Sunday, 24 April 2011

A great send off.

Saturday morning was the last big day of training for me before I set off for LA on Tuesday. It was a fabulous morning for exercise yesterday and things got off to a great start with David Fairlamb's Beach Bootcamp down at Longsands, Tynemouth. During the warmup, Dave told the 50 participants all about my up and coming run across the USA. The highlight of the session, for me, was running up the ramp from the beach to the promenade. 3 times! 

At the end of the session, Dave gave an emotional farewell speech. I think, as my mentor, Dave is living this run just as much as I am. I do know that he loses sleep thinking about the distance and the logistics. He gave the ultimate tribute when he said that "In 15 years of personal training, I have never met anyone so mentally tough as Mark Allison". Well I've got to say that it is with the help of Dave and Personal Trainer, Mark Fleming that that is the case.

I was really pleased to meet one of Dave's new Personal Trainers, none other than Great Britain's medal winning swimmer Chris Cook (pictured below). Chris took gold in the 50 and 100 metre Breaststroke in the Commonwealth games in Melbourne in 2006. He also represented Great Britain in the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games! It was such an inspiring honour to meet an Olympian and all round nice guy to boot!

Once Beach Bootcamp was finished it was time to head to The Millennium Bridge for a final crack at the Peter's Pies 6 Tyne Bridges Challenge.  There was a good turnout of 9 runners (and later on 2 cyclists) and it was a fitting send off in glorious sunshine.  In time honoured tradition, of course, I finished dead last. I was grateful to the lads for stopping every now and again for me to catch up. They were a fit bunch!

I now have a couple of days to spend with Katy (Mrs Run Geordie Run) and Jack (Run Geordie Run Junior) before setting off to LA on Tuesday morning. To say that I'm eager to get the run across the USA underway is an absolute understatement! 

I've been happy for a few months that my head is in the right place. I couldn't possibly be any better mentally prepared than I am at this moment in time. Physically, I could be in much better shape. I'm carrying a lot of weight but this will sort itself out in the USA and them some! 

Thanks to everyone who has made a donation this week. The current total is £28,376.70. This is fantastic news for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation.

If you would like to sponsor my 3100 mile run across the USA then please use the following links. The good thing about using the justgiving website is that your donation is made securely and goes direct to the 2 charities; St Benedict's Hospice (Charity No. 1019410) and The Children's Foundation (Charity No. 1000013).