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Mike and Steve Whitling

Great Run, For A Great Brother

It will be half marathon 125 for Mike Whitling at next weekend's Great North Run...

Mike Whitling, a 63-year-old father from Leeds, is running his 125th half marathon on Sunday 11 September at the Great North Run in memory of his twin brother and running partner, Steve Whitling. Steve passed away six months ago with Scleroderma, an uncommon condition he was diagnosed with a couple of years prior.

Steve and Mike loved running together and so Mike is running his 125th half marathon in memory of his brother and to raise awareness for this rare disease. Mike and Steve’s first half marathon together was the Great North Run in 1985 and Mike’s 100th was also the Great North Run so being able to run his 125th for his brother means a lot to him.

Mike’s daughter, Bex tells us more: “Newcastle is where they both went to university and my uncle was a massive Newcastle United fan so they have always adored the place.

“My dad says there’s no better feeling than running toward that finish line in the heart of the city where they both went to university. He absolutely loves it.

“Even when my uncle got quite poorly when he was diagnosed, he always went and supported my dad. He had began to lose quite a lot of weight and therefore needed to wrap up warm, but nevertheless he’d still stand by the route and cheer my dad on from the sidelines and remain excited for every single run he was doing.”

“They always did stuff as a team which is why this one is going to be so hard. But, I know he’ll be there in spirit.”

Mike has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money and awareness for the charity Scleroderma & Raynaud’s UK, he said: “We have actually seen changes since my uncle was first diagnosed. Doctors are now specializing in this, they’re working on new medication. Changes are being made from raising awareness.

“We want to raise money because it’s something he would’ve wanted. He’s the type of person that would be proud knowing that we are raising money to prevent someone else passing from this disease. I think this charity will genuinely change someone’s life at some point.”

To find out more about the Great North Run, visit the Great Run website here

Image: Great Run

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