[UPDATED at Finish Line:] Charity Runner Who Began Cross-County Trip in Surf City Ends in NYC

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UPDATE, AUG. 9, 12:08 P.M.: Despite that rock-throwing incident in Pennsylvania last week, Brit T. Mark Allison reached Coney Island just after 2 a.m. this morning to complete a 3,100-mile charity run that began May 1 in Huntington Beach.

He only missed his goal by two hours of reaching the fabled New York City neighborhood by Monday, Aug. 8. But any disappointment will be wiped out by the fact he lost what the British refer to as 5 stone, what others on the Metric system call 31 kilograms and what us Yanks would add up to be around 70 pounds in 100 days. Eat roadside gravel, Jenny Craig!

Allison tells BBC News he used to be an "18st obese Geordie who loved bacon sandwiches, football and pies", before becoming a charity runner. (The original post below explains what a Geordie is.) "The USA run brought [that] to a successful end."

But Allison is more pleased that he raised more than 55,000 British pounds sterling for The Children's Foundation and the St. Benedict's Hospice that cared for his late mother back home.

That's nearly $90,000 U.S. (sayeth the Google).

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 4, 7:53 A.M.: Man, Pennsylvania, tough crowd!

A British fellow began a cross-country run May 1 in Huntington Beach to raise money for charities, including the hospice that cared for his mother while she died of lung cancer. T. Mark Allison plans to reach Coney Island in New York on Aug. 8.

But this past Sunday, a
bout about 90 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the RV the 40-year-old sleeps in between runs was pelted with rocks.

Sunday's online diary entry on RunGeordieRun.com--"Geordie" being the nickname for Britons from Allison's hometown of New Castle Upon Tyne--explains what happened:
It's all kicking off here in Pennsylvania. I managed 35 miles yesterday before stopping due to tiredness. Strangely, I couldn't sleep so I ran another 7 miles giving a total of 42. 

Just after I stopped for the day, the RV got pelted with rocks by some teenagers in a passing car! I knocked one of my blisters as I screamed at them out of the window. I now have a huge section of exposed skin on my left foot.

Despite this latest knock, I'm now determined to get to New York more than ever.  I'll catch up with the blog as best as I can over the coming days. Time is tight. There are 368 miles left to run over the remaining 9 days.

Photos courtesy of RunGeordieRun.com
The sign Allison passed Sunday references the Ohio birthplace of William Boyd, an actor who played the fictional Hopalong Cassidy.
Pennsylvania State Police are investigating the vandalism that damaged the rented (and hopefully insured) RV's paint and windows, reports the Associated Press.

On Tuesday, while Allison was running elsewhere in the Keystone State, his publicist and support team member Shelli Mayfield of North Carolina told the AP that the four teens may have earlier tried to break into the 31-foot RV while it was parked with its lights off along Route 31 in Westmoreland County, about 30 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

The incident is like a scab on the heel of the 3,100-mile run benefiting The Children's Foundation and St. Benedict's Hospice. Donors and corporate sponsors have kicked in about $75,000 to offset expenses, which include $150 for gasoline every four days and $12,000 to rent  the RV.

Allison (second from left) began the 3,100-mile ran outside Ruby's Diner on Huntington Pier.
The run had begun with such promise, according to the Day 1 diary entry from Surf City.

It was an emotional start to the run across the USA this morning and I was very surprised and delighted to see a merry band of supporters at the start at Ruby's Diner. This was stark contrast to the start of the John O'Groats to Lands End run back in 2007 where Katy and Jack were the only people to cheer me on. I remember the weather that day too. It was lashing down and the wind was howling. Fast forward 4 years to this morning and a warm sunny backdrop of Huntington Beach.

The run got off to a good start and exiled Geordie Nick Davison kept me company for the first 4 miles. Kind of like a tug boat pulling a huge ship out of port and then out to sea.
Allison, who draws strength from the people he's running in memory of, covered 32.4 miles that first day and learned a new American slang word, "Badonkadonk." Indeed, it created a goal besides running across the country: coming up with a new word each day of his American adventure.

Too bad he ran into four Badonkadonks in Pennsylvania.

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