Marathon runner, mental health campaigner, and Elliot Brown watch ambassador, Pete Thompson, has set one of the world’s most famous endurance tests in his sights – but it’s one that’s normally the preserve of the professional cyclist.

On 19th May – with a seven week head start on the riders – Pete will set off from the Vendee, aiming to run (not cycle) the entire Tour de France course in just 70 days.

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 grueling route, covering 2,069 miles and 27,000 metres of hill climbs; all with the professional riders biting at his ankles.

Pete, who comes from Bournemouth, is raising money for two mental health chartities, Mind and Livability – a disability charity that connects people with their communities.

And as an ambassador for Elliot Brown, the watch brand is encouraging people to donate £10 to Pete’s cause and in turn will be offered the chance to win an engraved Elliot Brown watch.  To be entered, simply include the words “Elliot Brown, good for the Mind” when donating.

Founder of Elliot Brown, Ian Elliot explains, “Pete is an incredible inspiration to us. His bravery and dedication are something to behold.  The causes are close to everyone’s heart. Like Pete, our watches are durable, robust and love a challenge! That’s why we chose Pete as an ambassador and why we want to support this phenomenal feat.”  

Last year Pete raised £19,000 for mental health charities when he ran 44 marathons in 44 countries, winning a regional Pride of Britain Award along the way. This year he’s upped the ante somewhat and by the end of the route will have climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest over three times. A concept that won’t be lost on those who struggle with mental illness.

Pete Thompson said, “I know many people who have serious mental health issues. 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.”