CHARITY runner Mark Allison this year raised more than £100,000 for The Children’s Foundation and St Benedict’s Hospice when he ran from Los Angeles to New York in just 100 days (that’s 31 miles a day!).
He will be celebrating Christmas in his home town by enjoying a cameo appearance in Dick Whittington at the Empire Theatre in Consett, on Friday, December 16, at 7pm. To book, call 01207 218171 or visit www.leisureworks.net (the full production runs through to January 2). To donate to either of Mark’s chosen charities, or find out more about his forthcoming charitable run in Australia, visit www.rungeordierun.com
Were you ill much as a child?
Not very often. Although I did suffer from bad headaches from time to time.
What sports and activities did you take part in at school?
I wasn’t a member of any team at school. I think a kickabout in the playground with a football was about all I did.
Have you ever had a health scare?
Have you ever had an operation?
I had two metal pins inserted into a broken ankle in 2010, just 11 months before I ran 3,100 miles across the USA.
How often do you exercise and what do you do?
My training differs week to week but typically, in the build-up to a major run, I’ll run between 60 and 100 miles per week and have a couple of sessions in the gym. I enjoy spinning classes at the local gym too.
What’s the most challenging activity or event you’ve ever done?
The run across the USA was the most challenging event I’ve ever done. 31 miles per day for 100 days without any rest was incredibly tough. The up-and-coming run across Australia in 2013 will be tougher given that I’ll be running 41 miles per day through the Outback during the Australian summer.
Have you ever done the Great North Run?
I’ve done the Great North Run nine or 10 times. This year, Nova granted me number 3100 in recognition of the number of miles I ran across the USA.
How do you keep motivated?
Being mindful that I’m running to raise funds for St Benedict’s Hospice and The Children’s Foundation is usually all the motivation I need.
What’s your diet like and how could you change it?
My diet can be poor one week and great the next. I eat far too much chocolate so that’s the first improvement I’d ever look to make.
Have you ever been on a diet and did it work?
I’m trying to follow the paeleo diet and with the help of an expert, tailor it to meet my energy needs in the build-up to Australia 2013.
Are you happy with your body?
At the moment I’m carrying slightly too much body fat. This needs to be trimmed down in preparation for Australia 2013.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Chocolate is my guilty pleasure. I can eat as many bars in a day as the number of miles I run if I’m not careful.
How much do you drink a week?
Not much on average. I had five drinks in three years before I ran across the USA. My next beer after this Christmas will be at the finish line in Sydney on Christmas Eve 2013.
Have you ever smoked?
What are your health & fitness goals for the future?
I hope to be able to continue to run these extreme distance events for as long as I can. Underpinning that will have to be a healthy diet and a smart approach to my training.