Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Run Geordie Run interviewed

For those of a black and white persuasion, please look out for a recent interview I gave in issue 261 of The Mag. It's available in many newsagents and supermarkets in the North East and also on match day around St James' Park.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Coming soon…...

Coming soon at the bargain price of £12 is this Limited Edition Run Geordie Run t-shirt to commemorate the succesful 3100 mile run across the USA. The front of the t-shirt (left below) shows the run details and the names of the 2 charities. Also present, are 2 stars which will also feature on my new running kit for the next big run in 2013. The stars represent my 2 major runs to date; John O'Groats to Lands End in 2007 and California to New York in 2011. 

The back of the t-shirt (above right) has the designer's take on the Manhattan skyline. An image that was a sight for sore eyes for me on the 8th August after 100 days of running. Watch this space for details on how to order coming soon. 

Thanks to Dave Shenton of Shenton Creative for doing a brilliant job with the design.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Leisureworks Sport and Physical Activity Awards

I was asked way back in January to give a talk at the Leisureworks Sport and Physical Activity Awards. The challenge was to talk about the run across the USA in just my 20 allotted minutes. I now have an outline for an entertaining speech and I just leave it until the final delivery to ad-lib a bit and slot in various bits of humour. I actually won an award when I was 12 for public speaking. Who knew that one day I'd be doing it in front of so many people.

The awards night was held at The Empire Theatre in Consett.  It's a venue that has had investment over recent years and is full of character. Also full of character was the lovely Anna Foster (pictured below) from Metro Radio who was the compere for the evening. She is so down to earth and I really enjoyed listening to her banter on stage.

The evening started with entertainment from the brilliant dancers instructed by Leisureworks' Community Dance Instructor Kristin Abbott. This was followed by an impressive demonstration of Shikkari Karate Kai. It was like a mini variety show right in the middle of Consett. Brilliant stuff!

Those guys were a tough act to follow and when Anna introduced me onto the stage I knew I had to be on my game.

I really enjoyed talking about the run across the USA and all of the challenges that it brought. I even managed to get a few laughs here and there, much to my surprise. The crowd were great and I finished off my set with a 3 minute video which summed up perfectly what I'd been talking about. After a lovely round of applause I introduced a Zumba demonstration, led by Zoe Price. I just about managed to vacate the stage before the act started. This had been my biggest concern of the whole evening. Although, with the adrenalin still pumping after my speech I could have quite fancied a bit of Zumba on stage with the girls!

I spent the interval talking to some lovely people who were very interested in the run and had lots of questions to ask. One such person was Wayne Abbott (pictured below) who had a running background himself.

After the interval, it was down to business. There were 13 awards categories and it was brilliant to see so many worthy winners receiving their trophy. The whole process went very smoothly with Anna Foster pulling the strings on stage and various people presenting the trophies. I bet the Oscars don't run that smoothly!

Imagine my utter shock when, during the Physical Activity Achievement of the Year award sponsored by Northumbria Water, I saw my name on the screen with the other nominees. It is no word of a lie that my first thought was "What a coincidence. There's another Mark Allison here tonight.". When my name was read out as the winner, I even paused for a few seconds just to make sure that the other Mark Allison didn't get up to receive the award. 

I was absolutely gobsmacked and delighted when I got up on stage to receive the award; a nice glass trophy. It was just one more unbelievable thing that has happened to me since finishing the run across the USA. My name was actually in the programme as a nominee. I'd read the thing from cover to cover before the event started. I didn't even see my name, so the whole thing was such a surprise. I'm so sorry for pipping the other 5 nominees to the post. I'm sure we were all worthy winners in our own way.

Other than the public speaking trophy that I won 28 years ago, I've never won a thing. The little beauty pictured below is going to take pride of place in Run Geordie Run HQ. It means a massive amount to me as did the actual nomination, as did the reception I received at the end of my speech.

Without taking the award into account, I had a fantastic night at the awards ceremony. There's a lot of talent in Derwentside. 

