Marathon runner Jonathan

Charity marathon runner Jonathan Lamb is enjoying the sweet taste of success ­– by sucking on Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls whilst competing in races.

The 55-year-old from Wigan swears by the slow release of sugar and flavour to boost his energy levels and prevent his mouth from getting dry.

And he says each mint ball lasts him a good six miles, providing he pops it into the side of his mouth – and resists the temptation to crunch or chew.

Jonathan, who has run the watch stall on Wigan market for 28 years, has completed more than 20 marathons as well as dozens of half marathons and 10k races.

He runs to raise money for local charities, including Joseph’s Goal,  Sam’s Diamonds, Derian House Children’s Hospice, Wigan and Leigh Hospice and Holly’s Blooms Journey.

Jonathan, who is married with two grown up sons, said: “I run for the sheer enjoyment of it and am a member of Lonely Goat running club for people who are lone runners.

“I needed something sweet to put in my mouth to stop it getting dry and started off with Rudolph Noses but turned to Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls when the supply dried up.

“Put a mint ball in the side of your mouth and you’ll get a good six miles out of it. You won’t swallow it if you resist the urge to chew. I’m not sure how much they have improved my performances, but they definitely clear your head on a cold winter morning run.”

John Winnard MBE and Antony Winnard, Uncle Joe’s Joint Managing Directors, presented Jonathan with a special Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls running vest when they heard about the secret of his marathon running success.

They said: “We regularly hear from people telling us why they like Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls so much, but this is the first time anyone has said they help them to run marathons.

“Jonathan does so much fantastic work with his fundraising for local charities and we are glad that our sweets are helping him on his way.”

Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls are made by Wigan-based William Santus and Co Ltd, a privately-owned traditional sweet company that was established in 1898.

The ownership has been passed down through the family generations and joint Managing Directors John and Antony Winnard are the great, great nephews of the company’s founder.

The Mint Balls are still manufactured using the same traditional methods as when Mrs Santus originally made the sweets in her kitchen. Supplies of Uncle Joe’s have been made at the Toffee Works in Wigan for more than 100 years.