Edward Norton is hoping to use his fame to shed light on a cause close to his heart – the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust. But more than just educating people about the organization, the star of “Fight Club” and “The Incredible Hulk” is hitting the ground and running – literally.
The actor is in training to join three Maasai warriors and a team of 30 people gearing up for the ING New York Marathon on November 1 with the aim of raising money for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust (MWCT). And the cause has got the actor trying things he wouldn’t otherwise do – like Twitter.
“Some of these social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook and MySpace…I am not personally engaged in those things at all in terms of just loose chat because they are kind of the opposite of what I’m into,” Edward told AccessHollywood.com. “But it occurred to me that [with] the marathon, some of those social networking tools were an interesting way to try to build a… campaign and support for something I think is really worth while.”
The MWCT, which aims to preserve the tribal lands of the Maasai and help the people with things including healthcare and education, is a cause Edward said he is fully behind and he’s hoping to use his Tweets to get more people involved.
“I think what we are trying to do with this to some degree is communicate to people that if enough of us do it for the small level, it actually becomes very meaningful,” he said. “So we are encouraging people who are fans or interested in, you know, following the Twitter, to consider contributing $10 or $20 behind this running team and that collectively we can make a real impact.”
In addition to Twitter, Norton and the team have been sharing more of their pre-marathon journey by posting videos to the Maasai Marathon Web site. Edward, who has done some training in Kenya with the Maasai, even uploaded video and images from the experience, including one documenting when the actor tried to teach his African pals yoga.
“There are some really fun pictures of me trying to show these Maasai guys like downward dog and stuff like that,” he laughed.
While yoga hasn’t gone well with the Maasai, they seem to have accepted Edward, who said he’s really enjoyed training with the warriors.
“I have such affection for these guys,” he said. “I’ve know them a long time and it’s really, really fun to be doing this together. They’re very excited about it, the word has spread all through the community that they’re coming to New York to do this race to raise money for this community and it’s created an enormous amount of good feelings. I’ve really been enjoying it.”
Although he’s inching closer to an eight-minute mile average over a 15-mile run, Edward revealed it hasn’t all been fun thanks to the onset of shin splints and a pulled Achilles heel.
“I’m finding it very intensive. I’ve trained pretty hard for some things in my life and I’ve played sports competitively in college but this ridiculous,” he said. “It’s totally kicking my a**”
To read more about Edward’s journey and the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, click HERE.