Eddie & Mike

Ah – another proud moment for South Africa as the world looks on.

Eddie Izzard’s attempt to run 27 marathons in 27 days in South Africa has had to be postponed, “just” four days in:

I set out to run 27 marathons in 27 days as a tribute to Nelson Mandela and his 27 years spent in prison.

Having completed 4 marathons, unfortunately, I have had to put my attempt on hold due to unforeseen medical complications that have arisen due to a multitude of factors including severe terrain, humidity and altitude. But I wish to say that my attempt is not over and I will return to South Africa and run the 27 marathons and finish this story.

I owe that to Nelson Mandela who has inspired the world to struggle and succeed no matter what obstacles are thrown at us.

There are literally hundreds of supportive comments in response to the post.

And then there’s this one from Mike Finch:

This is awkward and embarrassing, at best. Is it meant to be funny? Is it meant to be a bit of a dig at the English?
Or maybe a dig at Eddie personally?

Even runners like you?

It’s not surprising you only lasted four marathons

This is the guy who did 43 marathons in 51 days a couple of years back. I’m no huge fan of Eddie Izzard, but that is a pretty huge achievement.

Now he is in SA supporting and honouring the South African hero. And yet you ridicule him?

And what on earth is:

This is Africa… where men never cry and women do… a lot

meant to mean?

All in all, it would be a pretty awful comment from anyone, really, but then it turns out that Mike is the editor of Runnersworld magazine.
He’s educated.
He allegedly “knows about running”.
He edits the most popular running magazine on the continent.

And yet he gives us that condescending, uninformed crap?

No wonder I’m not a subscriber. Are you?

UPDATE: Opinion seems divided over the Mike Finch post. The overwhelming majority are with me: the comment is rude, disrespectful, uninformed and crass. Mike does have some support though.
The division exists almost completely (although not absolutely) along the line of whether the individual knows Mike or not. Those friends of Mike are incredulous that I or anyone else could read anything but humour into his Facebook comment. And that, to me, probably shows that Mike’s comment was probably an attempt to be humorous. (I still don’t get the “women cry a lot bit”, though.)

However, what these unobservant birds fail to notice is that the vast majority of Eddie Izzard’s 445,000 fans on Facebook aren’t personal friends of Mike Finch. So on their reading, his comment will have come across as rude, disrespectful, uninformed and crass.

As someone charged with editing a popular magazine, and when commenting to 445,000 fans of Eddie Izzard, perhaps Mike should have thought about writing more for the masses and not for his mates.