On day 49 of Peter Thompson’s heroic challenge to Run the Tour De France route, the official Tour de France started on Saturday 7 July. This will be the 105th Tour de France, and Pete’s mission to beat the bikes is heating up – they will complete the tour on the 29th July. Pete has days to get there.
Pete continues through the gruelling stages of the Tour De France route. Pete’s journey has seen obstacles: the searing heat (33 degrees), staggering climbs, running through the Alps and some very sore legs. Pete writes in his daily update on how he faces the difficult times. His ability to focus on the next day, and keep on going is extraordinary:
One blog entry said: “In the last 4 or 5 days there seems to have been a real shift in my mentality. It feels like I have gone from ‘pushing on’ to ‘hanging on’ and it’s something I’m trying really hard to change.
The difference in mind-set between the two is huge as I have found myself starting the last few days with my head feeling like it’s going to be a struggle. It’s not a good place to be as ultimately the day lives up to that and I really have to fight to keep myself going.
I know that some of this will be down to the physical accumulation of what I’m doing, as is the tiredness, but I don’t think that’s solely the reason.
I think the big thing is that I’ve made the cardinal sin of starting to think about the finish.
You could say that focusing on a finish line is positive and I would largely agree in most normal races. There can be reassurance in knowing the end is in sight but for me, at this stage, I know I need to get back to just focusing on the next day. So that’s the task I have set myself for the next few days. To take back control of the mental side of this challenge and start each day with the right mentality
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Pete’s portrays each aspect of his challenge, good and bad, and in doing so prooves to be a great ambassador for mental health.
“The last few days in the mountains have been some I will never forget. With a back drop that has topped anywhere I have ever run or probably ever been. Sadly though it isn’t all smiles and scenery as getting to those peaks, and the challenge of trying to keep on track each day inevitably takes its toll.
It has been and still is a huge physical and emotional rollercoaster and although things are in a good place, and we’re on track to get to Paris before the riders, there is still a long way to go. Another 33 days of running over a marathon a day, up and down some big old climbs.
However I just want to be open that it’s hard, really hard sometimes and the good days are mixed in with a few where we hold on to that next mountain view or visit from friends.
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Watch the video broadcast on channel 5
His Marathons for the Mind challenge equates to an ultra-marathon a day (30 miles). In total he will run all 21 stages of the gruelling route, covering 2,069 miles and 27,000 metres of hill climbs; all with the professional riders biting at his ankles.