Romesh Ranganathan beat London Marathon goal of finishing ‘while roads are still closed’

Romesh Ranganathan at the London Marathon after he crossed the finish line
Romesh Ranganathan said he would match the donations raised for Calm with his own money - Imageplotter /Alamy

Romesh Ranganathan took six and a half hours to finish the London Marathon after saying his only aim was to complete the course before the roads reopened.

The comedian, 46, was running on Sunday in order to raise funds for the mental health charity the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm).

Speaking to BBC Sport ahead of the event, he said: “My target time is to finish while the roads are still closed.

“That is the aim for me, if I get that, that’s me done.”

He told interviewer, Gabby Logan, that he would be representing Calm because he has struggled with suicidal thoughts.

He said: “I came close to taking my own life in the past and it’s something I feel strongly about in terms of mental health issues.

“And Calm is a really great charity for raising awareness and so it was both about raising the money and just raising the awareness of the work that they do, so that’s why I’m running.”

Ranganathan, who is a patron for Calm, said he would match any donations that were raised. To date £19,400 has been donated on Ranganathan’s London Marathon page.

He said: “And, I do want to say, whatever donations I get I’m going to match them…To a limit obviously, I don’t want to lose my house over this.”

Ms Logan asked: “What’s your limit? Did you say a million to me before?”

The comedian said: “No Gabby, I didn’t say that.”

In an Instagram post ahead of the event, Ranganathan told his followers: “I said I’d never run a marathon but here I am.

“I’m not sure where I’d be today if I didn’t get help when I hit rock bottom. In fact, I don’t know if I’d be here at all.

“So, I want to help to make sure more people know about Calm’s life-saving services, as well as raising as much money as I can.”

In February last year Ranganathan said he regularly thought about taking his own life.

Speaking on The Diary of a CEO podcast, he told host Steven Bartlett: “I was thinking about taking my own life regularly, and I’d fantasise about it.

“I think that all comedians are wired slightly differently. They’ve had something happen to them that has made them an outsider in some way.”

Running alongside the comedian were a host of well-known individuals including Russ Cook, who goes by the moniker “Hardest Geezer”, and recently completed more than 10,100 miles (6,300km) run through Africa.

Twenty MPs and peers including Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Matt Hancock, the former health secretary, also ran the course.

Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, from Kenya, beat the women’s-only world record to win in two hours, 16 minutes and 16 seconds.

Alexander Munyao, from Kenya, won the men’s race with a time of two hours and four minutes.