HE’S already conquered America, now running man Mark Allison is set to trek across Australia to help raise funds for a Wearside hospice.
The 40-year-old, who recently completed a punishing route from the West to East coast of the United States, has revealed he will run 2,600 miles from Perth to Sydney, battling blistering heat and negotiating hazardous terrain.
Covering up to 41 miles per day, he aims to complete the feat, which includes the Nullabor Plain desert area of the Outback, in just 70 days.
It is hoped the sponsored event will raise £50,000 for St Benedict’s Hospice, in Monkwearmouth and the Children’s Foundation.
“This is the third major charity challenge I have set myself and it will be more gruelling and tougher than ever before,” said Mark.
“In order to raise another £50,000 for the two charities, it had to be far more difficult than running across the U.S. or from John O’Groats to Land’s End.
“Running across Australia presents a whole new set of challenges.
“Of course, there are the extreme daily distances and temperatures to cope with.
“The planning and logistics associated with the route and linking up with the support team are on a whole new level to previous runs.
“Australia is an amazing country and it seemed fitting to complete my challenge there.”
Mark, pictured, is planning to start his challenge on October 16, 2013, at Perth, in Western Australia and finish on Christmas Eve, at Bondi Beach, Sydney.
“As well as satisfying the sponsors, my motivation to complete it in the tight timescales that I have to finish in time for Christmas, so I can spend it with my wife Katy and son Jack,” he said.
“We’ve never spent a Christmas apart and I plan to keep it that way.”
Mark, of Shotley Bridge, completed his 3,100-mile, 100-day America challenge in August, raising more than £100,000 for his nominated charities.
His mother Margery spent her final days in St Benedict’s Hospice as her battle against cancer came to an end in 1995.
He ran 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.
Mark is currently selling commemorative T-shirts to mark his U.S. challenge which are available from his website.
To follow Mark’s progress for his 2013 challenge or to make a donation, visit his blog at www.rungeordierun.com.