Running the Tour de France – 2,000 extreme miles for a cause

Wait, isn’t the Tour de France a cycle race?  Not only is it a bike race, but this grueling 21 stage cycle race is celebrating its 100th year when it runs from June 29 to July 21.  Endurance runner Zoe Ramano is currently in the midst of a nine week run through the same terrain in efforts to raise money for the World Pediatric Project. This isn’t Ms. Ramano first ultra run. Back in 2011 she ran the continental United States, coast to coast, in order to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  The 26 year old, a freelance writer and Spanish tutor from Richmond, Virginia, is planning to log over 30 miles a day, six days a week and arrive in Paris one day before the cycles.  If she is able to complete the task, she will be the first person ever. You can visit her webpage or Facebook page to learn more about her self-imposed challenge as well as donate to her cause.


While we, expert foot and ankle doctors, cannot condone extreme or ultra running due to the stress it places on your body and potential for injuries, it is a marvel to see the people who can accomplish these feats.   There are a multitude of grueling ultra races that see people succumb to exposure and a plethora of injuries every year.   For the runners who can avoid or overcome these problems, they often continue to participate in extreme events such as 100 mile races or 24 hour runs.   All these races and Zoe’s run are truly amazing feats of the human body.

Anyone who has read ‘Born to Run’ is familiar with Caballo Blanco and his many ultramarathons.  The Tour de France is much longer than the longest of these races, likely because it is not designed for running.  With the change in altitudes over the long distance, any leg this run could be trying for any athlete, even the women who ran the continental United States. No matter how simple or challenging of a run you decide to undertake be sure to be adequately prepared.   Good shoes, good training, and good planning are all necessary to complete a weekly run, an occasional marathon, or an extremely long ultra.  Count on your Austin podiatrists to keep your feet and ankles healthy enough to keep you running! 

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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