The icing on the cake was the fact that Shotley Bridge and Benfieldside Tennis Club won the Sports Club of the Year. It's not only my local tennis club but the man who should have been there to accept the award, Phil Atess (pictured below), played a huge part in my run across the USA. Unfortunately, Phil was actually playing in a tennis tournament and couldn't be there on the night.

Phil ran from John O'Groats to Lands End in 1992 raising over £10,000 for charity. Phil coached me at Shotley Bridge and Benfieldside Tennis Club. He was responsible for proving to me that a person can run considerable distances with the right amount of training and preparation. His own experiences in running have influenced me greatly. It is for that reason that I dedicate my Physical Activity Achievement of the Year award to Phil Atess.

Thank you to the Cradlewell Clinic

I've been visiting the Cradlewell Clinic in Holly Avenue, Jesmond for the past 4 weeks. My recovery is progressing so well as a result and I'm in excellent hands with Alison the podiatrist. She really is worth her weight in gold! 

Not only do I receive first class treatment but each session is an education. I ask so many questions during the sessions and I've learned a bit about many aspects of the treatment, recovery and bio-mechanics in general.

Thanks to Alison's expertise, all sections of my legs are now in tip top shape and the integrity of the skin and nails on my feet has improved so much since I finished running across the USA. 

I'm continuing to play the waiting game as the nerves in my feet are taking a while to regenerate. My left foot is making excellent progress with a lot of sensation returning to my mid foot and a few toes too. Due to last year's broken right ankle (now called the Paddy Power Bionic Ankle of course), progress with the recovery of my right foot has been much slower. Alison has taken measures to speed up the recovery process but, so far, the benefits have only mainly been seen in my left foot. 

The current state of my right foot means that both the midfoot and toes go completely numb after 5 miles at a slow pace (9 - 10 minute miles) or 3 miles at a fast pace (7 - 8 minute miles). This isn't going to stop me running as fast as I can at the Great North Run on Sunday. Hopefully, I can get round in under 2 hours.

I'll be seeing Alison again on Monday to assess any damage and to discuss the ongoing treatment during this period of rehabilitation. It goes without saying that, I wouldn't hesitate in recommending the Cradlewell Clinic to anyone who needs podiatry treatment. They even do sports massage, gait analysis and acupuncture!

Friday, 16 September 2011


Last Sunday I had the honour of starting the Newbiggin Sprint Triathlon. It was a serious event with the final chance to record a qualifying time for next year's European Championships at stake. 

The first wave of 3 got underway just after lunch. The conditions were very difficult with the swimmers being battered by the waves. The RNLI were on hand to help a few people out who got into difficulty. I was very impressed with the safety aspect of the swimming. Each and every participant deserved a medal in my opinion for braving those unforgiving waves. I talked to a lot of the athletes after the race and most of them said that they had difficulty in seeing the first marker buoy in the sea such were the height of the waves.

Shortly after I sounded the horn for the second wave to get underway I made my way to the main street in Newbiggin to see the cyclists. I thought the swim was dangerous but it had nothing on this section of the race. 

Some of the folk in Newbiggin decided to start crossing the road without giving much thought to the speeding cyclists passing by. I witnessed 3 near misses and possibly the most skilful piece of cycling I've ever seen. The competitor in question swerved to avoid, what seemed at the time like being, a fatal collision between cyclist and pedestrian.

It all made for a gripping spectacle! Thankfully things calmed down on the running section and I watched each and every competitor finish, including the very last lady who I saved special applause for. I was thrilled to talk briefly to the spectators and hand out trophies in a number of categories. Pictured below are Joyce Mark (2nd overall woman) and Jane Mooney (1st overall woman).

Pictured below are James Wilson (2nd overall man) and Ben Newman (1st overall man).

All in all, it had been a cracking day's racing from a determined set of athletes. I've never before seen triathlon this close up and it really opened my eyes to how difficult, and often dangerous, a sport it can be. It was brilliant to watch and I have every respect for those taking part.

