British actor Eddie Izzard will pay tribute to Nelson Mandela by running 27 charity marathons in 27 consecutive days to represent each year the former South African president spent in jail during the apartheid.
The comedian, 50, announced plans for the South African mega-marathon on Thursday (10May12) at a reception for the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.
Revealing how he came up with the challenging idea, he explained, "I was thinking about what I had done to demonstrate against apartheid and I realised that I did nothing."
Izzard, who hopes to race the majority of the distance barefoot, will map out his running route based on sites important to the anti-apartheid leader's history, including where Mandela grew up, where he went to university and on Robben Island, where the now-93 year old was imprisoned after campaigning against racial segregation in his country in the 1960s.
The mammoth adventure, which will take place this summer (12), will be filmed for a U.K. TV documentary expected to air in the autumn (12).
Izzard previously set himself the task of running 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometres) in seven weeks across Britain for the Sports Relief charity and he successfully completed the race in 2009 - but he's not planning on doing much physical preparation for the new task.
He says, "I don't really do training, I just get on with it. I have actually only done one marathon since I ran all those marathons three years ago but I've been mentally training."