Belfast Telegraph

Eddie Izzard takes on 27 marathons in Sport Relief tribute to Nelson Mandela

Eddie Izzard will attempt to run 27 marathons in 27 days through South Africa for Sport Relief, the BBC has announced.

The run will see him tackle over 700 miles in temperatures of up to 30C (86F) without a day off.

The comedian is planning the challenge to reflect the life of Nelson Mandela who served 27 years in prison in the county.

His route will trace Mandela's life story; starting in his birthplace, before journeying to the school and university that he attended, then on to Cape Town and Robben Island where he was imprisoned.

After he starts his first marathon on February 23, he is also set to visit communities and organisations that have been helped by the work of Comic Relief.

If Izzard completes all 27 marathons in 27 days, he will end at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on March 20 where Mandela gave his inaugural speech as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994.

In 2012 Izzard attempted a similar feat but had to pull out for health reasons and the trek follows his 2009 challenge when he completed 43 marathons in 51 days across the UK to raise over £1.8 million.

Money raised from his latest venture - titled Eddie Izzard: Marathon Man - will help Sport Relief support disadvantaged people in the UK and across the world.

BBC Three's new online form will follow his progress with a daily personal diary and a virtual map.

Comic Relief's chief executive Kevin Cahill said: "Eddie is undoubtedly one of our Sport Relief legends, and we are absolutely thrilled that he is going to push himself to the physical limit once again.

"What he did for Sport Relief last time was truly astonishing and raised a staggering amount of money that has really helped to transform lives at home and across the world.

"We are beyond grateful for his continued support and will be with him every step of the way."

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