Eddie Izzard's Marathon Run
"I say go for it," he says. "Look for something, carve it out and go do it. Playing on that big field, to make it your own, that's a great American trait. Actually, it's a great human trait."
Celebrating humanity was at the forefront of Izzard's mind as he ran, considering his efforts would help people as far away as Brazil and Bangladesh, providing services such as counseling, food and, in some instances, an education. He says running was a very "primal and basic way" of expressing how similar people really are. Regardless of wealth or background, most people can run.
"Sure, we've all got different fingerprints, but we're all the bloody same, all the way around the world," Izzard says. "If we can get to realizing that, we'll be a lot better off."
When he made his way back to Trafalgar Square on September 16, 2009—this time surrounded by hundreds of fans who'd gotten wind of his efforts and came to cheer him across the finish line—Izzard's body was wracked with pain and blisters and he'd lost all his toenails. His spirit, however, was fully intact.
"I'm going to keep this up," Izzard says. "When I finished marathon 14, I couldn't enjoy it because I had to move on to marathon 15. I was quite messy, doing it how I did, but I'm not done. I've run 5 miles since I came home, and I'm about to go run a few miles right now. I've come too far to go backward."
The European leg of Izzard's recent stand-up tour, Stripped, picks up again October 23, 2009. The tour makes its way to the United States in January 2010, with a stop at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden—a performance that fulfills a lifelong dream for him and reminds him of what he's just accomplished.
"I like doing these things that break the humdrum," Izzard says. "I'd love for people to be inspired in to go out there for themselves. That inspires me."