Entertainment & Arts

Eddie Izzard completes Sport Relief marathons challenge

Media captionEddie Izzard: "Thank you to everyone... this was tough"

Comedian Eddie Izzard has completed his challenge in South Africa to run 27 marathons in 27 days for Sport Relief.

The 54-year-old needed to run a double marathon on Sunday to complete his challenge beneath a statue of Nelson Mandela, in Pretoria.

Izzard attempted a similar feat in South Africa in 2012 but had to pull out for health reasons.

The comedian's endurance feat raised more than £1.35m. The 2016 Sport Relief total stands at £56,984,007.

"That was very, very tough," Izzard told reporters as he swigged from a celebratory bottle of sparkling white wine.

The 27 marathons were intended to reflect the 27 years Mr Mandela had spent in prison before becoming South Africa's first black president.

How will 27 marathons affect Eddie Izzard?

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Image copyright AP
Image caption Izzard finished his feat by running a double marathon

Over the 707-mile route, Izzard battled through dehydration, heat exhaustion and sunstroke.

He was forced to take an unscheduled rest day on the fifth day of the challenge, which meant he had to complete two marathons on the final day.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The comedian's marathons have raised more than more than £1.35m for Sport Relief

"It's been the hardest thing I've ever done," said a "very tired" Izzard. "Thank you to everyone who has donated [and] don't do this at home."

Gary Lineker, marathon runner Paula Radcliffe and DJ Chris Moyles are among those who have tweeted their congratulations.

Image copyright @GaryLineker

Meanwhile, the general public have been taking part in a variety of events to further raise money for Sport Relief.

The Sainsbury's Sport Relief Games have seen people carrying out sponsored runs, swims, walks and bike rides.

Celebrities have been involved, including Welsh rugby player Shane Williams in Cardiff, boxer Carl Frampton in Belfast and pop star Shayne Ward in Sheffield.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Izzard attempted a similar feat in 2012 but had to pull out for health reasons

In London, comedienne Jo Brand - who recently completed a 135-mile walk which raised £1,159,220 - visited the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to take part in the events.

She said: "My feet felt like they'd been lightly blowtorched for a week after my challenge, but they're alright now.

"I was planning on lying down and having chips thrown on me today but unfortunately that hasn't happened yet."

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