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Mark (of Sam & Mark) pounds the Rhodes in Bupa 30th Great North Run for Christian Aid

Mark Rhodes (photo courtesy of 19 Entertainment/Andy Earl)One half of Britain's brightest presenting team Mark Rhodes, is in training for this year's Bupa Great North Run - the world's biggest half-marathon, which takes place on Sunday 19 September 2010.

Mark, best known as the Mark in 'Sam & Mark' - presenters on TMi, Copycats and This Morning regulars - will be running for Christian Aid, an international development agency that works in 50 of the world's poorest countries.

Mark, 28, who is from Merryhill in Wolverhampton, and co-hosts radio and TV shows with Sam Nixon, commentated on the Junior Great North Run for CBBC in 2007.

He said:

'I was struck by the incredible atmosphere the race generated amongst the runners and supporters. I remember thinking what a massive accomplishment it was for anyone who finished it.  So when Christian Aid asked me to run it for them I decided to say yes!

'I’m one of these people who would never in a million years do something like this and have never done a half-marathon before. I hope people can put their hands in their pockets and sponsor me.

'For the experienced runners, it may feel like a walk in the park, but not me. I’ve been doing 10k runs here and there but completing the full race will be a massive, massive accomplishment for me. I’ve heard horror stories of people losing their toenails and not being able to walk for blisters but I’m crossing my fingers – but not my toes – that it won't happen to me.

'I can’t wait to see the atmosphere and the buzz of the crowd and I’m really up for meeting the other runners who I know are going to help me through it. I cannot wait to start the Great North Run for Christian Aid. However, after about two miles, I bet I can’t wait to finish it!'

Partner-in-crime Sam Nixon will be cheering him on from the sidelines. He said:

'I'm really glad Mark's doing the Great North Run for Christian Aid. It's something he's wanted to do for a long time. I'll be there to cheer him on, even though I did tell him I thought he was mad for doing it. 

'Sam thinks I'm barmy. When I asked him why he wasn't doing it, he admitted that after about 100 yards, he'd fall flat on his face. He'll be there on the day to support me and I know he'd want you to sponsor me too.'

Anyone who wants to sponsor Mark can visit his JustGiving page. Money raised will go to help poor communities. For example:

  • £10 could buy a disaster kit for a family affected by flooding in Bangladesh

  • £14 could buy school shoes for a child in Zambia

  • and £41 could pays for a tap, toilet and sink in India.

BAFTA nominated presenters Sam and Mark have fronted many of CBBC's biggest shows including 'Top Of The Pops Reloaded', 'Who Wants to be a Superhero?' and "TMi". 

Currently they can also be seen regularly on ITV1's 'This Morning' and heard on the airwaves across the Midlands every Sunday live between 11am and 1pm on BRMB, Wyvern, Mercia and Beacon.

The BUPA Great North Run is the world's most popular half-marathon event, first staged in June 1981, with 12,000 runners. Last year, a record 54,000 took part in the 13-mile event.

Further information

If you would like further information please contact John McKie on 0207 523 2417/07990 522120 or email him at jmckie@christian-aid.org.

If you would like to sponsor Mark, go to www.justgiving.com/samandmarktv.

Notes to editors

1.Christian Aidworks in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the needisgreatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.

2.Christian Aid hasa vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality.Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/poverty-over-report.pdf

3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together inhumanitarian assistance and development. Further details at http://www.actalliance.org

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire or Sam and Mark atwww.twitter.com/samandmarktv 

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit www.christianaid.org.uk

6. Other celebrities to have supported Christian Aid’s work include Clash of the Titans star Nicholas Hoult, model Daisy Lowe, ex-EastEnders star Kara Tointon, actor & presenter Joe Swash and singer Lemar.

7. Mark Rhodes is 28 and from Merryhill. Wolverhampton and makes up one half of presenting duo Sam & Mark. Their flagship show TMi returns in September for a fifth series along with their quiz show Copycats, also due to hit screens in Autumn. They are also regulars on This Morning www.samandmark.com

Photo: courtesy of 19 Entertainment/Andy Earl 

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