Monday, 28 February 2011

Support team sought

When I ran the 874 mile route from John O'Groats to Lands End in 2007 it was done with the help of a first class road side support team. They were a team full of "characters" and a lot of the success of that particular run was down to their hard work and support.

Over the last few months, I've been putting together a similar team for the journey across the USA. I now have just 36 days left to fill with drivers. The gaps in the schedule are from Helper in Utah (A) on the 29th May to Hannibal in Missouri on the 3rd July. There is still the stretch across the Rocky Mountains in Colorado up for grabs.

If you would like to join the USA 2011 Support Team as a driver then here are a few facts:
  • You will be required to drive an RV which we will be using for transport and accommodation all across the USA.
  • Team members are required to commit at least 14 full days of their time for support duties.
  • Team members are required to pay for their own flights.
  • Team members are required to arrange their own Visas where applicable.
  • The accommodation and petrol costs will be payed for by myself.
  • Team members are required to pay for their own food.
  • Team members must have a sense of humour!
  • Team members must be able to encourage and motivate.
If you think you fit the bill and would like to be part of the USA 2011 Support Team then please click here to apply. If you have any questions then I can be reached on

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A good face for radio...fortunately!

The Run Geordie Run PR wagon continued to roll on and on today with Metro Radio airing an interview I did last Friday during the morning news bulletins. You can listen to it here.

This evening I was live on North Manchester FM's late evening show presented by two lovely people; Julie Burnell and Charlie Walduck. I absolutely love doing live interviews so this was a real treat. More importantly, it was also a very good opportunity to spread the word about the run and the 2 charities further afield. Julie and Charlie will be keeping tabs on my progress across the USA and it's great to have their support.

Next week promises to be equally as busy on the radio front. On Tuesday morning I will be live on the Gary and Lisa Breakfast Show. That's them pictured with a Run Geordie Run t-shirt in front of the legendary 08:15 vending machine.

On Tuesday evening I will be giving Simon Pryde, John Anderson and Marco Gabbiadini an update on my progress on BBC Newcastle's Total Sport show. I hope to be a studio guest on this show before I set off on the run.

This radio coverage together with numerous up and coming newspaper, magazine and website appearances should really help to spread the word of the run across the USA to plenty of people. Finally, with local BBC Look North on board (and the possibility of national BBC coverage as result) it's safe to say that publicity for the run is pretty much where it should be.

It's at this point, I'd like to thank all of the presenters, producers and journalists involved. Helping to publicise not only the run but also the good work done by St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation is such an important part of making the run across the USA a success.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Kit Sponsorship available

Local IT company Digital Spark are now the main kit sponsors of Run Geordie Run. All of my running kit is now branded with their logo as you can see below. This is the kit that will be seen by countless numbers of people as I run across the USA. With appearances lined up on the BBC and numerous magazines, newspapers and websites excellent exposure is guaranteed for my friends at Digital Spark.

There is still room for other sponsor information on my kit. If you would like your company name or logo adding, then please drop me a line at for further details.

Support Team

There are still vacancies for the Support Team for the month of June. If you are interested in applying then please click here.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Run Geordie Run T-Shirts - SOLD OUT

A huge thank you goes to everyone who has bought a Run Geordie Run t-shirt over the last 2 years. There are 670 of you out there and you have raised a most impressive £7,806.84 for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation.  T-Shirts have sold for a minimum of £10, with the full £10 going to the 2 charities. This would not have been possible without Peter McCowie and paying the production costs for the t-shirts and making them at cost price.

Sadly, there are no Run Geordie Run t-shirts left. However, if I get enough interest, I hope to have a limited run of t-shirts produced to celebrate the run across the USA. I've had a design in mind for a long time and it will be great to see it turned into a t-shirt. Watch this space near the end of the run (around about Philadelphia).

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Sponsorship Opportunity

I've had a couple of seemingly interested parties enquiring about sponsoring the "Team Bus" this year. Alas, the enquiries came to nothing so I'm still on the lookout for a sponsor.

If you are an individual or company who would like to sponsor the RV that will house me and my support team (or Team Bus as I like to call it) then please drop me a line at for further info. I can offer some really good publicity in return and your logo splashed all over the Team Bus.

Friday, 11 February 2011

The very first draft cover for the book

Here it is! The very first draft cover of my book. I'm still trying to get a good strong testimonial quote for the cover but it's pretty much there or thereabouts I think.

I've been told the yellow writing on the front can be all embossed and shiny. Nice!

Last of the Run Geordie Run t-shirts

This is a warning for those readers who have always wanted to order a Run Geordie Run t-shirt but never quite got round to it. Almost 800 have been sold so far and right now there are only 19 Run Geordie Run t-shirts left in sizes SMALL and LARGE. Yes that's right. Only 19!

If you would like a t-shirt then they are only £10 (plus P&P) with the FULL AMOUNT going to charity. 

Please click here to order.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sponsorship Landmark

It doesn't seem like 5 minutes since I reported that the £21'000 limit had been reached. It was in fact only 10 days ago! 