I was asked many times during the day if I'd ever fancy giving a triathlon a go. My answer was that I'd leave this kind of madness to the experts. I'll stick with my running thank you.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Run Geordie Run joins Tyne Bridge Harriers

One of my biggest regrets in life was not joining a running club when I used to run 5 and a half minute miles in my early twenties. I'm sure that I could have become a half decent club runner had I had the right advice and guidance back then. 

Imagine my delight, when the opportunity to join one of the region's newest clubs came along last week. On Saturday, I joined Tyne Bridge Harriers and met some of the members down on the Quayside, fittingly, with the Tyne Bridge in full view behind us. 

I was made to feel very welcome straight away and it was a real pleasure to talk to such an enthusiastic group of people. 

I'm very much looking forward to trying to get back to where I was as a runner when I was in my early twenties. Whether or not that is possible remains to be seen. In the process, I hope to do the club proud. It will be an absolute honour for an everyday runner like me to pull on the club vest and represent Tyne Bridge Harriers.

I can promise hard work, endeavour and a keen willingness to listen and learn from those around me. I haven't ran at my current weight for well over a decade. In many respects, I feel like I'm starting from scratch. I get a strong feeling, though, that my running will improve as a result of being part of Tyne Bridge Harriers. 

The Run Geordie Run Ball 2011

So much time and effort went into making the Run Geordie Run Ball a success on September 3rd at the Gosforth Park Marriott. Mrs Run Geordie Run hadn’t slept for weeks due to planning and organising the sell out night and I’m pleased to say that the hard work paid off.

The evening got underway at 7 with a champagne reception. My beautiful Dolly Dealers (aka Maddidolls pictured below with a lucky guest) made their way round the guests selling the numbered apples and sweety bracelets. These items, of course, would see the lucky winner bag an Apple iPad 2 and a Pandora Bracelet laden with charms. 

The draw was made later in the evening and Kaye Bartlett won the iPad 2 and Ada Bell won the Pandora Bracelet. Thanks to DH Fuels for providing the iPad2 and Pandora Bracelet.

Real Radio's Gary and Lisa got things underway just before 8 with a game of heads and tails. This was a great ice breaker and the winner went home with a nice bottle of bubbly. 

Dinner soon followed and I was honoured to have Stephen Miller and his family, George Caulkin from The Times, Liz Luff from The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, my Aunty Joyce and her family accompany Katy, Jack and myself on our table. 

The table raffle was drawn soon after dinner and we had 11 top prizes to be won. It was originally 8 but such was the generosity of so many people we had a few extra ones thrown in for good measure. Gary and Lisa worked the audience with some funny banter and the lovely laid back atmosphere of the night continued. Although I agree with that statement wholeheartedly, they aren't my words. I've had a lot of lovely feedback since the ball from so many people who were there on the night.

The evening's excitement was cranked up a notch when Jason Isaacs took to the stage with his big band and glamourous backing singers. It was at this time that the casino tables opened. The prize for winning the most chips was a flat screen TV. Thanks to Chapman Vents for supplying the TV. What with having a top act on stage and people trying to win as many chips on the tables there was a real sense of Vegas in the air.

Jason Isaacs, the band and the backing singers. I'd spoken to Jason during the afternoon's sound check and it was obvious to me that he was well up for this gig. He had been following my run across the USA and he gave everything on the night to entertain the audience. For me, he is the perfect showman. He captivates and charms all who hears his voice. He's got the coolest moves going too. 

It wasn't long before the dance floor filled up and Jack (Run Geordie Run Jr) wasted no time in cutting in for a dance with Sports Therapist Kirsty from my USA support team.

After his set, Jason Isaacs did an unexpected bonus number with guest, Daryl Sparey who made a generous contribution to the 2 charities for the honour. The impromptu duet of "That's Life"  went down really well with the crowd and both Daryl and Jason received a standing ovation from the audience. Thanks to Jason for being such a good sport and thanks to Daryl of course for his donation.

