January saw stand up comedian Eddie Izzard complete a staggering 31 marathons in 31 days, with a surprise double marathon on the last day, making it a total of 32 marathons. All of this took place in a Covid secure room on a treadmill. During the month she also performed 31 gigs to highlight the Make Humanity Great Again campaign. The campaign raises money for charities supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Eddie managed to raise a staggering amount of money for the cause totalling over £300,000 for the campaign. Eddie is no stranger to mammoth running events, back in 2009 she ran 43 marathons in 51 days for Sport Relief, at this time Eddie has no previous long distance running experience. 7 years later she donned her running shoes again running 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa to honour Nelson Mandela.
As the event was taking place on a treadmill, other athletes were able to join Eddie on Zwift, an online running game, which enables people from around the world to run together with avatars from their treadmills. Zwift is very similar to a normal running club, and provides massive amounts of support for athletes. So when the Zwift community heard about Eddie's challenge several runners decided to join her virtual. Her team, called the Blue Angels, these athletes ran virtually alongside Eddie to show support for this amazing physical and psychological feat of endurance. With each marathon, the runners changed digital location and virtually travelled around the globe.
One of these Blue Angels was Looe Pioneers athlete Clive Finnimore. Who made the decision that he would support Eddie, by joining her on Zwift as much as possible during the month long endurance challenge. Over the month, Clive ran on his treadmill, every day with Eddie and the Blue Angels, with some days running more than once to show his support. This superhuman effort by Clive who overall ran a staggering 21 marathons during the month. Even more impressively, 16 marathons were on consecutive days, an unbelievable feat. Where most other athletes would take some time off and have rest days, Clive didn't and he kept going. In addition to the marathons Clive also ran 8 half marathons, 1 run at 10k, 12 runs at 5 k and 2 runs less than 5K. All of this was done on his treadmill from his home. In total Clive ran an amazing 728.61 miles over the course of the 31 days. Not only did he complete these massive physical challenges but he also averaged an incredible pace during the month, running at 12 -13 minute miles. Clive was able to virtually run in several amazing locations, including Central Park (Marathon number 32). Clive joined Eddie and fellow Blue Angels, on the final day of January to run not one by two marathons, totalling 52.4 miles within 24 hours. Finally finishing at midnight for a well earned rest. However Clive, being the incredible athlete that he is, ran 3.2 miles on 1st February, at an even faster pace than usual. This is a completely mind blowing effort by both Clive and Eddie.
Fellow Looe Pioneers were showing their support and massive amount of respect to Clive for such an amazing effort. Frequently other Pioneers were sending messages of support via social media to help keep Clive motivated and focused on his task.