Monday, 30 May 2016

Show your support - Run Geordie Run T-shirts

While Mark has been making his merry way across Europe, I've been managing things behind the scenes as well as having a 'normal' life outside of the world of Run Geordie Run.

In doing so (and turning headquarters upside down) I've unearthed a handful of the European segment technical t-shirts.

Thanks to Chapman Ventilation for paying for production costs, all proceeds go to The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Children's Foundation. That's every single penny!

If you want to get your hands on one of these fabulously designed t-shirts (thanks to Dave Shenton of Shenton Creative for the design) then please send an email to for further details.

Please be advised that, as of today 30/05/16, there are only 8x medium and 2x small t-shirts so it's a case of first come first served.

The cost of the t-shirt is £12.00 plus £3.00 UK postage and packaging or £5.00 for overseas postage.

There are also some of the "eat, sleep, run, repeat" cotton t-shirts still available - these are priced at £15.00 per t-shirt. The same postage and packaging costs apply.

Sizes available for the cotton t-shirts are: small, medium and large. These are again limited in numbers but please send any queries to

Remember that every single penny goes direct to the two charities!

Thanks, Donna.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Europe - Day 27



 Good Luck from Mark Beaumont.


 Change of plans.


 End of day.


 Late night storm.

Europe - Day 26


Last 10k.

Daily Blog. 


My joke. 


End of day.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Europe - Day 13

 A significant day...


 Amazing scenery.


 Hello Queen's Park School, New Zealand.


 End of day.

Good luck messages

Here are some of the fantastic messages of support that Mark has received since the start of the run across Europe.


 Fab Flournoy - manager/player of the Newcastle Eagles basketball team.


Harry Gettins (who was born as Mark started on his 20,000 mile run around the world - the John O'Groats to Land's End segment).


 Sir Bobby Robson's sons.


 Melanie and John - Australian support team 2013

Friday, 13 May 2016

Europe - Day 12



 Pushing hard.


 Last 4 miles.


End of day.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Europe - Day 11

 Good start to the day.


 End of day.

Europe - Day 10

Europe - Day 9

(Day 8 was a rest day)

End of day.


 Phil's first day.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Europe - Day 7

When "rain stopped play".

End of the day.

Europe - Day 6

Europe - Day 5

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Europe - Day 4

Europe - Day 3

Europe - Day 2

Jimmy’s thoughts for day 2 

This morning was an earlier start, with a 5am alarm. This meant that we could get Mark to the starting point for day 2 as early as possible. 

We modified the plan for today so that Mark didn’t have to carry his waist pack as he complained that this was slowing him down yesterday. Instead, we agreed to meet every 5km or so to do a quick water exchange before sending him back out on his way. 

At lunch we discussed how much happier Mark was with the route today. Although it has still been very undulating and particularly hard on Mark’s feet I get the impression that today’s route has been a lot kinder to him. This was also reflected in Mark’s mood as he was particularly chirpy at lunch (not just because we parked up at a train station). 

We were fortunate enough to pass a McDonalds in Caldas Da Rainha which allowed us to charge Mark’s electrical items and utilise some wifi. During this brief visit we were able to identify a more efficient route for Mark to continue on for the rest of the day. This didn’t reduce the distance and the road surface was kinder allowing Mark to pick up a good pace. 

Due to the wonders of the BBC iPlayer we were able to tune in and listen to Mark’s interview with Mark Forrest. We were relieved to hear him in such good spirits as it had been some time since we last met with him. We also heard Mark say that he was feeling “a million dollars” so took full advantage and hatched a cunning plan to make him run an additional 2 miles for the day. 

We needed to get these additional miles as there have been slight discrepancies between Google maps and the actual route that Mark has taken. Although we knew that this would be tough for Mark, it was really important that we keep any mileage ‘false deficits’ to an absolute minimum to get him to Istanbul as scheduled. 

As it was getting late, and quite dark, I ran back from the RV meeting point with some high vis vests to safely escort Mark for the last stretch. We had managed to sneakily park outside of a campsite (that had closed for the evening) and set up home for the night. Mark was exhausted by this point so managed a quick shower and some cereal before bed. 

On reflection, this was a good day. We met Mark as and when he needed us, we serviced the RV and ended the day on 39.1 miles. Result.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The run across Europe blog - new comms

Due to the tricky nature of the run and subsequent duration of Mark's days, he has been unable to spend as much time as he had hoped keeping everyone fully updated with his blog posts.  The mobile phone signal is also very intermittent which means that updates have often been delayed.

On this basis, we have agreed with Mark that we will take a video diary for the end of the day and upload this separately   This way Mark can keep you all in the loop and reflect on the days running personally.

We will embed the videos right here as soon as we get the opportunity to do so.


Jimmy and Donna.

Europe - Day 1

The team and I made our way to the ocean’s edge on Guincho Beach shortly before 7am.  It was already warm, around 17 celsius.  After a couple of photos I got the run across Europe underway.  I dipped my hand in the ocean and off I went over the beach.  It was good to see my Virgin Money colleague, Vik Datta, at the start line.  I really appreciated him turning up to see me off.

