From the Gobi to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal

A father and son duo, who have braved the searing heat to run across some of the world's most infamous deserts, are about to undertake their latest challenge much closer to home and they want volunteers to join them.

Thursday, 17th November 2016, 2:16 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th November 2016, 3:27 pm
Mike Thompson and his son Dean at the finish line in the Gobi Desert

Mike Thompson and his son Dean, of Clayton-le-Woods, will run the 127-mile length of the Leeds to Liverpool Canal, starting from Liverpool on Sunday November 20.

They estimate that they will reach their home stretch of the canal later that same day and are inviting other runners, joggers, strollers and dog walkers to accompany them.

Dean, 31, retail manager at Asda’s Clayton Green store, said: “It would be great to have people join us. We don’t expect them to run the whole way. If they could do a mile or two with us just locally it would be a real boost.”

Dean Thompson

All money raised will go towards Rosemere Cancer Foundation, which successfully treated Mike’s father Cyril Thompson, of Chorley, for prostrate cancer 16 years ago.

Running the canal bank is a far cry from Mike and Dean’s last challenge earlier this year when they raised £2,418 for Rosemere by completing the 155-mile, seven day Gobi March desert endurance race in temperatures, which peaked at more than an incredible 125 degrees.

The race, which consisted of four marathons, a double marathon and a 10-mile last leg, also started at an altitude of 10,500ft above sea level, meaning less oxygen for breathing.

These conditions, plus having to carry packs weighing over 8kg that were stuffed with their sleeping bags, spare clothes, food and a first aid kit, caused the pair to lose around 5lbs in weight each.

Mike Thompson and his son Dean in the Gobi Desert

Mike, 64, who also works at Asda, said: “The Gobi March has to go down as probably the toughest event that we have endured anywhere in the world.”

Last year, Mike and Dean completed the seven day Atacama Desert challenge together in Chile, which followed a 156-mile route over a mixture of rocky outcrops and salt flats. Dean also finished the infamous Marathon des Sables across the Sahara Desert, which is billed as ‘the toughest race on earth’.

In addition as a duo, they have climbed Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro and Argentina’s Aconcagua.

Together with running other ultra, full and half marathons on UK soil and taking on sponsored rows in the Asda foyer, Mike and Dean have raised approximately £15,000 for Rosemere with their extreme feats of endurance over the last six years.

Dean Thompson

To follow their progress click here

Mike Thompson and his son Dean in the Gobi Desert