Eddie Izzard is, as we speak, undergoing a Sport Relief challenge of epic proportions in honour of Nelson Mandela and his 27-year imprisonment, by running a marathon for every year Mandela spent in prison, that’s 27 marathons in 27 days. He began in Mandela’s hometown in Eastern Cape and will finish in Pretoria.
The BBC, and Izzard himself, view Mandela’s release in 1990 as a catalyst which “paved the way for Comic Relief to make the first of many grants to South African projects“, so this challenge is a fitting tribute to a man who ignited the beginnings of a brighter future for the sovereign state. More importantly he is raising money for Sport Relief to continue funding projects in the region.
Izzard has reached the end of day 9 and has completed marathon number 8. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t it meant to be 27 marathons in 27 days?” Well, it turns out this mammoth of a task just became a nigh on impossible one, as due to health reasons, Izzard had to take a days rest which means he is a whole marathon behind. According to BBC Breakfast’s Dan Walker, Izzard, when talking of making up for lost ground, confessed that “I don’t know how to do that, at the moment I’m not sure how to do it”.
Eddie Izzard faces mounting pressure and will certainly be having nightmares about his failed attempt at a similar challenge four years ago. What’s even more surprising is that Izzard was one and a third marathons behind and on day 8 had to run an extra third of a marathon to even slightly catch up. The stats don’t read well, and his previous experience counts against his chances of succeeding, yet Izzard will not give up.
Regardless of the outcome, his spirit, relentless resilience, determination and passion is unquestionable and should inspire the nation to engage in Sport Relief this year. Eddie is urging people to get involved through donating, participating and promoting the incredible work that Sport Relief does, and after following his first 9 days I will certainly be getting involved too.
If you’d like to get involved in an event, click here. If you’re not someone who enjoys testing their fitness or sports in general, then why not donate instead through Eddie Izzard’s Marathon Man page here. As a teaser take a look at BBC’s rather rhythmic promotional video, and then go and show the #marathonman your support.
“Sport has the power to change the world” – Nelson Mandela