Once off the beach I had to tackle a few stairs to the main road.  The next 5 miles were a sheer steep uphill climb to 1230ft.  I was exhaused when I reached the summit of the Sintra-Cascais National Park. Not only was it steep, but the streets in the picturesque village of Malveira Da Serra were also cobbled.  The cobbled streets soon turned to dusty road which in turn turned to cracked dirt path.  As I had suspected, this was the toughest start to any of the segments of the run around the world so far.

The downhill stretch out of the national park proved to be very technical.  It also required a lot of time spent using Google maps for navigation.  That said, I soon made it out of the park and into another picturesque village.  I met the support team briefly at Colres for some fresh water.  It was exhausting in the hot sun with such an undulating route.  

I met the team again at the 17.5 mile point, this time for lunch.  They cooked a nice omlette, it will be interesting to see who makes the best omlettes on this tour.  There is always fierce competition for that title.    I also took this opportunity to put on a fresh pair of socks as recommended by Alison Meldrum at the Cradlewell Clinic.  I was out again into what has turned out to be a very hot day in Portugal.

Back out on the road and disaster nearly struck.  I had to step off the hard shoulder and into the grass verge to avoid being hit by a driver using their mobile phone.  They were totally oblivious to my prescence.  Further down the road I was surprised to see a snake, it took weeks to see my first snake in Australia.  The rest of the afternoon involved climbs, climbs and more climbs.

All of a sudden, I was running on empty at the 26 mile point.  I stopped for an energy bar and when I looked up, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It was Jimmy with an ice lolly! I felt like I had won the lottery.  I ate it so quickly that I got an immediate headache, but it was worth it.  

The remainder of the day involved runnining against the backdrop of amazing scenery.  Spectacular beaches, lots of windmills of vatious sizes and many more climbs.  Once climb in particular was so steep that I had to really force my way uphill.  I sat down at the top of the hill surrounded by dogs in nearby properties barking loudly at me.  

Navigation using Google maps was crucial to getting through this very tricky route.  I do not know how I could have managed without this.  All of the hard work that Jimmy and I had put into researching the route certainly paid off on day 1.  Donna joined me for the last 6 miles, this proved to be a tricky section with more climbs through farmland and dirt tracks.  I reached the 37 mile point with zero energy left, I was exhasuted and delerious.  I did not have the energy for a shower and as soon as I had my pasta for supper, listened to the team read out the donations and messages on Virgin Money Giving I was asleep. 

All in all it was a pleasing day, over 4000ft of uphill running meant that it was very tough day.  If we have 99 more days like this then I will get to Istanbul on the 8th August.

Donna’s thoughts for day 1

As with Mark, Google maps was our saviour for the day.  The initial route is planned for a runner therefore we had to ensure that our route was RV friendly.  At times, we were forced to re-route as the roads simply would not have been kind to our home!  

That said, we were able to effectively track Mark and get to the meeting points in good time for pit stops and lunch.  We worked hard yesterday to make sure that Mark was sufficiently hydrated as there were a lot of climbs which were really tough on him.  We knew that this was going to be one of the tougher days so we also had to be mindful of his wellbeing (this also involved in making sure that when we rewarded ourselves for a busy morning with an ice cream that we went in search of Mark to share with him too!). 

As the tour fund is meticulously planned to account for every penny, we have to ensure that we are conscientious every day.  The RV is adequately stocked to accommodate Mark’s needs and means that no unecessary expenses are incurred.  This extends to camping sites.  As we neared the end of the day, Jimmy and I did a quick recce of the last stretch.  This was fairly tricky and left us miles away from an aire (these are essentially car parks for caravans with water and waste facilities). Unfortunately the nearest aire was some distance away from Mark’s end of day and would require a 30 minute journey there and back.  On this basis, we made the call to stay over in a car park close to the end of day 1 and at the foot of a park.  This looked safe enough and quiet enough for us to park up for the evening.

Thankfully as we were able to plan ahead for the last 6 miles, Jimmy was able to go solo in the RV which meant I could spend some time running with Mark.  I didn’t get this opportunity in Australia and often felt guilty for leaving him out on his own.  With the support team that we have for the run across Europe, this should hopefully mean that Mark will always have plenty of company.    

It’s really important that Jimmy and I plan ahead as much as we can, for breaks, water exchanges and most importantly the evening meal. Last nights planning allowed a quick turnaround from Mark finishing his 37 miles to getting some shut eye.  Overall, a great start to the run. 

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Europe - Day 1

Day 1 has been a massive success. 37 miles were required and 37 miles were ran. With elevation gain of over 4000 ft for the day it's safe to say that this has been one of the toughest days of running that I've ever done.

Donna and Jimmy have worked very well on the team all day. They have set a very high standard.

I'll be retiring today's shirt from the tour. It will be washed framed and put to auction at the Ball in October.

Thank you to all the kind folk who have donated at

I'll write a full account of day 1 over the next few days. For now, I must sleep and recover. I'm exhausted.