Comedian and regular runner, Eddie Izzard, took part in his first parkrun last weekend (17 Aug), completing the 5k course at Central Park, Chelmsford, Essex in an impressive 25min 10sec (faster than the average course time). Eddie was attending as the patron of Join In - a scheme which aims to encourage people to help out at sports clubs and community groups around the UK.
The 51-year-old comedian took part with other Join In members including director Dave Moorcroft, a former 5k world record holder with 13:00:41 in 1982. Eddie addressed runners before the event and presented a 10 Club certificate to Benjamin Splarn. Participants were encouraged to do the 'Mobot' as they crossed the finish line in tribute to Mo Farah's double gold medal in the world championships in Moscow. Eddie's run finished with him out-sprinting first timer Ben Tyler.
Eddie said of the experience "This was my first one. I was doing four and a half minute kilometres and I normally do five and a half to a six. So everything was sped up. I think my trainer, Martin, would like me to do more of these kind of events."
Though Eddie seemed unsure of how well he'd done, not being used to the 5k distance: "All I'm doing is comparing myself against Mo Farah."
When asked for his thoughts on parkrun he said: "It's great, we need it. Britain needs it. The world needs it. The spirit the games makers had in the Olympic games and the Paralympics - that was brilliant. People did respond to it so we need to keep that going. "
Izzard is no stranger to running, having completed 43 marathons in 51 days in 2009 for charity Sport Relief, but he was quick to downplay his achievements: "I'm not that amazing. It's not about what I can do, it's me proving what we all can do."
For more information about a parkrun near you, visit the parkrun website.