Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Fund-raisers registered with the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to run the Great North Run were invited to an informal get-together at the Copthorne Hotel, Newcastle, last night (Tuesday 13th September).

It was an opportunity for Lady Elsie and representatives of the charity to meet and thank the runners who have been training hard ahead of Sunday. It was also a chance for Mark Allison, also known as Run Geordie Run, to talk about his experiences running across America for charity and to inspire runners in the final days before their half marathon challenge.

One of the runners with a very personal reason to support the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is Sir Bobby’s youngest son Mark Robson.

This is the fourth year Mark and his partner Kim Jennings have tackled the Great North Run in aid of the charity and getting together with other fund-raisers ahead of the run was a very positive experience for him.

Mark says: “My family and I are very grateful to everyone who is undertaking the Great North Run in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and it was a pleasure to meet just some of the runners.

“No doubt there will be some very accomplished athletes raising funds for us but for some people the 13 miles will be a huge personal challenge. It means a great deal to us that they are taking on that challenge to raise money for Dad’s charity. In many cases I expect, like me, they have their own personal reasons for wanting to support a cancer charity.”

Sir Bobby Robson launched his charity in March 2008. He described it as his last and greatest team and was very proud of its achievements.

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation helps the experts find more effective ways to treat and diagnose cancer. It funds projects which directly benefit cancer patients including the clinical trials of drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre.

Mark adds: “I’ve done the Great North Run three times now and I’m always struck by the camaraderie and support along the route.

“In many ways it’s like the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. It’s a very big team effort and the sheer volume of people taking part adds up to something very special.

“I’d like to wish all the runners the very best of luck and to thank everyone who has sponsored a friend, colleague or family member for taking part. The money raised will be used very carefully helping people fighting cancer and in finding more effective treatments to beat this disease.”

Other Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Great North Runners include a team of doctors, nurses and administrators from the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital and Tom Chaplin, the charity’s official Writer in Residence.

The runners were inspired by the presence of Mark Allison who recently raised over £100,000 for the Children’s Foundation and St Benedict’s Hospice by running across America in just 100 days.

He spoke to the runners to help motivate them in their final training and gave useful advice about the physical and mental aspects of running long distances.

Mark says: “It was a huge honour to be asked to talk to the Great North Runners raising funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“It was a pleasure to chat with them and to draw upon my recent experiences running 3,100 miles across the USA. I hope I have helped inspire them as they take on their own running challenge on Sunday.

"Both of my parents lost their battle against cancer. I know only too well just how valuable the treatment and research undertaken by the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is in the ongoing fight that claims the lives of so many of our loved ones.

"I know from experience how motivating it can be running to raise funds for causes which mean a lot personally. I hope everyone doing the Great North Run for charity achieves their goals and I wish them all the very best of luck."