Once everyone had recovered from the excitement of the show, it was time for me to talk about the run across the USA and get all of the thank you's in that I had the time for. I took to the stage and the standing ovation that followed will stay with me forever. As I said at the time, I'd thought about the moment that I was stood delivering the speech many times while running in the USA. The moment seemed like a dream.  Like many other moments since I finished the run across the USA, I've been convinced that this is all a figment of my imagination. I've been convinced that I'm going to wake up back on highway 36 in Kansas at any moment. After some of the low points on the run the moment I stood in front of the crowd was right at the other end of the scale.

I was really pleased with my speech. I took very little notice of what I'd written down and just spoke from the heart. A 3 minute video played at the end. This really helped get the message across as to how tough the run was and what it meant to me personally to finish within 100 days. As the video ended I returned to the stage with a clenched first raised to yet another standing ovation. Without doubt it was one of the proudest moments of my life. All of the pain. All of the tears. All of the sweat. All of the blood. It was all worth it for that one moment. Thank you to everyone for their kind support.

I've received a lot of feedback about the speech since I delivered it. It is clear that people want to hear a lot more about the run across the USA. Sadly there wasn't enough time on the night but I'll be putting this right on November 10th with a talk in with the chance to ask questions too. There are so many incidents of the run that I can't talk about on this blog. Rest assured I'll be answering any question that is asked of me that night. Watch this space for more details on the talk in very soon. Just remember to keep November 10th free if you can.

After I finished talking, Peregrine Solly from The Children's Foundation talked about the work that they do and he heaped a lot of praise on myself and Katy and Jack too. Katy, almost single handedly organised the ball and Jack was a star on the night, helping out here and there as needed. It was really appreciated that he took time out to recognise the hard work that had gone into making the night such a success.

The final event of the evening was the auction. Framed garments from Stephen Miller, David Beckham and myself raised £1600 between us. The training and sparring session with boxer Tony Jeffries made £600 as did the 1 week stay in the Villa in Spain. During the auction we announced that Steven Moore had won the flat screen TV by winning the most chips on the casino tables. 

Gary was the auctioneer for the evening and he did a very good job indeed. He squeezed every last pound out of the very generous audience. 

The festivities continued right up until 1 am with some cracking tunes delighting the busy dance floor. A notable performance from George Caulkin (pictured below with Helen and Dianne) caught quite a few people's attention. We weren't sure where he'd been taught some of "those" moves. I think the general consensus was that they were the kind of moves that you just can't teach people. Sadly, the images I have of "Disco Pants Caulkin" are not suitable for this family website.

As the clock ticked past 1, the party moved into the hotel bar. Paul and Adam (pictured below) stayed in the function room and made sure that all the wine bottles on their table were completely empty. In their own words they were "doing their good deed for the day".

All in all, it was a fitting celebration of the 3100 mile run across the USA. It was everything, and more, that I hoped and imagined it would be. Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket and helped make the sell out event such a wonderful evening. 

The charity ball made a whopping £10,000 profit. It would have been even more had there been time to fit all of the auction items in. Since the ball, the extra items have raised an extra £950 so far and there are still a couple more to go. We also didn't have the staff to run the smaller raffle that we had planned. That raffle will take place at the talk in in November. As a gesture of goodwill, we will be putting all of the guests names into the hat for that particular raffle. There are some brilliant prizes to be won. 

Speaking of staff, thanks to the merry band of volunteers and helpers that made the night a success. Namely Kerry McCormack and Sandra Allen from The Children's Foundation and my wife Katy and son Jack. Thanks also to Lisa and the rest of the staff at The Marriott for being so helpful.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Cherry Active - The secret weapon

"How on earth did you do it?" is a commonly asked question when people talk to me about the 3100 mile run across the USA. One of the main reasons that I was able to run day in and day out for 100 days was the use of a recovery product called Cherry Active.

Cherry Active was recommended to me by Dr Glyn Howatson at the University of Northumbria. Glyn is the Laboratory Director and Associate Director for Research in the Centre of Sport Exercise and Wellbeing at the university. Readers will remember that, apart from this recommendation, Glyn arranged for me to train in the University's state of the art environmental chamber. I was able to train at a simulated 11,000 ft and at high temperatures. Not only was I was well looked after by the PhD students, Jamie Tallent and Chris Toms, but I also learned a lot from them during the training sessions. Looking back, the time I spent in the chamber, made such a huge difference to my preparations for the USA.

