Yes, all 3,329km of it

If you didn’t thing that riding 3,329km was hard enough, then how about running it? Well that’s what marathon runner Peter Thompson as he takes on the entire route of the 2018 Tour de France, trying to finish ahead of the riders.

Quite reasonably, Thompson is giving himself a bit of a head start, setting off from Noirmoutier-en-l’Île on May 19, seven weeks ahead of the riders, and aiming to cover 30 miles per day to make it to the Champs-Élysées before the riders on July 29.

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That means Thompson will face 70 days on the road, which includes climbing a massive 28,000m as he traverses the big mountain passes in the Alps and Pyrenees.

As you might expect, Thompson is no novice when it comes to feats of ultra-endurance on two feet, including running 44 marathons in 44 days across 44 countries in 2017, raising £19,000 for mental health charities in the process.

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Thompson will once again be raising money for mental health charities Mind and Liveability, a cause which he says is close to his heart.

“I have many friends, family and ex partners that suffer and still do suffer with serious mental health issues,” Thompson writes on his website. “Some have tried to take their own lives and others battle through on mixtures of medication and levels of determination and courage that I admire greatly.

“These challenges and mental health focus started for these people. However I soon realised it was making me question my own mental health more and more.

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“I had also been around others suffering with much greater mental health needs than myself and had thought it would be disrespectful to talk about my mental health in the light of these. I didn’t suffer like they did, to me these days of self-isolation were few in comparison.

“I now realise it’s not a comparison. I realise that we all have mental health in the same way we have physical health and there will many levels within that. By talking we help ourselves, we help others, we help educate and we help to end the stigma that still exists.”

You can donate to Thompson’s effort through his Virgin Money Giving page.

We’ll keep you updated with Thompson’s progress when he begins his challenge in May