Welcome to the second edition of In the Pen, our series of interviews with the runners that inspire the Lonely Goat community.
This edition, it is the turn of Pete Thompson, runner, coach, massage therapist and speaker.
In 2017, Pete ran an incredible 44 marathons in 44 European countries on 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 Tour de France. With a seven week head start on the riders, Pete 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.
Pete has been a supporter of Lonely Goat Running Club since the early days and was kind enough to answer our questions:
1. Why do you run?
I run because I love the focus it gives me. A focus that plays a huge part in my physical and mental wellbeing. It’s also a means of escape and an outlet for my competitive side: A side that only seems to come out when I’m chasing after a ball or someone in a vest.
2. What motivates you?
I used to be solely motivated by times and performances but that has changed in recent years. Although I will never lose that competitive side, I now realise that there is so much more to running than a number.
Now my main motivation is to make sure running continues to have a positive affect on my life and not a negative one. The fact that it has helped others through the charity element of my recent challenges is something that also means a great deal to me.
3. What are your top tips for beginner runners?
My main tip is not to run with a watch. It may sound strange, but I think it’s very easy to get consumed by watching time go by or being weighed down by the pressure of having to run for X amount of minutes or miles.
I now coach other runners and whatever level they’re at I always include ‘watch free’ sessions so that they can focus on their surroundings and how their body feels, not watching a clock count down or the miles clock up.
4. What is your favourite place to run?
I love running in the forest. There are so many trails that you can make up your routes as you go along. I don’t think I could ever get bored out there.
5. Where would you like to run that you haven’t?
I would love to run in the mountains in Switzerland. I was planning to run part of the Eiger trail in July, but sadly, due to COVID-19, that will have to wait until next year.
6. Do you have any funny running stories?
On my 44 Marathon challenge my legs were so sore by day seven in Ukraine that I made a make shift ice bath with four bags of frozen peas.
I am not a proud man.
7. Do you have any favorite running books?
I’m terrible that I don’t read as much as I should, maybe because of what happens when I do!
My favourite running book would be Adharanand Finn’s Running with the Kenyans. It is a book which seven years ago made me quit my job and fly to Kenya for three months to follow in his footsteps.
It’s an experience I will never forget and without reading Adharanand’s book, one that I never would have had.
8. What did you used to do that you don’t do now?
I used to analyse every element of my running from the food I consumed to what my heart rate was on every session. I now run without a HR monitor and only use a GPS watch very rarely.
As I write this I have run without any sort of watch at all for well over a month and although my Strava may not be as impressive, I am enjoying running a lot more as a result.
9. What result are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of my challenge where I ran a marathon in every European country in consecutive days.
From crying at bus stations in Budapest to running with strangers in Bratislava, the support I had, the money it raised, and the places I visited will be something that will live with me forever.
10. Who inspires you?
There are so many stories of everyday people taking on incredible feats these days that it’s not hard to find inspiration.
What inspires me most are people who also do things for the right reasons. I have been lucky enough to meet Rob Pope aka Forrest Gump recently, who ran Forrest’s famous route across America.
A more genuine and wonderful human being it would be hard to find.
11. Are you a parkrunner?
Yes – I love parkrun and I would say I run about 10 a year. My local events would be Bournemouth or Poole.
What parkrun has achieved is fantastic and the impact it’s had on both individuals and communities is hard to overstate.
12. Music or silence when running?
I hardly ever run with music and just like the sound of silence or the internal conversation in my head.
13. What do you like about running on your own?
I like that it’s my time and my bit of freedom. Sometimes I think through problems or come up with ideas, but the best times are when I simply think about nothing at all.
14. What is your next challenge?
My next challenge is to run a Suffolk Back Yard Ultra in August (COVID permitting).
Basically, you run around a 4.17 mile loop every hour on the hour until only one person remains. What’s not to like?
15. How can people follow you online?
People can follow me on the social links below.
More information about my online coaching can also be found at www.petethompsononline.com.
16. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I remember kindly being given a Lonely Goat t-shirt about three years ago when the guys came to watch me talk about my first challenge.
I still wear it out running and it’s been great to see it grow to what is today and how it showcases everything good about running.
Thank you Pete!
Keep an eye out for the next In the Pen interview, coming soon…
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"Peter’s natural vulnerability helped everyone relate to him, and he was so sincere. Brilliant! ”— J.P Morgan Since the challenges I have undertaken talks to a range of audiences including TEDx Warrick, businesses such as JP Morgan, and at multiple running events and award ceremonies. I have also presented to many children, young people and big kids like myself. My talks are open, honest and from the heart. I talk with freedom, humility & humour about how I went from crying in a Ugandan Orphanage, to running a marathon in every country in Europe in consecutive days & the entire route of the 2018 Tour de France. The many aspects of my adventures mean I can tailor talks to the needs of multiple events or audiences. Have an event that you feel I may be suited? Then please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or find more details on link in bio or www.peterthompsononline.com/speaking ⬆️⬆️ . . . #speaker #publicspeaking #speaking #events #talk #motivationalspeaker #motivation #run #runthetour #travel #mentalhealth #traveller #travelling #adventure #challenge #fitness #nutrition