Cherry Active made a monumental difference to the actual run across the USA. It's a fantastic recovery product and using it on a daily basis in the USA meant that the aches and pains in my legs were kept to an absolute minimum. Cherry Active contains a high concentrate of Montmorency cherries. This particular type of cherry is packed with high levels of antioxidants and flavonoids, including Anthocyanin and Melotonin. Incidentally, it also counts towards the 5-a-day target. When I compared Cherry Active with other similar cherry drinks I found that it had a far higher concentrate of cherries than any of the other products. This is confirmed in the literature that I got with the product that claimed the product had "8260 ORAC units – approximately the same antioxidants as you’d find in 23 portions of fruit and veg".

I used the Cherry Active concentrate in the USA, mixing 30 mls of Cherry Active with 500 mls of water. You can also buy capsules. I've never tried them however. It is recommended that you take the drink within 30 minutes of finishing exercise. The effects the next day are unlike anything I've experienced before. In simple terms, if you have a hard session and you know you're going to suffer with muscle soreness the following day then you probably won't suffer anything with Cherry Active. It is that good a product. This is how it works for me and I've heard the same from the other people that I've recommended it to.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Cherry Active for supplying me with their product during the run across the USA. I will continue to use it going forwards and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone to use. If you do use it, then I'd appreciate your feedback at

My first use of the product was back in March. You can read all about that here.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Olympic Torch Nominations

Thank you to everyone who has taken time to nominate me to carry the Olympic Torch. I've received hundreds of nominations and I'm slowly but surely working my way through them.

It's a time consuming process. Each nomination takes just over a minute for me to review and accept. Multiply that by the number of nominations and you'll appreciate that it's taking quite a while to get them done.  I'm doing my best, though, to get through as many as I can before the deadline.

The reasons for nomination, given by so many people, are very touching indeed. The fact that so many folk have nominated me means so much to me personally. Probably more than carrying the torch itself.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Auction 1 complete

****LAST UPDATED 10/09/2011 06:45****

The first lot of auction items closed at midnight on Thursday. The winning bids were:


For a full description on the items, please click here

Coming soon - the final 2 items that we just simply ran out of time on the night to auction. So look out for a Trial Lesson in a 2 seater Cessna aircraft and a tour around the Bentley Factory.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Status update

I've managed to do a couple of 5 mile runs so far this week with mixed results! Monday's run saw me start with a 7.5 minute mile pace before knocking off a few 8 minute miles. That was the first time that I had been able to get out for a decent run since returning to the UK. 

My initial observation was that I never fully felt in control of my pace. I haven't ran, fully rested, at this low weight since the mid 90s. Part of me wanted to run as fast as I could. However, the sensible part was telling me that I'm still recovering from the run across the USA. I'm going to have to be patient to allow a full recovery before really getting stuck in to some good running.

At this stage of my treatment, Alison the Podiatrist from the Cradlewell Clinic would not be best pleased with me running this quick. I've got another session with her tonight where I'll, unfortunately, be reporting that the recovery in my right foot is not as good as my left foot. Between miles 4 and 5 of my runs this week both feet, but especially my right foot, were in discomfort. It's not pain as such but the numb feeling I'm experiencing is not pleasant all the same. I think that all of the dancing at the ball last weekend hasn't helped but that's a very small price to pay!

One thing is for sure, it's a great feeling to be running again. Once the Great North Run is over I'll be able to sit down and have a good think about how I take my running to the next level. Working on building my strength with Mark and Dave in the gym is a big part of my plans. Also, firmly in my plans is joining the Tyne Bridge Harriers. Being surrounded by the quality of runners that they have will benefit my running greatly. I'm looking forward to meeting some of the members for the first time this Saturday during a short run around the Quayside. Their kit is black and white! Which is nice.

If you would like to join me for 5k (3.1 miles) round the Great North Way route on the Quayside then you can find out more here. All participants will receive a free Great Way timing chip. As the Journal article explains "The Great North Way is the first permanent interactive timing system in the UK and provides a training environment for runners, cyclists and walkers alike.".

