Eddie Izzard – Marathon Man Review: Long Running Joke

March 4, 2010 by  
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EDDIE IZZARD – MARARTHON MAN: Thursday 4th March, BBC 3, 10.30pm ALERT ME

Some of us are natural born runners; trim, athletic and with a positive can-do attitude – Forrest Gump-type people.

The rest of us are like comedian Eddie Izzard; lazy, out of shape and not built for any form of exercise.

But Eddie puts these obstacles aside for a bit as he attempts to raise money for Sport Relief by running a whopping 43 marathons.

Now while such a feat would take me and you a million years, Eddie pushes himself to do it in just 51 days. This episode is just the first leg of a journey around the UK which will see him run ten marathons – 277 miles, in just 11 days!

With a meagre six weeks of training under his belt, Eddie certainly pushes his body to the limit. Prior to this gigantic slog, he gets himself checked out to make sure that he is physically up to the challenge. It might have been a good idea for him to check his mental health as well, because having never done anything like this before, we can’t help but think that he must be a little bit mental.

Nevertheless the comedian starts his marathon of marathons in Trafalgar Square and winds up finishing the first section of his journey in the Brecon Beacons. On his way to Wales, his most important pit-stop is the home he shared with his mother until her death when he was just six years old.

His journey is part endurance challenge and part personal voyage of discovery. As he runs, he reveals things about himself; a vulnerability that contrasts with his tough defenses, how much he misses his mother and how her death changed his life.

Needless to say, along the way Eddie suffers terrible aches and pains as a result of a limited training period, but he was bolstered by his support team and the people of the UK who came out on the road to support him. Followed everywhere he went by the Sport Relief ice-cream van, Eddie spreads the word about what he’s doing and in a truly Gump-like moment, inspires people to come out in rain or shine and run with him. Honestly, the things people will do for free ice cream.