A self-proclaimed “executive transvestite”, British comic Eddie Izzard has wowed, confused, and entertained millions of people across the globe. He is known for his razor-sharp wit and wandering dialogue, his impersonation of God a la James Mason, and . . . running? Okay. Maybe not yet, but keep reading, my story gets better.
This actor/comedian turned runner is kicking up his heels and touring the UK the hard way. He’s raising money for Sport Relief, a small part of the more well-known Comic Relief project, which recently raised over eighty-million pounds during “Red Nose Day”. Proceeds from this effort will be used to help Africa combat poverty, and will touch the lives of many in other underdeveloped countries, as well as assisting those closer to home in the UK. The outpouring of generosity stunned everyone as this particular charity event shattered the record books.
When Sport Relief contacted the comedian to see if he would be interested in participating in a sporting challenge to benefit Comic Relief, Eddie jumped on it. Very sporting of him, eh? Only Eddie being Eddie – he one upped them. As he states on his website, he has opted not only to run, but to run through the whole of the UK. And through each country, he would carry the appropriate flag. (As his fans well know, Mr. Izzard has a thing for flags. Unfortunately, these countries have already been claimed so if he’s thinking of increasing his comedic status through world domination, this probably isn’t the best way to do it.) His mantra for the run is, in his words, “We are different. We are the same. We are United Kingdom. We are Africa. We are Humanity.”
It’s obvious Eddie Izzard has a huge heart. We hope his stamina matches it. He’s running six days a week. The total milage is something like 1,100 miles. It should take him a little over a month of constant running to accomplish his goal. And we only thought he was nuts while on stage! This is breaking down to about thirty miles a day, folks. This is no little feat.
After five weeks of training, Mr. Izzard set off on his long journey. He takes one day off per week to rest, but even then there are some low-impact exercising going on to keep the cramps at bay. He blogs about his progress, and updates with photos and tweets. He is encouraging fans to post when they see him run by, as it “keeps him going”. Rest assured I’m trying to wave at him from across the pond.
And after the weeks and weeks of blisters and cramps and wearing down the shoe-leather, then what? It’s back on stage as he continues his ever-popular “Stripped” tour, which picks up in October, 2009 in Nottingham. Maybe he’ll jog in circles on the stage, and the audience can throw coins at him. If nothing else, I can assure you that his return to the stage will provide him with a standing ovation the likes of which he’s never seen.
You can sponsor Eddie and keep up with his amazing journey at his website. You can also sign up on twitter to follow his progress.