison is “buzzing with utter relief” after finishing his 3,100-mile marathon in aid of a Sunderland hospice.
The 40-year-old has completed his mammoth trek across the United States, running coast to coast from West to East.
Mark was inspired to take on the feat – which he did in just 100 days – in aid of St Benedict’s Hospice in Newcastle Road, Monkwearmouth, whose staff cared for his late mother.
Dozens of supporters joined him as he ran his last 13 miles through New York after raising £74,000 so far.
Mark, who also ran for the Children’s Foundation, said: “I still haven’t had any sleep since Monday morning. I’m buzzing with utter, utter relief for a job completed and the amount that has been raised for the two charities is way beyond my wildest dreams.”
Mark’s mother Margery spent her final days in St Benedict’s Hospice as her battle against cancer came to an end in 1995.
He rain in memory of his mum, as well as his father Terry who died of cancer in 1988, and his brother David who died from a brain haemorrhage in 1998.
The former IT consultant, who has built up a firm following on Twitter and his blog, said: “Week after week the following I have on Twitter has increased. When you are doing so many miles alone in the middle of nowhere it’s really encouraging to know there are so many people out there sending messages of support.
“I’m pleased to have finished in 100 days because I don’t think I could have woken up and run for another day.
“I would have felt I had let people down if I hadn’t achieved what I wanted to.”
Mark now plans to return home to Shotley Bridge to spend time with his wife Katy and son Jack before training starts for the Great North Run.
Organisers of the half-marathon have given him the number 3,100 in honour of his achievement.
Kath Henderson, senior nurse business manager – specialist palliative care at St Benedict’s Hospice, said: “Everyone at St Benedict’s Hospice would like to congratulate Mark Allison on his latest fund-raising achievement.
“We are all so proud of him and are so grateful for his continued support. His support has been steadfast over the last 17 years and we are delighted he has completed the run.”
l To make a donation visit www.rungeordierun.com