9 Celebrities You Wouldn’t Have Thought Could Run A Marathon
Marathon season has kicked into high gear. If it hasn’t already happened in your town, pretty soon a bunch of people with little to no experience at distance running will put on their recently-purchased water bottle utility belts and Nike Dri-FIT shirts, then take to the streets to prove to themselves that they can do anything they set their minds to.
Where did all these novice runners get the idea to enter a marathon? If I had to put money on it, I’d say it was celebrities. Isn’t that pretty much get all our advice on how to live? (I’ve been voting for whoever Bruce Springsteen tells me to for years, now.)
In honor of this health craze, here’s a list of celebrities you probably won’t believe actually ran (and completed) legitimate marathons. They’re arranged in order of impressiveness. If they don’t make you feel like you can do it, no one can.
9. Al Roker
Al Roker had gastic bypass surgery in 2002 that helped him go from morbidly obese to only slightly overweight, so he’s definitely not the same old jolly hotdog-eating fat guy we used to love. Still, Roker running a marathon? Sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud. But he did. In 2010, Al Roker ran and finished the New York City Marathon…in 7:09:00. Ouch.
I don’t want to make fun of that time, but a guy named Fauja Singh just finished the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in only 8:25:16, and he’s 100 years old.
8. Robin Quivers
Robin Quivers, Howard Stern’s longtime sidekick, is another celeb who’s gone from hefty to healthy in recent years. She also ran in the 2010 NYC Marathon. And amazingly, despite being two years older than Roker (59 vs. 57), Quivers beat his time by a whopping 1 hour. Of course, 6:09:00 is still pretty bad (says the guy who would probably collapse in mile four).
7. David Lee Roth
I would venture to guess that no one partied harder in the early 1980s than the former frontman of Val Halen. So, needless to say, I was flabbergasted to discover that this cigarette-smoking, Jack Daniels-drinking blow-hard also ran in the 2010 NYC Marathon. He beat Robin Quivers by 5 minutes, too, clocking in at 6:04:43.
Normally, that’s not a good time. But you try running in assless chaps.
6. Sean Astin
Sean Astin—a.k.a. the Fat Hobbit, a.k.a. Rudy—ran in the Los Angeles Marathon in 2010. And he didn’t do too bad, putting up a time of 5:16:12. (As a rule of thumb, you always want to do better than a guy who used to wear assless chaps.) I wonder if the theme song from Rudy was playing on his iPod the whole time?
5. Al Gore
Former Vice President Al Gore completed the Marine Corps marathon in 4:58:25. And no, this wasn’t part of a sad attempt to get back into shape after breaking he broke up with Tipper in 210. Gore ran the marathon in 1997, when he was still VP.
Does that mean a bunch of Secret Service dudes had to run the marathon, too? I hope they got paid overtime for that.
More than any other celeb on this list, Oprah is probably the one most responsible for inspiring people with no athletic ability to run 26.2 miles in one day. You may recall that, during one of her skinny phases back in 1994, Oprah and her team of personal trainers ran the Marin Corps marathon. OW finished the race in a very respectable 4:29:20, and in the process taught women everywhere that they, too, could accomplish the impossible if they spend millions of dollars on personal trainers and chefs.
3. P. Diddy
Dirty P. Daddy Money, or whatever he calls himself these days, finished the 2003 NYC Marathon in a decent 4:14:54. I think back then he was going by P. Didster Von Puffington III, but don’t quote me on that.
Diddy didn’t run the race to prove anything to himself. Instead, he ran to raise money for charity. Of course, he could have just given the charity $2 million of his own money, but I guess it’s easier to run 26 miles and almost kill yourself.
2. Will Ferrell
Will Ferrell completed the Boston Marathon in 2003. Do you know how you register for the Boston Marathon? You don’t just sign up and pay a fee. You have to do really well in other marathons to qualify. In other words, Will Ferrell didn’t just shuffle along for 6 hours. The guy finished the 2003 Boston Marathon in 3:56:12. I guess doing all those takes for the “streaking” scene in Old School really paid off.
1. Eddie Izzard
When I read that comedian and actor Eddie Izzard ran a marathon, I didn’t think it was all that surprising. He doesn’t seem like the most athletic fellow, but he’s no Al Roker.
But here’s the thing. Eddie Izzard didn’t just run one, two, eight, or even twenty marathons. No, Eddie Izzard ran 43 marathons in 51 days.
Just sit there for a second and let that sink in.
Eddie accomplished this insane feat in 2009 as part of a charitable effort in the UK called Sport Relief. When it comes to proving one’s commitment to a cause, I think that puts him 2nd in the history of the world behind Mother Theresa. What’s more, Izzard’s best time, 5:00:30, was achieved in his 43rd and final marathon.
Now, be honest: on a scale of 1 to 10, how shitty do you feel about yourself now?