South Tyneside man to run hundreds of miles for Hearing Dogs charity

Alan Lawrenson.
Alan Lawrenson.

Could you run more than 400 miles, knock out three marathons and then take part in an endurance test across the Sahara Desert?

These are only some of the tasks South Tyneside man Alan Lawrenson has faced or will face in the name of raising £10,000 for charity.

The 29-year-old, who is from South Shields and studied at Sunderland University, set himself the daunting target in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Since the start of this year, he has taken part in six major events including the London Marathon and his ninth Great North Run.

But a totally different challenge, one which will see Alan run around 156 miles in five or six days, is on the agenda for April next year – the Marathon des Sables.

He said: “I thought, ‘I am going to do something big and put all of my energy into it’.

Alan Lawrenson.

Alan Lawrenson.

“I started thinking about what things in my life make me happy, and who I would want to raise money for.”

The Marathon des Sables attracts some of the most elite runners from across the globe – and it is not a challenge for the faint-hearted.

During the multi-stage adventure race across the Sahara, Alan will have to carry all of his equipment on his back and compete in scorching temperatures.

This will be the last race in his gruelling 14-month challenge – unless he doesn’t hit his £10,000 target.

Alan Lawrenson.

Alan Lawrenson.

But before taking to the sand, Alan will compete in the Druid Challenge and the Pilgrim Challenge – multi-stage ultra races in the UK.

Previously working for Pet Supermarket in Jarrow and now with MedicAnimal in London, Alan picked the Hearing Dogs charity because it is close to his heart.

“I wanted to make sure the money goes to a charity where it will make a difference,” Alan said.

The 29-year-old still keeps the North East close by with the Great North Run.

Next year, it will be his tenth race.

He added: “My mam and dad live near the finish line for the Great North Run, so I can always just hop over home afterwards.”

To donate to Alan and find out more about his journey, visit