Walking one thousand miles from Land’s End to John o’ Groats is no mean feat, and if you throw in a pair of budgie smugglers and temperatures in their minuses, you’ve got a real challenge on your hands.
But that is exactly what Speedo Mick – real name Mick Cullen – has vowed to do. He set out last month, walking a marathon a day wearing just a pair of Speedo’s – all in the name of charity.
Mick, who is a regular at Everton’s Goodison Park where he collects for charity, has clocked up the miles over recent days and his unusual choice of walking attire has helped him hit his £100,000 target – but why Speedo’s?
Credit: @speedomick
Mick, 55, told LADbible: “I swam the English Channel for charity about six years ago; during my training I looked at the rules and discovered I’d have to wear ‘a garment above the groin’ – it turned out to mean Speedo’s, which I wasn’t best pleased about.”
Still, he persevered with his training and the tight swimwear ended up becoming a part of his life, so much so he’s quite well-known in his home city of Liverpool as Speedo Mick and he’s raised around £250,000 ($325,000) for charity over the years.
Late last year, Speedo Mick took on his toughest challenge yet – a 1,000 mile walk right across the British Isles.
He said: “I set out on the 11 December. I wanted to set myself a real challenge, this is why I’m doing it.
“It’s the dead of winter. I wanted to ramp it up a little bit… I’ve swam the English Channel, so I wanted something new.
“A lot of people do this walk and a lot do it much faster, but no one has done it in Speedo’s before.
“It’s emotional, physically and mentally draining. Your body is constantly working trying to keep you alive – trying to keep you warm.
“If you’re not eating enough, you’ll end up just hitting the wall. At the moment I’m struggling a bit because I just can’t get enough food inside.”
Credit: Mercury News and Media
The money raised on this journey will be used to set up Leave the Light On, which will create community projects for people, young and old, who feel isolated or are vulnerable.
Although he’s raised tens of thousands of pounds, Mick says it’s the response and support he’s experienced that has made it all worthwhile.
Mick added: “The money is great – people work hard for their money and the fact they’re donating it is amazing. I’m so grateful for every single penny I’ve received.
“But it’s also the support I’ve had. The laughs and the smiles I’ve seen. You wouldn’t believe the messages I’ve been sent. I’m absolutely overwhelmed.
“A woman messaged me the other day and said, ‘I lost my mum six months before Christmas and I’ve just been really down and depressed, but you’ve just made me smile for the first time in six months – laughing at your daftness.’ That for me is priceless, that’s the reward for me and makes it all worthwhile.”
The messages of support are well received, particularly because the walk has been so gruelling. Earlier this month Mick sustained a calf injury and was concerned he’d have to scrap the whole thing.
Mick was invited to Finch Farm, Everton FC’s training ground, and given a once over from medics. He was ordered to rest up for a week and he’s now tentatively back on his feet, albeit covering fewer miles per day than he was.
He explained: “I started off walking a marathon a day [26.2 miles] but now I’m doing between 15 and 20.”
Credit: Mercury News and Media
So, what’s the reaction from members of the public while he’s out walking?
Mick added: “It’s funny – I’ll be on my own, walking down a lane and just laughing at the faces that I see, mouths wide open and just staring in disbelief.
“There’s mixed reactions, some people won’t even look at you, there’s some who will pretend not to look but then have a sly peek… look over a little quick glance and they usually look at my nether regions – and women are worse; since I’ve had my Speedo’s on, I’ve seen another side to women!”
You can donate to Speedo Mick’s fundraiser here and you can keep up with his journey here.