The plan (and I do love a good plan) is to run an average of 31 miles a day for 100 days. You might want to read that bit again! I'll be running an average of 31 (THIRTY ONE) miles a day for 100 (ONE HUNDRED) days! Yes, that's right I'll be running it. Not walking. Not cycling. Not driving. RUNNING (and possibly crawling on my hands and knees at times!) I feel faint all of a sudden! Pass me another stottie!
All funds raised, both on justgiving and offline, will go to St Benedict's Hospice (See justgiving.com/rungeordierun1) and The Children's Foundation (See justgiving.com/rungeordierun2). The aim, albeit a very ambitious one, is to raise at least £50,000 for those 2 great North East Charities. This is £16,000 more than I raised by running 874 miles from John O'Groats to Lands End in 37 days during the Summer of 2007. It's a massive, massive target and I hope you'll agree that this challenge is deserving of your sponsorship!
The 3100 mile run, the huge fundraising target and everything else that goes with this event is ambitious to say the least. But to try and do this, while being an ambassador for the North East of England, is a massive honour! It's not something I take for granted and I want to show the world that us Geordies are made of stern stuff.
At the time of writing, I know of only 14 people from the UK who have crossed the USA since the first one in 1928. Not one of them came from Geordieland. It's time to draw a black and white line across that map!
I must stress that I'm saving furiously to fund this event myself. All overheads will be coming out of my own pocket (and the bairn's money box again! Oh and the wife's housekeeping!). Every single penny pledged will be passed on to the 2 charities I'm running for. And that's the great thing about justgiving.com. It allows you the sponsor to donate with the confidence of knowing that your pledge is being passed on to the charity directly. Brilliant!
Now the serious bit. Why are you raising funds for The Children's Foundation, I hear you ask. It has always been my aim to run for a local children's charity and after doing extensive research this one is up there with the most deserving of them!
Have a read of this from their website - "The Children's Foundation raises essential funds for medical and lifestyle research to combat childhood diseases and conditions such as cerebral palsy and autism. It supports NHS service delivery and a number of innovative, community-based projects, designed to improve and protect the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Through our partnership programmes, we strive to address key child health issues for this region: smoking, exercise & obesity, disability, mental health and child safety, to help children in North East England but ultimately children everywhere.".
The other charity, St Benedict's Hospice, is also a very deserving one. In 1995, my Mam spent her final days battling cancer in the Hospice. The very caring and professional Hospice staff ensured she was as comfortable as she could be and gave her a dignified end to her life. I'm indebted to them for this act of care and kindness and this is a debt of gratitude I hope to be able to repay for as long as I can. I'll also be running in memory of my Dad who died from cancer in 1988 and my brother who died from a brain hemorrhage in 1990.
It would be an honour to run in the memory of another 97 names. One for each day of the run. I'll announce details of that list nearer the time of the run.
To finish on a lighter note, I'd like to thank you for taking time out to read all about the next big run across the USA. Please consider sponsoring me. Any amount, no matter how large or small would be greatly appreciated.
Details of my training, the actual run itself and all the tomfoolery that goes with it can be found on www.runGEORDIErun.com.
Thanks in anticipation of your support.
All the best!
Mark Allison (just a civil servant's son from Jesmond!).
PS. If you're a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.
Run Geordie Run! Children's Foundation.
Fundraising for The Children's Foundation
The Children's Foundation focus on improving the health and well-being of children and young people in the North-East. We fund practical interventions and a number of community based projects to improve the health and well-being of children and young people in the region.
Charity Registration No. 1000013