Comedian Eddie Izzard Is Running 28 Marathons In 28 Days To ‘Make Humanity Great Again’
Comedian, actor, and writer Eddie Izzard, 57, is best known for his gender-bending stand-up routines where he wears lipstick, high heels, and earings.
“I don’t call it drag; I don’t even call it cross-dressing. It’s just wearing a dress,” Izzard has said about his unique sense of style. “It’s not about artifice. It’s about me just expressing myself.”
He has also starred on TV’s “The Riches” and appeared in the films “Oceans 12” and “Oceans 13.” What many may not know is that he’s also quite an accomplished marathon runner.
However, Izzard says he runs them “very slowly,” he told Scandinavian talk show “Skavlan.” “The Olympic record is almost down to two hours and I’m almost up to 12 hours,” he joked.
He calls his journeys “holistic marathons” and says he runs “when I feel like running, where I want to run. I don’t run in organized marathons.”
In 2009, he ran an incredible seven weeks of back-to-back marathons for the UK charity Sports Relief, even though he had little previous experience as a runner. The blog Eddie Iz Running documented his 43 marathons in 51 days, covering at least 27 miles per day.
In 2016, he ran 27 marathons in 27 days to benefit Sports Relief and pay tribute to Nelson Mandela. His Herculean feat of endurance earned £1.35 million ($1,750,000) for the charity.
Izzard is trading his stiletto heels for running shoes once again and pledging 28 marathons in 28 days in 28 European capitals. This time with the lofty goal of “making humanity great again.” His ultimate goal is to promote unity at a time when deep political divisions are happening in the United States and Europe.
According to Izzard’s CrowdFunder site, proceeds from the marathons will go “to help charity projects supporting cultural exchange, learning, and understanding and promoting common humanity across Europe and the world, this includes Unicef’s work with children and child refugees.”
“At a time of divide, let’s make even stronger unity,” Izzard told The News from Lithuania. “We were 20,000 people 200,000 years ago, and we are now 7.7 billion. I think connections are the best way forward rather than separation and divide.”
The campaign’s motto “Make Humanity Great Again” is a direct critique of President Donald Trump’s “Make American Great Again” slogan. When asked when humanity was last great, he told The Daily News, “It was great any time before your current president was in existence,” with a laugh.
Izzard says that one of the major goals of his campaign is to remind Europeans of the tremendous bonds they share with one another. It’s a poignant message in the days after the UK has left the European Union.
“As Europeans we have achieved so much since 1945, no matter how legal agreements might have changed over the years. Peace, friendship, trade, even love. A sharing of cultures without losing our identities. That is the true power of union.
So today, let’s start to put these divisions behind us. It is the perfect day to start something I have dreamt of doing for many years: run through 28 of the capitals of Europe.”
At the time of this article’s publication, Izzard has already completed 20 of his 28 marathons and has made his way through much of Eastern Europe including Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, and Croatia.
His campaign has raised £66,355 and his £75,000 goal.
You can follow his progress and cheer him on by using the hashtag #MakeHumanityGreatAgain.
Photo Credit: Eddie Izzard.