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Auction latest

The first lot of auction items close at midnight this Thursday. The latest high bids are:


For a full description on the items and details on how to bid, please click here.

£100,000 raised!

Fantastic news readers! The charity fund has now burst through over the £100k barrier and now stands at £100,002.56. I'm so pleased that all of the hard work has paid off and the rewards for St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation are there for all to be seen. It's a staggering sum of money. Absolutely staggering! Thanks so so much to everyone who has donated and made that possible.

News of the total broke on earlier this evening "Another big thanks to everyone who continues to support Mark Allison's charity fundraising efforts - especially all those folks who attended his homecoming celebration at Gosforth Park on Saturday night.

So far that event has generated £10K in funds to benefit Mark's two chosen charities, pushing his running total up to an almighty £98.5K. And just before 8pm on Tuesday night, the £100K total was reached.

That total will continue to grow, with some auction items still available (listed online at Mark's website) and monies due from other events still to be included.

PS: by popular request, details of a further night of celebration at a city centre venue with what Mark calls "dirt cheap" ticket prices will be announced soon.

I'd also like to thank Daryl Sparey who paid £500 to the 2 charities to sing on stage with Jason Isaacs after his set at the ball. This is the man in action.

Thanks Daryl and thanks to everyone else who attended the sell out Run Geordie Run Charity Ball helping to raise £10,000 on the night for the 2 charities.

The latest fundraising total

Thanks so much to everyone who gave so generously at the Run Geordie Run Ball. The night raised a fantastic £10,000. The staff at The Children's Foundation and St Benedict's Hospice were staggered when I told them yesterday. It's a fantastic sum of money and puts the current total at an incredible £98,417.56.


Still to come this year are numerous speaking engagements where I will be donating my fee and any expenses received to the charities. 

There has also been a lot of enquiries and feedback from the ball about the possibility of putting a second less formal night on. I am currently looking into holding a talk in and Q&A to be held on October 28th. Venue to be decided. Tickets will be dirt cheap and we will be looking for a city centre venue. Watch this space!

Thanks to the unprecedented generosity of so many businesses, there are auction prizes still to be won (See the blog post below). We just ran out of time on the night of the ball to get everything in. There will also be another raffle due to the sheer volume of prizes we still have. 

Thanks to Peter McCowie of McCowie and Co, Accountants and Statutory Auditors there will be a brand new Run Geordie Run t-shirt for purchase. The full amount paid for each t-shirt will go to the 2 charities.

Fundraising for this campaign will be brought to a close during the weekend before Christmas with a fancy dress run from The Children's Foundation in Newcastle to Otterburn. Look out on the A696 for Santa, fairies, elves and a few more surprises that weekend.

So, I'd like to think that the £100,000 mark will be broken for this campaign. Thanks again to everyone who has made a donation to St Benedict's Hospice and The Children's Foundation. Your support is absolutely amazing. 

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Run Geordie Run Auction - LOT A, LOT B, LOT C and LOT D

There were so many superb quality prizes donated for The Run Geordie Run 2011 Ball that we simply ran out of time on the night during the auction. Hosts for the evening, Gary and Lisa, announced on the night that I'd be putting some auction items up on this blog this week. Here are the first few items for your bidding pleasure.

Bids can be made by email to Please copy in Libby from The Children's Foundation ( who will be ensuring that all bids are correct and auction rules are kept to. You can use the link at the bottom of each lot to send the email.

Payment for successful bids is due within 48 hours can be made by debit/credit Card or cheque.

I'll keep all bidders updated via email when they are outbid and will post


This spacious 3 bedroom penthouse is of the highest standard and contains everything to make your stay enjoyable and relaxing. Situated within a quiet urbanization this penthouse will make you feel right at home. Everthing has been finished to the highest standards to give the ultimate feeling of luxury. There are two stunning pool areas to choose from (both with baby pools) surrounded by immaculate well stocked gardens.

