Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Marathon? Ha ha ... 43 ha ha's to you

Running a marathon is no joke; running 43 marathons in 51 days is definitely not, unless it can be perceived as a joke on the body, in which case, who better than a comedian to pull it off?
Eddie Izzard, a British stand-up comedian, more popularly known for wearing heels than for wearing running shoes, ran 43 marathons in 51 days for charity Sport Relief. What makes it a feat (no point in calling a feat 'remarkable';  isn't a feat by its very nature remarkable?) is that this cross-dressing comic is (or rather was) no athlete, and he trained for just 5-weeks before launching off into a 6-marathons-per-week schedule for 7 weeks.  "The bloke is not an obvious athlete, and thats putting it mildly," read one comment on a website.
Many of you would obviously need no introduction to Eddie Izzard; however, the unfortunate few who have not yet had their funny bone tickled by the double Emmy Award winner can look him up on youtube. This guy is hilarious.
To run or walk more than 26 miles each day is not a joke. There is only so much a body can take. But how many of us even try to assess how much this 'so much' is that we believe our bodies can take? And while the physical aspect of the run is definitely important, even more important is the psychological aspect of this feat, the will-power to get the body on the road, the mental stamina to stay on course and complete each marathon, not  just on an isolated day but each morning, day after day for 51 days. That is what sets his time on the road different from other marathoners. 
What's the significance of the numbers 43 and 51? Well, the numbers translate into 6-marathons per week for 7 weeks. But why 7 weeks? Being mathematically-challenged, I can still understand 52 marathons in a year, which translates into one marathon a week. But why 51 days? May be I am reading too much meaning into something where none exists. Perhaps, it must have been Forrest Gump-like when Eddie must have said, "I'm pretty tired... I think I'll go home now." And it simply happened to be the 43rd marathon on 51st day.

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