Friday 24 November 2017

'Only seven' marathons to go for Eddie Izzard on Mandela-themed Sport Relief run

Eddie Izzard is making his way towards Robben Island and Pretoria
Eddie Izzard is making his way towards Robben Island and Pretoria

The finish line is in sight for Eddie Izzard as he prepares to reach Robben Island on the final leg of his gruelling 27 marathon challenge that pays tribute to Nelson Mandela's life.

The comedian passed the 20 marathon mark on Monday and will reach the place of Mandela's 18-year imprisonment on Thursday, before finishing on Sunday with an exhausting double marathon to The Union Buildings in Pretoria where Mandela gave his first speech as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

Izzard, who had raised an incredible £418,393 for Sport Relief by Tuesday, said he channelled Mandela's positivity into the challenge and hoped to inspire others.

He said: "Twenty marathons, that's 840 kilometres, about 500 miles, there's only seven to go!

"What I am trying to do is show that in life you can do positive things and inspire people. He inspired me - and other positive inspirations around the world.

"If I can do this - 27 marathons in 27 days - then other people can say, 'Hey, well, he's doing that, I can do something else', and then we spread the positivity around."

Before he completes the feat, Izzard also faces scaling Cape Town's famous Table Mountain on Friday, battling on through blisters, sunstroke and heat exhaustion.

Izzard released a video diary on Monday where he could be seen getting "marathon-ready" with a manicure and discussed coming out as transgender 31 years ago.

He said: "It doesn't matter what sex or sexuality , how you self- identify or who you fancy matters not one wit.

"What do you do in life, what do you create, what do you make, what do you add to the human existence? That is what matters.

"It all comes back to Nelson Mandela. Try and put something into the world, leave something positive.

He said the confidence that coming out as transgender has given him is "immense but it was a very hard journey, very, very hard. But I thought it was right to be honest about it".

He continued: " I identify somewhat boyish and somewhat girlish. I identify both but I fancy women. I don't know why, it's the genetic cards I've been given.

"A lot of people have said very nasty things to me, have fought me in the streets. F*** them because this is real and this has always been here so let's get the truth out rather than running and hiding."

Izzard can still be sponsored at sportrelief.com/SponsorEddie.

Press Association

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