The penthouse is only 500m from the nearest blue flag beach, Casares bay. This beach is long and sweeping and is perfect for taking evening strolls into Puerta de la Duquesa. There is a popular beachside fish restaurant which is serves fresh local catch. Even in the height of summer the beach is relatively quiet. Estepona beach (a few minutes' drive away) has fantastic shallow waters which is ideal for those with children or even grown ups who like to 'plodge'.

This penthouse is in a perfect location for families and golfers. Everything you need is only a stone's throw away. With plenty to do for children, and a host of beautiful restaurants, bars and shops, you are sure never to be bored. The area is perfect those who just want to chill out or for the more active holidaymaker the area is perfect for walking, hiking, cycling and climbing (nearby mountain Sierra Bermeja will keep you entertained!).

Situated within a secure gated community this spacious penthouse is finished to an extremely high standard and contains everything you need for your stay. The accommodation is on two levels and has marble flooring and air conditioning throughout.

The lounge has a television, DVD player, SKY digibox (English channels) . There is also an ipod docking station. It has patio doors opening onto the sun terrace which has magnificent spectacular views of the mountains and the Mediterranean.

The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom with a bath, shower, WC, basin and bidet. It also has patio doors onto the sun terrace. There are a further two large bedrooms complimented by en suite facilities

The luxury kitchen is fully equipped with a cooker/hob, dishwasher, microwave, washing machine and a large fridge freezer. There is a large selection of cooking equipment for those who wish to dine al fresco on the balcony.

There are 4 terraces all of which have magnificent views, they also provide the opportunity for catching the sun all day long.

There is also contemporary outdoor dining furniture and a BBQ for those wishing to dine al fresco.

This prize can be taken at any time of year, subject to availability.



This is a worn and laundered Adidas Climacool Run Geordie Run running top. It is framed and ready for hanging. Sponsors logos are all visible with a photograph of me wearing the item. I ran in this shirt  all over the USA. It has seen plenty of action!



This Newcastle United football and book detailing all of Alan Shearer's 206 goals have been signed by Alan himself. The signatures were obtained by my support driver, Steve Harrison, during a golf day up at Matfen Hall.



This is a worn and laundered Adidas Climacool Run Geordie Run polo shirt. It is size large and in excellent condition. When I wasn't running in the USA I sometimes wore this polo shirt.

Watch out for more unique items and an update on the latest bids tomorrow night. I'll be updating my Twitter feed with news of the highest bids throughout the next few days.

A date for your diary!

I'm giving myself another month to conclude the feasibility study that I'm currently undertaking for the next big run. I'll be making an announcement on October 7th as to exactly where and when the next big run is going to take place. I will also know the approximate distance and start and end locations by then too.

Unlike all of the other runs that I've undertaken over the last 17 years, the next one will not be self funded. I will be seeking commercial sponsorship to pay for all of my expenses. I spent £15,000 to make sure the run across the USA happened. I've got no problem with that at all. The fact that, hopefully, £100,000 will be raised makes it all worthwhile. I just can't afford to do that again. I was always going to make the run across the USA the last big run. Given the amount of money raised for the 2 charities, however, there's no way I can consider retirement just yet. 

As I told the guests during my speech at the ball on Saturday, the next big run will be raising the bar in terms of difficulty and risk. If I was, for example, to run back to California from New York, I think the general public would find it difficult to buy into that. The next run has to leave people thinking, "he's never going to be able to do that". In fact, it has to be so difficult that I, myself, go into the training campaign for it with the same doubts. The next run has to be so much more difficult than the 3100 miles across the USA.

The announcement on October 7th is certain to attract a lot of media attention. If you would like further details about how you can get involved in sponsoring the next big run then please do not hesitate to get in touch (via email in the first instance) at

Sunday, 4 September 2011

The Run Geordie Run Charity Ball

Thank you to everyone who attended the sell out Run Geordie Run Charity Ball on Saturday. It was an amazing night and I've had some tremendous feedback from so many people today.

I'll talk more about how the ball went on my blog later this week. In the meantime, as soon as I get news about how much money was raised on the night I'll announce it on my blog.

