It’s wonderful how people can re-invent themselves, overcoming massive setbacks. Eddie Kidd is one of those…
In his prime Kidd was one of the best motorbike stunt riders in the world, but having sustained serious head and pelvic injuries in a relatively minor stunt bike crash, a 50 ft jump on a motorcycle across a drag strip compared to some of his more well-known feats – such as jumping clean over the Great Wall of China – Eddie Kidd declared at Christmas last year that his next challenge was going to be the London Marathon.
On 6th August, 1996, Kidd suffered serious injuries in a stunt bike crash when a landing went wrong. Though he landed the bike upright and on two wheels, he was knocked unconscious and was unable to prevent the bike from continuing up and over a 30 ft (9.14 m) drop beyond the end of the run-off area. The doctors later informed his family that he could be expected to be in a coma for at least 10 years. In fact, he came out of it in less than 6 weeks.
He was, however, brain damaged with severely restricted co-ordination and speech but over the past seven years Kidd has fought to regain some of the mobility he lost.
Having announced his intention of taking place, along with 36,500 others, in the London Marathon, he began his training walking up to a mile a day using a specially designed frame. He was taking part in the Marathon to raise money for the charity Children with Cancer UK. His Marathon might have taken 7 weeks to complete, but complete it he did despite the almost impossibility of the task. One is almost tempted to say that a mere mortal would have given up a long time before the finish line came into view.
It was not easy. Sami, his wife who helped him all the way, said “It’s been harder than we thought. It’s been a real hard challenge, really tough. It’s put him through so much. He’s been exhausted and frustrated and made up his own swear words because he’s run out of the normal ones to use. This has been the toughest challenge ever. He says it’s his greatest feat.”
He was supported along the way by family, friends, and other people with disabilities and medical problems. “The public have been out of this world. It’s been overwhelming and emotional. Each person that walked with us had a story to tell. They said that he’s given them a fresh lease of life,” Sami said.
Former boxer, Michael Watson, was waiting for him at the finish line and presented him with his medal. Watson himself had been in a coma for 40 days after a fight with Chris Eubank in 1991. He ran the marathon in 2003 and completed it in seven days. He knew well the depths to which Eddie Kidd had had to dig to get to the finish line.
There was one other slow and painful negotiation of the London Marathon, though this time by choice. Lloyd Scott, 49, dressed as Magic Roundabout character Brian the Snail, crawled the 26-mile course at about one mile per day. He was accompanied around the course by other characters from the Magic Roundabout including Florence, Dylan and Zebedee. His aim was to raise £200,000 for children’s charity Action for Kids. He has already raised more than £5 million for charity by running marathons in various forms of disguise. in 2002 he famously took 5 days to complete the London Marathon in a deep sea diving suit. he has also cycled across Australia on a penny farthing.