Eddie Izzard triumphantly completes 27 marathons in 27 days

  • Epic final day saw him complete 2 MARATHONS in just 11 hours 5 minutes
  • The actor’s challenge has raised £1,351,722 for Sport Relief
  • A summary of Eddie’s epic journey is available on BBC Three: bbc.co.uk/bbcthree

An exhausted but ecstatic Eddie Izzard has today (Sunday 20th March) at 15:15 GMT (17:15 local time) completed his gruelling Sport Relief challenge, which saw him run  a staggering 27 marathons in 27 days – over 700 miles - across South Africa, including a DOUBLE marathon on his final day.

Eddie started his mammoth challenge on Tuesday 23rd February and finished today with a Comrades -style double marathon in under twelve hours, following a punishing schedule of dawn starts and running in blistering heat.

At the finish line, Eddie said: This has been a long project but with the help of ‘Team 27’ I did it. Thank you so much to everyone who donated.”

“I always knew I'd be back. When I didn't make it in 2012 I knew I'd be back. I can't stand upright, I have a huge blister and I’m exhausted. But I'm delighted.”

Having battled through dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunstroke to reach this point, the completion of his challenge is particularly poignant after the actor attempted the same feat in 2012, but was forced to stop due to health issues after marathon number four. This year, he was made to rest on day five, following medical advice, to determine the levels of his heat exhaustion and dehydration in hospital. The unscheduled rest day caused him to fall a day behind, meaning he needed to complete 2 marathons in his final day to fulfil his ambition of 27 marathons in 27 days.

Following medical advice, Eddie took breaks between the peak heat of 11.30am and 3.30pm and had a hydration strategy in place whilst he was running.

Marathon Man Facts and Stats:

  • Total mileage: 707 miles
  • Top temperature: 42°C on Day 3
  • Fastest time: 5h 34m on Day 22
  • Favourite snack: Date balls and dried mango
  • Biggest surprise: Call from the International Space Station as Tim Peake wished him luck

Eddie’s challenge will be documented in an hour long one-off programme – Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man for Sport Relief – on BBC Two on Monday 28th March, looking back at the 27 days that saw him run more than 700 miles. His route traced the story of Nelson Mandela’s life, starting on 23rd February at Mbashe Bridge near Mandela’s birth town of Mvezo and finishing on Sunday 20th March at the Union Building in Pretoria, where Mandela was sworn in and gave his first speech as President.

Eddie’s progress on this incredible challenge was covered every step of the way by the new online BBC Three, including:

  • A personal diary and up to the minute reports on his challenge on bbc.co.uk/bbcthree
  • Live updates via BBC Three’s social channels
  • Virtual map of Eddie’s progress

Eddie chose 27 marathons to reflect the 27 years that Nelson Mandela spent in prison. Throughout his journey he explored the history of South Africa and Nelson Mandela; and visited communities, organisations and families that have all been helped by the work of Comic Relief.

As of 15:15 GMT (17:15 local time) on Sunday 20th March, Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man had raised a fantastic £1,351,722 for Sport Relief, which will be used to help transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world’s poorest communities.

ENDS

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About Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a UK charity which aim to create a just world, free from poverty – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredible tough lives, both here at home in the UK and across the world.

For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit comicrelief.com.

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).

For the latest news, statements and exclusive content direct from the Comic Relief Press Office follow @ComicReliefNews.