Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Police Escort Geordie Runner across US

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Police Escort Geordie Runner across US

Article excerpt

Byline: Alastair Craig

ULTRA runner Mark Allison had a helping hand from the US state police when he met a surging river on his American quest.

Faced with raging floods, a force trooper was called on to get him over the only safe crossing of the giant Missouri River.

Mark, from Shotley Bridge, County Durham, is aiming to run across the continent from west to east in just 100 days.

He is hoping to raise pounds 50,000 for two North East charities, the Children's Foundation and St Benedict's Hospice in Sunderland, and will complete the equivalent of 236 Great North Runs.

Mark, 39, set off from Huntington Beach, near Los Angeles in California, 67 days ago and has passed the 1,800-mile mark of the 3,100-mile challenge.

In his daily blog, the father-of-one said: "The day got even better when I found out that my team had arranged for me to have a police escort over the Pony Express Bridge out of Kansas and into Missouri.

"It was brilliant. A huge thank you goes to State Trooper Bryan Clark for seeing me safely across the only bridge spanning the Missouri River that was open.

"The same problem currently exists here that I saw on the West side of the Rockies. Flooding from melting snow. It's going to get even worse next week apparently. "I'm happy to report that my first ever Police Escort was absolutely brilliant. I felt 10ft tall and pretty invincible actually. State Trooper Clark saw me safely into Missouri and my seventh state so far on this tour."

The gruelling challenge will see Mark across 13 states. He has already passed through Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Kansas. Ahead of him lie Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

This week Mark called in his "big guns" for moral support as he closes in on the feat which will make him the first ever Geordie to complete the trans-America run. …

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