Perhaps inspired by Chris Froome’s impromptu run up Mont Ventoux at the 2016 Tour de France, marathon runner Pete Thompson has got the entire 2018 route in his sights.
On 19th May, Pete sets off from the Vendee coast, aiming to run – yes, run! – the entire Tour de France course in just 70 days. He’s calling it Marathons for the Mind: 3,329km on foot (the equivalent to an ultra-marathon – 30 miles – each day), he’ll finish just as those lazy sods on bikes reach Paris.
He’s raising money for mental health charity Mind and Livability, which tackles social isolation of disabled and vulnerable people.
“I know many people who have serious mental health issues,” says Pete. “Some have tried to take their own lives and others battle through with determination and courage that I admire greatly. I have seen people at their lowest and I have seen the stigma they face, coupled with the lack of support when they need it most.
“I’m someone who feels on top of the world one day, and wants to hide away the next. I never used to speak to anyone about this and what happens during these periods of self isolation. How I disengage and alienate the people closest to me. We all have mental health, like we have physical health. By talking more openly about it, we develop understanding and, importantly, help to educate.”