I can now report that the £22,000 barrier has been smashed and the fund for the 2 charities currently stands at a whopping £22,440.34. That's £11,018.84 for St Benedict's Hospice and £11,421.50 for The Children's Foundation.

Thanks to everyone who has made a donation so far. Your support is really appreciated. If you would like to sponsor my run across the USA, starting in just 80 days time, then donations can be made at (St Benedict's Hospice) or (The Children's Foundation).

Monday, 7 February 2011

Read all aboot it.

I'm very pleased to announce that not long after I finish the run across the USA  a book will be published entitled "Run For Home".

The book, published by Tonto Books, will be my account of not only the coast to coast run across the USA but the events of my life that have influenced my decision to undertake such a huge run.

Industry website, recently reported "Tonto Books has acquired a non-fiction title which will chart a charity runner's journey across America.

World rights were acquired directly from the writer Mark Allison by publisher Stu Wheatman.

The book, provisionally entitled Run For Home, follows self-professed "overweight, pie-loving, football-mad Geordie" Alison as he attempts to run from California to New York, aiming to complete the journey in 100 days. He will run an average of 31 miles a day and is aiming to raise £50,000, to be divided between St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation.

Wheatman said: "Mark is a true one-off. So far, he has covered hundreds of miles raising money for charity. . .

"We're going to be writing the book as he runs, sending it to print and aim to launch it as he completes the 3,100 miles in New York. It's a long shot, but it might just work."". 

I'm really looking forward to working on the book. To have a permanent reminder of all that went on during the run across the USA is going to be brilliant for me personally. "Something to show the Grandchildren" as they say.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Something for the weekend

I'm now entering the final phase of training for the run across the USA which starts in 85 days!  With work, family and other commitments it's very difficult to plan runs during the week. It's a case of doing what I can when I can. Thankfully, this is not the case on a typical weekend so I've been able to put together the following nice little schedule for the next 8 weeks.


5th - 10miles - Shotley Bridge to Metrocentre
6th - 11 miles - Shotley Bridge to Whittonstall and back

12th - 22 miles - Castleside to Middleton
13th - 22 miles - Middleton to Castleside

19th - 32 miles - Shotley Bridge to Alston
20th - 11 miles - Shotley Bridge to Whittonstall and back

26th - Beach Bootcamp
26th - 10 miles - Tynemouth to Gosforth Chippy
27th - 11 miles - Shotley Bridge to Whittonstall and back


5th - Beach Bootcamp
5th - 10 miles - Tynemouth to Gosforth Chippy
6th - 32 miles - Alston to Shotley Bridge

12th - 32 miles - Shotley Bridge to Allenheads
13th - 11 miles - Shotley Bridge to Whittonstall and back

18th - 36 miles - Edinburgh to Melrose
19th - 39 miles - Melrose to Otterburn
20th - 32 miles - Otterburn to Newcastle

26th - Beach Bootcamp
27th - 32 miles - Battle in the Borders

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Thanks to Northern Runner

A special thank you is due to local specialist running shop, Northern Runner for taking up the option of  sponsoring for another year. This is the 3rd year that the blog has been sponsored by Northern Runner. Sponsor money has already been sent to St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation and the total now stands at £21,833.34.

My association with Northern Runner goes back quite a few years now. I've bought shoes and clothing from there for many of my major runs. It was actually John Lavender, one of the staff, who put me on to Brooks shoes back in 2007 a few months before I ran 874 miles from John O'Groats to Lands End. The rest, as they say, is history and those shoes saw me safely to Lands End while the run raised £34,108 for St Benedict's Hospice.

So I'd like to give a sincere thanks to Northern Runner for their continued support of this website and more importantly of the 2 charities I'm raising funds for. From my own experiences over the years, I would recommend them to anyone who is looking for new shoes or clothing. The shop is located on Low Friar Street in Newcastle just down from The Gate complex. Don't forget to tell them I sent you!

Ankle progress

It's been just over 8 months since I had 2 metal screws inserted into the broken medial malleolus bone in my ankle. Such has been the quality of my recovery that I sometimes forget that I ever fell off my bike that hot May day.

With hindsight, running from Edinburgh to Newcastle last November seems like it was a turning point in my recovery. Since that 107 mile effort over 3 days, I seem to have regained the full range and flexibility in my ankle. I was told in August, that that may not happen. I was also told in A&E last May to "forget all about the run". Thankfully, with a careful and measured period of rehab, there's no forgetting here that I'll be running coast to coast across the USA in 86 days time.

Regular readers will remember that bookmakers Paddy Power made a donation to the 2 charities and my right ankle is now known as "The Paddy Power Bionic Ankle".

The ankle has certainly been put through it's paces recently with plenty of hills and a mixture of terrain. In October, due to a lack of flexibility, hills caused me a bit of a problem. Now, though, with a full range of movement things are very much back to normal.

As an added bonus, last month I walked through a security metal detector at the US Embassy and I didn't set it off! Brilliant!