Gosport adventurer teams up with Eddie Izzard for fundraising marathon

FOR years she has pushed herself to the very limits of physical adventure.
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Now confined to her home in lockdown in Alverstoke, Gosport, adventurer Paula Reid is taking on a different kind of challenge.

On Sunday, she will be joined by three other mums rowing alongside comedian and fundraising extraordinaire Eddie Izzard, as part of her Run For Hope – taking on 31 marathons, then 31 stand-up shows in 31 virtual cities, all in 31 days.

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Paula, who admits she’s far from an experienced rower, has been a huge fan of comedian Eddie for a very long time, and sees her as an inspiration.

Paula Reid, from Gosport, at the GAFIRS New Year's Day swim in 2019.

Picture: Sarah Standing (010119-4)Paula Reid, from Gosport, at the GAFIRS New Year's Day swim in 2019.

Picture: Sarah Standing (010119-4)
Paula Reid, from Gosport, at the GAFIRS New Year's Day swim in 2019. Picture: Sarah Standing (010119-4)
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She said: ‘I have huge admiration for Eddie’s endurance running and I’m a fan of her stand-up comedy.

‘When I skied to the South Pole in 2014, I took downloads of Eddie’s gigs to motivate me and keep me upbeat.

‘I now have the honour of paying back Eddie and motivating her marathon running on Sunday.’

Eddie Izzard at Art Hound Gallery in Riverside Studios. Picture: Nicky J Sims/Getty ImagesEddie Izzard at Art Hound Gallery in Riverside Studios. Picture: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images
Eddie Izzard at Art Hound Gallery in Riverside Studios. Picture: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images
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Paula’s 2014 ski across Antarctica took her a staggering 621 miles, and in 2019 took part in the Red Bull Soapbox Race.

On Sunday, the row – a total of 26.6 miles – will be done via Zoom, with all four team members pushing each other on.

Paula said: ‘I haven’t got any on water rowing experience, I’ve only done four training rows on a machine, I’m still working out my technique and building my post-Christmas fitness.

‘But I want to show my support for Eddie and hopefully inspire others too during this difficult time.’

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Having spoken to Eddie ahead of the event, Paula will be doing it to raise money for the comedian’s Make Humanity Great Again charities.

The adventurer said: ‘Eddie was so lovely, she gave me plenty of tips ahead of the big day.

‘One of those tips was that it’s easier to accomplish something when you’re doing it publicly, because everyone is watching and willing you to succeed.

‘Because of that, I'm tempted to live stream the whole thing – that would certainly push me on.

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‘Lockdown isn’t really suited to an adventurer like me, but I want to make the best of it.’

To donate to the Make Humanity Great Again campaign, people can go to crowdfunder.co.uk/eddie

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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