Marathon Man completes epic challenge of running 44 marathons in 44 countries over 44 consecutive days
Today, Peter Thompson successfully ran his 44th marathon in 44 consecutive days to complete his ‘Marathons for the Mind’ challenge. Starting in Russia on April 1st, Pete ran a marathon in every country in Europe to raise awareness for mental health and funds on behalf of the charities Livability and MIND.
Pete received a warm reception in Dublin – his final destination – from family, friends and supporters who cheered him over the finish line.
Watch Pete’s final steps in his 44th marathon in Dublin
Other highlights from his challenge included running his 32nd marathon in Malta with Nathan Farrugia – who completed 27 marathons, one in every EU country – and meeting the British Amassador in the British Embassy in Copenhagen.
Peter Thompson on taking on the challenge:
‘In terms of my own experiences of mental health I have had many friends and family members who have and who still suffer from, a variety of mental health conditions. I have seen how debilitating this can be, and how frustrating it can be to see services stretched and the right support often extremely hard to come by.’
Supporting mental health through Livability – what inspired Pete’s run?
One of the charities Peter Thompson is running for is Livability – a national disability and community charity. The charity delivers disability services and community projects throughout the UK, supporting disabled and vulnerable people.
Peter has been inspired by one such service called ‘Livability Holton Lee’ – a wellbeing discovery centre in Poole, Dorset, which delivers a gardening therapy project called Flourish.
Flourish is a gardening therapy programme for disabled people and people living with mental illness. Using the gardens in the expansive wellbeing discovery centre of Livability Holton Lee – activities include horticulture, conservation, woodworking and garden maintenance.
Neil Stevens – Centre Manager at Livability’s Holton Lee centre in Poole said:
‘We are delighted that Peter has chosen to support Livability by attempting this amazing challenge. Livability is a charity that is passionate about tackling barriers that can cause people to be isolated. We know that growing awareness for and supporting people with mental illness is an essential part of this. Through our work at Livability Holton Lee, we put this in to action – creating a place of wellbeing, community and inclusion through the horticulture and woodland projects we run. We are proud that through such projects we are seeing people who live with mental illness report improved levels of wellbeing and social connection. We’re deeply humbled that Peter has chosen such a challenging way in which to help promote this vital and important work.’
Karen Bolton, Community & Events Manager at Mind, said:
‘We are truly grateful to Pete for his incredible efforts in undertaking this mammoth challenge and for choosing Mind as one of the charities to benefit from his fundraising. We hope that his challenge will also help to open up the conversation around mental health and encourage more people to get support if they need it. Sport, ecotherapy and exercise not only help to change people’s opinions around mental health, but Peter’s challenge will raise vital money, which will fund Mind’s vital work including the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.’