A 46-year-old challenge junkie has ditched running for strength training ahead of his latest charity feat: pulling a one-tonne car for a marathon distance.
Prosperity 24/7 Chief Operating Officer Pete Wright, who is aiming to raise money for cancer charity Macmillan Jersey, has been competing in ultra-marathons since 2013.
His first one was the Marathon des Sables, a six-day 250km race through the Sahara Desert. At the time, he had already taken part in a couple of road marathons and played football and squash.
Since then, Peter has tackled ultra-trail races in the UK, Scotland and the Alps; the Jungle Marathon, a 155-mile race over six days in the Amazon Rain Forest, and a 100-mile ultramarathon in the US Western states. “I like to set new challenges, each is a bit more difficult than the other one,” Pete said.
Pictured: Pete took part in the Marathon des Sables, a six-day 250km race through the Sahara Desert, in 2013.
Last year, after a close family member was diagnosed with cancer, Pete committed to complete 12 specific endurance challenges in a bid to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support Jersey. “I like doing this stuff anyway, so I thought, I why not do it for charity?” he told Express.
“I’m truly thankful that there are organisations like Macmillan Jersey that are there to offer support to people in Jersey with any type of cancer and at any stage,” Pete added.
“A cancer diagnosis can have unexpected and significant impacts on anyone impacted, and the selfless support services that Macmillan Jersey provide make a positive difference that is very difficult to measure. Macmillan Jersey are reaching out and improving the wellbeing of everyone affected by cancer.
“They receive no funding from the States of Jersey, and fundraising is so very key to the continuation of their invaluable service. This is why I am passionate about fundraising for them.”
Pictured: Pete in the Amazon Rain Forest.
So far, Pete has raised just over £2,850 for the local charity, which offers emotional and practical support to islanders with any type of cancer as well as their families and friends.
While the challenges he has undertaken may be Herculean, contrary to the legendary figure, Pete did not have to kill a nine-headed hydra or clean stables. Instead, he ran 230km in Swedish Lapland in temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees; rowed the equivalent of the distance between Jersey and Sark and back; ran 140miles from Whitehaven to Tynemouth in under 38 hours and rode a bike around FB Fields for 24 hours, covering over 250 miles.
He also took part in a 100km ultra marathon in the Transylvanian mountains, with 6,500 of ascent and two 48-mile ultra-marathons around Jersey under 10 hours.
More recently, he participated in the Dorset Marathon, a 29-mile coastal and hilly marathon as well as the 310-km Dragons Back and the 100-mile Wendover Woods ultra-marathons.
But for his final challenge, Pete wanted something that would not be just running. On 16 November, he will be attempting to pull a car in a harness, non-stop, for the distance of a marathon, a challenge he hopes to complete in 12 to 14 hours.
With someone sitting in the car, the total load will be around 1,060 kilos. Pete will be pulling the car along the 5-mile road between Jersey Pearl and Le Braye, covering his own steps multiple times to complete 26.2miles.
To help raise funds for Macmillan Jersey, a raffle will be organised with the car, supplied locally by Jacksons and sponsored by DGR Slatter, being the top prize and tickets are already available from The Lounge Charity Book Café.
“My wife is used to me coming up with silly ideas,” Pete said. “My kids found it amusing. When I told my little girl, she said ‘You can’t do it you are too weak.’ I have to prove her wrong.”
Pictured: Pete said his little girl thinks he is too weak to pull a car.
Whilst Pete admits strength training was completely new to him when he started training for this new challenge, he has been able to count on the expertise of Dan Garrido, a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach from FX Fitness, who is specialised in training all levels of endurance athletes.
Pete also has the support of Lisa Mann, of the Jersey Sports & Spinal Clinic, who has worked with him for the past 10 years to improve his strength and mobility for his extreme challenges. Pete has also been receiving regular advice from Kit Chamier, who runs True Food, in a bid to gain eight kilos.
“I also have my own quirky way of training,” Pete adds. “I have an old bus tyre and I have been getting down to the local field with my dogs and pulling it in a harness. Sometimes my kids sit on it to add a bit of weight.”
Pictured: Pete at the Western States 100 in 2017.
While he says he felt very nervous until he tried pulling the car a few weeks ago, Pete says he is now only “kind of nervous” about the challenge but also “very excited about it.”
“I am very focused on it, but I also want to have some fun,” he said. “I never take things too seriously. I want to try and complete the challenge, it will take as long as it takes."
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