A short jog with Eddie Izzard

About 1:45 yesterday afternoon, Nick and I stood in the rain near Stratford station, waiting to see if Eddie Izzard would run round the corner, so we could join him for the last 10 miles of a marathon finishing in Trafalgar Square. A marathon is never something to be sniffed at, but in this case, it was Eddie’s 43rd marathon in just 51 days, and the final leg of more than 1100 miles running around the British Isles for Sport Relief. (It’s not too late to donate! £200k so far…)

I had my Flip camera with me and took some videos as we ran round. Some of them are a little shakey (some of them are nausea-inducing). Nevertheless, I’m happy to have a record of Eddie’s gutsy sprint down the Mall for a 5-hour personal best, knowing literally how far he’d come but only guessing what must have been going through his mind.

Meeting Eddie

As we waited in the rain for Eddie to get to Stratford, I couldn’t help but notice that he has over 1 million Twitter followers.

Pit stop

You run 1000 miles and your crew can’t even keep up…

Eddie meets a fan

It was amazing how many people shouted encouragement or beeped their horns as we ran through London. One guy actually leaned out of his van to give Eddie a donation.

The rickshaw

The other side of the lens, this guy pedaled the camera crew smoothly through London traffic, displaying some fine maneuvers weaving between cones.

Catching up

Quite early on, I ran in the opposite direction to tell the producer we were moving on. I didn’t realise Eddie was going to set such a punishing pace all the way from the Olympic stadium to Aldgate East, where I finally caught them.

A chat with a doctor

Eddie’s put up pictures of his battered feet (I’m not providing a link!) to show the physical effects of all his running, but this doctor thought his shins must be taking a serious beating. Eddie did admit to all the muscles being “badly bruised”. Ouch.

Legging it

Eddie had an unnerving habit of picking up the pace just as you were getting comfortable. You wouldn’t know he’d been running for 50 days…

Over London Bridge

The traffic was blocked off from our side of the road and a helicopter flew overhead – it felt a lot like we were in a 5-man London Marathon.

Approaching St. Paul’s

Could seeing St. Paul’s and knowing there was only three miles left to go failed to have had an uplifting effect?

A new supporter

Danny joined at St. Paul’s. I was really expecting there to be a lot of people running in support, but there was just the three of us. I guess the torrential rain made a difference…


Pit stop – the camera-crew needed directions once again.

South Bank

Eddie ran past the crowds by the London Eye and straight into a tourist, providing them with a pretty good story to tell back home.

Parliament Square

More speed from Eddie as St. James’ Park swung into view and we neared the last mile.

Minor drama

You can’t run 1100 miles and not have your sprint-finish captured on film, right? So where are the crew?

Buckingham Palace

Crew located, we sped on – just one straight, long road to go.

Down The Mall

This is where the temptation to attach “Chariots of Fire” gets very strong. I haven’t, so if you are that way inclined, please imagine it playing in your head.

Eddie’s Ices

Free ice-cream is never a bad thing.

Gracious End

Personally, I would have collapsed at this point, but Eddie had a nice long chat with the press and then hobbled down the steps of Trafalgar Square signing autographs and talking to people. He posed for some photographs with us. 🙂



  1. Posted September 16, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for writing this up J. It’s wonderful to have a record of the run. A great memory! And what a lovely guy Eddie was – he deserves every plaudit he gets.

    Here’s the map of the route we took:
    We joined on the map below where it says ‘Leyton’ at the top of Major Road.
    10.6 miles in total.

  2. Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Even after 1000 miles, he was difficult to keep up with. But you did – well done to you! Thank you so much for this momentous pov.

  3. Claywoman/Patricia
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Thank you for bringing us along on your extraordinary run and for preserving some exciting moments that even the BBC crew missed! You’ve made a bit of history recording Eddie’s Victory Sprint and that’s something Grand! 🙂

    • Posted September 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Yes, it’s a bit more “in there” than shots from a helicopter. Glad you enjoyed the footage.

  4. jo owens
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    thank you, jonathan. never enough of Eddie! congrats on ur feat also. good job covering what the pros missed. thx again.

  5. John
    Posted September 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice site – well done. I was hoping to run with him from Westminster Bridge to the end but he was too fast for me. An absolute total gent though.

  6. Posted September 18, 2009 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    These are great! We are HUGE fans of Eddie here, so thrilled for him.