With little over a month to go, Mark Allison's preparations for his epic run across Australia are gaining speed with news of a headline sponsor, Benfield Motor Group, now confirmed. Mark, whose Run Geordie Run challenge gained widespread publicity and raised over £100,000 for charity, will begin his outback adventure on 16 October.
Now titled The Benfield Australia Run, Mark will aim to cover almost 2,600 miles as he makes his way to Bondi Beach in Sydney. He has set a prospective finishing date for Christmas Eve, 70 days after taking off. This translates to just under 100 marathons, a distance the Geordie is looking to cover by sticking to a punishing schedule which includes only six full rest days.
Confirmation that Benfield Motor Group, family owned and based in the north east, will provide headline sponsorship means that Mark has some breathing space and is able to pay for a RV motor home to house and support his team. Late last week, Mark was presented with the T-shirt he will wear during his Australian run, a ceremony that made the challenge seem all the more real.
Mark commented: "It might seem like just a running shirt but I've got to say that, as soon as I put it on, I really started to feel like that athlete who finished the run across the USA. I started to feel like Run Geordie Run again. It must have been how Clark Kent felt in Superman II when he regained his powers and became Superman again."
Mark is fundraising for the Children's Foundation and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. To donate, visit his Virgin moneygiving page.