Runner prepares for 100-mile challenge in honour of plucky Wigan girl

A lorry driver who loves a challenge is planning to run more than 100 miles in honour of a brave youngster.
Mick SouthernMick Southern
Mick Southern

Mick Southern, 58, has previously run marathons and even completed the gruelling Ironman triathlon, which starts at Pennington Flash and finishes in Bolton town centre.

But he will be taking on his longest run yet when he tackles the Lakeland 100 next month.

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The challenge - which is actually 105-miles long - is part of a trio of lengthy runs he aimed to complete.

Holly PrinceHolly Prince
Holly Prince

He ran the Grizedale trail marathon yesterday and the 22-mile Ullswater Way earlier in the month.

Mick is taking on the three long runs to raise money for four-year-old Holly Prince, from Hindley, who has a rare condition named Bloom syndrome and has just beaten cancer.

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Mick wanted to support Holly as he is a good friend of her dad Mark Prince, who he met through Atherton Town FC.

It was after he stopped playing football in his 30s that Mick, who lives in Leigh, started to run marathons.

He said: “It progressed from doing a few marathons to getting on the bike and looking at the next challenge. I went from John O’Groats to Land’s End on the bike, to the Ironman and trail running. I wouldn’t say I’m one type in particular, I just see what challenges are out there and go for it.”

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Mick, a member of Wigan’s Invictus Triathlon Club and grandfather of four, completed the Lakeland 50 in 2018 and now hopes to run double the distance.

He will begin on the evening of Friday, July 23 and run throughout the weekend, aiming to finish by 10am on Sunday, July 25.

But he knows it will not be easy, with participants sometimes facing hallucinations and 60 per cent failing to complete the distance.

He has been training hard, with his dog Rosco joining him for some runs, and he recently did 31 miles on the course.

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Mick, who works at the Sainsbury’s depot in Haydock, said: “If you go into this with half a doubt and reasons why you will fail, you will probably fail. As difficult as it, I will be starting to finish.”

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