Mark Allison is a British guy running around the world. Literally. He wasn’t going for a world record, but by the time he gets finished he’ll have set a couple. In Kyiv this month on a rest stop, we catch him on the road in Romania before he catches his breathe in Kyiv.
The mammoth venture launched in 2007 with a run across the UK in 37 days, raising 51 634 GBP for cancer research. Inspiration however welled 12 years earlier when Allison’s mother was battling lung cancer in 1995. He felt a “debt of gratitude” to the hospice who “made her final days dignified and comfortable” he says. So opens the incredible story.
Broken into eight segments, Allison says he started off doing marathons: “then came the bigger self-organised events that have seen me so far running 9 000 miles around the world in four stages (UK, USA, Australia and Europe). Having just broken through his initial goal of 300 000 GBP, the remaining four stages (Central Eurasia, China, Japan, and New Zealand) are 11 000 miles in total length, and will take him into 2025.
While great import is at the heart of this endeavour, that does not mean there haven’t been points of incredible mental and physical challenges. “The Mojave Desert, the Rocky Mountains, the Australian Outback, the Pyrenees and the Alps have all been exceptionally difficult places to run, with the run across Australia probably the most difficult to date as it took place during the hottest Australian summer on record.”
This is the fifth stage of the world tour, taking him through Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, and finishing in Kazakhstan. “I have three scheduled rest days in Kyiv and I’m looking forward to getting a flavour of what the city has to offer during my short stay.” Of those things he misses the most, of course his wife is at the top of the list. Having a daily shower however is up there too. Though, he says, “It’s hard to see beyond that. Of course, ultimately, I’m really excited about reaching the finish line in New Zealand at the end of stage eight.”
Follow Mark Allison’s progress at www.rungeordierun.com