IF Rocky Balboa was the Italian Stallion, then Mark Allison has a case for naming himself the Tynemouth Tiger.
While the fictional character famously prepared for boxing bouts by scaling the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mark has been using the Tynemouth equivalent to get in shape for a trek across America.
The 37-year-old, from Shotley Bridge, County Durham, has opted to undergo a gruelling beach camp training routine every Saturday morning as he gears up for a run across the USA.
And when he finishes the intense circuit training, he then climbs a flight of steps leading to King Edward’s Bay – 11 times.
The father-of-one is on an intensive two-year training regime for the daunting 14-state, 3,100-mile challenge. He is now being cheered on by more and more amateur athletes taking part in an experience that has been dubbed the "Tynemouth boot camp".
Last night Mark said: "It started off with just me and my trainer David Fairlamb but now there are loads of people there.
"I didn’t know any of them before the boot camp, but they all hang around and they really help you through the worst of it."
Last summer Mark ran from John O’Groats to Land’s End and raised £34,108 for St Benedict’s Hospice in Sunderland. Only 184 people have completed the US coast-to-coast – just 14 of them British.