We had a lot of prizes donated late last week which we were not able to include in the raffle on the night. Look out for news of a new raffle to include those and a few more. I'll announce details on how you can buy raffle tickets later this week. There are some brilliant prizes up for grabs including signed items by Alan Shearer, various meals in some nice restaurants, Barbour clothing and even pole dancing lessons!

Is this some kind of dream?

I attended a press conference at Greens Leisure Club last Friday. Also, in attendance was one Alan Shearer! The occasion was to promote the "Entertainers Reunited" charity match on October 9th. The teams involved are the classic Newcastle United side that played under Kevin Keegan and they will take on a Liverpool side from the same era. Incidentally, the managers are from the same era with Kevin Keegan and Roy Evans taking charge of their respective sides.

I have been asked by the organisers to kick off the match! It goes without saying that this is a huge honour for me personally. The run across the USA hasn't even sunk in yet so this has got no chance! 

One of the organisers, Steve Wraith, led the press conference with local BBC, radio and newspapers in attendance. I took the chance to take a sneak peek over his shoulder at Kevin Keegan's Newcastle United squad. Imagine my utter astonishment when I read the following "Pavel Srnicek, Steve Watson, Darren Peacock, Steve Howey, Brian Kilcline, John Beresford, Robert Lee, Lee Clark, Ruel Fox, Paul Bracewell, Keith Gillespie, Liam O'Brien, Faustino Asprilla, Les Ferdinand, Alan Shearer, Mark Allison."!

Not only have I been asked to kick off the match but I will also be on the bench when Keegan's Entertainers come to town! Now that's a sentence I could only have ever dreamed of writing on this blog. It's pure insanity! Let's recap! I'm actually a substitute alongside the legends of Newcastle United managed by Kevin Keegan and Terry McDermott. It's time to use a cliche; you couldn't make it up!

The only rational explanation I have for all of this madness is that I'm actually hallucinating. I'm really still running along highway 36 in the USA thinking of anything to get me through the tough miles. I've actually imagined that I'm going to be in the same squad as Alan Shearer and Les Ferdinand. I'm making up this most brilliant story in a last ditch attempt to ensure that I get my miles in for the day and fall no further behind on the run across the USA. It's the only rational explanation I can think of!

I really enjoyed talking to the media during the press conference. I also enjoyed talking to Alan Shearer about the run across the USA. He made a lot of time to speak to my son, Jack, too at the end of the session.

Other than my kick off duties, I have absolutely no expectations of kicking the ball again. To be involved in the squad and to be in the dugout with Kevin Keegan, Terry Mac and the other lads is going to be something so very special. 

Knowing that proceeds from the match are going to benefit NSPCC, CHUF, the Alan Shearer Centre, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Pathways is the icing on the cake.

The match takes place on October 9th at The Newcastle Falcons ground at Kingston Park. Kick off is 1.30 pm which means that I'm, unfortunately, no longer able to participate in the Kielder Marathon!

Tickets are very well priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children. There are also some corporate hospitality packages available, priced at £35 and £50. 

The great thing about the Falcons ground is that it still has terraces. There should, therefore, be quite an atmosphere during the game.

Everything you need to know about the match, including how to book tickets, can be found at

I almost forgot to mention something that Alan Shearer said in the press conference. It's a line that will live with me to my dying day - "I'm no Run Geordie Run". As I said before, you couldn't make it up. I'm not looking forward to snapping out of this particular daydream on Highway 36!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

More coverage in The Journal and other stuff

Friday's Journal Newspaper is carrying a story about up and coming events that I'm involved in. Please don't forget to grab your copy. 

In other news, the treatment I'm receiving from Alison at the Cradlewell Clinic continues to be nothing short of brilliant. I saw her for further treatment this afternoon and she is very pleased with the state of my feet and lower legs. She has now started on my thighs and hamstrings. My treatment with her resumes next Wednesday by which time I hope to have a few 6 mile runs under my belt. I can't recommend her highly enough. If you have a need to see a podiatrist in the Jesmond area then you really need look no further than Alison at the Cradlewell Clinic.