In 2017, Pete Thompson ran an incredible 44 marathons in 44 European countries in 44 consecutive days. A marathon within every country in Europe. A year later he set his sights on one of the most famous endurance tests in the world – The 2018 Tour de France. With a seven week head start on the riders - Peter set off, aiming to beat them to the finish line by running (not cycling) the entire Tour de France course in just 70 days. He succeeded running over 30 miles a day for 68 days, covering 2,069 miles and running up the equivalent of Mount Everest over 5 times. This is his story.
My first experience of running came in the year 2 school relay where I over excitedly managed to hit myself in the eye with a relay baton. After the black eye healed and the tears dried, the next was no better as I struggled round numerous school cross country’s. I wasn’t a ‘good’ runner but what I had learnt through my childhood was that I was incredibly stubborn. I never gave up. This wasn’t down some innate desire to be the best I had just learnt that by not giving up I could be better than others who did.
In my early 20’s I entered my first half marathon, then fulfilled an ambition of completing the London marathon. I did all (well most) of this with a smile. A sense that I was on a new journey. I had found an outlet for that stubborn competitive nature and I no longer had to risk injury by carrying a relay baton.
This quickly snowballed as I continued to place more and more focus on running. I got quicker but looking back I also lost a little bit of why I stared. Why I loved running in the first place. With every 100 mile week or missed celebration to stop my watch, it was becoming more about times and less about experience. I ran the same routes, I over analysed my performance and despite running a 2:25 Marathon in 2015 I simply stopped enjoying it.
Running had become too much. A break up in a relationship followed and I blamed running for what it had taken away. I found myself in the situation where I felt completely lost and the thing that used to make me happy and fulfilled was now doing the opposite. I struggled for a while before deciding I wanted running back in my life. I wanted it back the right way.
I have since taken on 2 running challenges, one involving running 44 Marathons in 44 Countries in 44 Consecutive days and the other running the 2018 Tour de France in 68 days. These have raised nearly £50,000 for mental health charities and given me a new perspective of running.
I now want to share that with others and use my knowledge and experience to support others to get the most out of themselves and the sport I love. I offer personalised online coaching support, sports massage and continue to do talks about how my experiences can benefit others.
As for the next challenge we’re just have to wait and see……