Category Archives: Famous/Celebrity Runners

Join us in exploring the world of celebrity runners. Actors, TV and movie stars, politicians, models, athletes and musicians who run. Let’s see how human the rich and famous as they face the same paths (paved and otherwise) that we do!

25 Celebrities Who’ve Run a Marathon

Article Summary: A fun list and photos of actors, musicians, politicians, models and TV personalities who have run a marathon.

Ever wonder who among the rich and famous have run a marathon and how you stack up against them? So did I so I set out to compile a list. An hour of googling later I found out Wikipedia beat me to it but that list was a bit boring so I decided to have a little fun with it. Here’s the result – CRN’s list of 25 Celebrities Who’ve Run a Marathon.

Actor Marathoners

Meredith Baxter, Family Ties, New York City Marathon
Joan ran her marathon in a very respectable 4:08:30. She’s gotta be a lot of people’s favorite TV moms. I think only Mrs. Cunningham from Happy Days is higher on my list. I think I like Joan even more than Mrs. C. now!
William Baldwin, New York City Marathon
In acting, he’s always been overshadowed by his brother Alec. But not as an athlete – this guy can really run. His 3:24:29 finish shows real talent!
Anthony Edwards, Chicago Marathon
A girl I once dated said I looked like Anthony. I guess that’s better than what some of my friends have said – that I look like Monty Burns. At any rate, Anthony Edward’s time of 3:55:40 is pretty darn good.
David James Elliott, JAG, Boston Marathon
This Canadian star of JAG with his buff body looks like he should have run faster than 4:57:23. What do you think?
Will Ferrell, Boston Marathon
He’s funny and fit. With a finish time of 3:56:12, Will Ferrell is a-ok in my books.
Mario López, Saved by the Bell, Boston Marathon
With a 5:41:41 finish time, I’m thinkin’ Mario was getting stopped along the way by a lot of female admirers – especially if he was running without a shirt.
Joan Van Ark, Santa Ana 1979
Ya know, I always hated Joan Van Ark. Knot’s Landing and her character in particular drove me crazy. I dunno, maybe it’s a guy thing? Anyway, I have to say that, with a finish time of 3:35:00, I may have to change my assessment of Joan because she obviously rocks.
Peter Weller, New York City Marathon
Showing machine-like determination, the Robocop himself got it done in 3:51:26.
Freddie Prinze, Jr., Los Angeles Marathon
Ok, he’s young, he’s buff. What’s up with the 5:50:49? Freddy, stop stoppin’ for the girls and show us what you can do!

TV Personality Marathoners

Danni Boatwright, Winner: Survivor: Guatemala, Nashville Country Music Marathon
I’m thinking I might have to find Survivor Guatemala on DVD. Danni did Nashville in 4:23:24.
Lisa Ling, formerly of The View, Boston Marathon
I hate The View (must be another guy thing) but I like Lisa. 4:34:18
Oprah Winfrey, Marine Corps Marathon
CRNs Anne wrote about Oprah’s influence on marathoners here. Whatever you think about Oprah, you have to hand it to her – she followed through on her program, met her goal and inspired a generation to get off the couch. 4:29:20

Musician Marathoners

P. Diddy (Sean Combs), New York City Marathon
P. Diddy’s goal was to beat Oprah and he had his Victory with a time of 4:14:54. Not bad. Not bad at all.
David Lee Roth, former lead singer of Van Halen, New York City Marathon
David Lee Roth was my high school hero. I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive Eddie, Alex and Michael for dumping him from Van Halen. About his 6:04:43 finishing time? I pretty much guarantee he stopped to grope flirt with every girl along the way.
Björn Ulvaeus, former member of Swedish band ABBA, Stockholm Marathon. Those Swedes have always had a reputation for being fit. ABBA’s Bjorn Ulvaeus is an obviously perfect example. Wow! Color me impressed. 3:23:54! I wonder if his mother knows?

Athlete Marathoners

Lance Armstrong, Seven-time Tour de France champion and triathlete, New York City Marathon
Well, way too much has been written about Lance’s marathon debut. Anyone who can run a 2:59:36 is a pretty damn good runner in most people’s books. It remains to be seen just how good Lance can get. I guess we’ll get an idea when he runs his next marathon.
Kerri Strug, Gymnast, Houston Marathon.
Who could forget Kerri’s unbelievable display of courage and determination when she finished her Olympic gymnastics routine on a busted up ankle? With that kind of courage she’s obviously made for marathons and 4:12:06 ain’t nothing to sneeze at.
Lynn Swann, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, New York City
Lynn Swann was a true football great. What I like about his finishing time is it shows that great athletic achievement in one sport doesn’t necessarily equal greatness in another. His 4:26:21 finish = good but not great.

Politician Marathoners

George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, Houston Marathon
His 3:44:52 included the time he spent on the course searching for weapons of mass destruction – imagine if he’d just ran the damn thing.
Michael Dukakis, Former Governor of Massachusetts, Boston Marathon
I always thought he was kind of dweeby but, with a 3:31:00 finish time, there’s obviously more to him than meets the eye.
John Edwards, Former United States Senator, Marine Corps Marathon
Two politicians in a row in the 3:30s. John Edwards is a pretty good runner. I wonder if politicians make good runners because of the strong strong will and determination they develop from fighting all those long political battles? 3:30:18
Al Gore, Vice President of the United States at the time, Marine Corps Marathon
Gore’s 4:58:25 isn’t very fast but at least he left a small environmental footprint while running it.
Mikuláš Dzurinda, Prime Minister of Slovakia, Malokarpatsky Marathon
2:54:57! Wow! Mikulas is not just a runner – he’s an avid runner. With 13 marathons and a PR of 2:54:57, the Prime Minister of Slovakia puts his nation into Superpower status among all the other politicians. Not only that, he’s the fastest runner on this whole list – he even kicked Lance’s butt!

Model Marathoners

Kim Alexis, model, New York City Marathon
Kim finished in 3:52:00. Ya know, I’ve always wanted to be a pace bunny for the 3:52:00 New York Marathon pace group.
Ali Landry, model, Boston Marathon
Ya know, I’ve also always wanted to be a pace bunny for the 5:41:41 Boston Marathon pace group.

On that last thought, if you know of any other models or famous people who need someone to pace them through a marathon, please let me know because I’d be more than happy to do it. I know what you’re thinking – that I’m too generous.

It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it.

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Help Me Compile the Next Celebrity List!

I’d really like to build a comprehensive listing(s) of celebrities who run – not just the ones who’ve run a marathon. Want to help me? If you do, please tell me about all the famous people know about so I can get started!

Blogs by Elite/Famous Runners Courtesy of Runner’s World

keflezighi_blog_photo.jpgRunner’s World recently got into the blogosphere with some fine blogs written by elite athletes and people close to the elites. Check out blogs by:

  1. Meb Keflezighi
  2. Deena Kastor
  3. Dean Karnazes (this one’s an old blog that chronicles Dean’s 50 in 50 milestone)
  4. Kirstin Armstrong’s Mile Markers (Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife). Edit: Thomas correctly pointed out Kirstin is not an elite runner. Of course, I know that – I goofed in the editing of the title for this article which was supposed to include a reference to “Famous” people involved with running.
  5. Amby Burfoot’s Footloose

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  4. Elite/Famous Runner Web Sites

MySpace Can Be OurSpace

I bet you wish you had running friends like I do. I mean, who wouldn’t? When it comes to famous runners, I can name drop with the best of ’em.

Wanna see who, among the world’s elite runners, call me their friend? How about Josh Cox? Not impressed? (what’s wrong with you?). Ok, how about Sebastian Coe, or Deena Kastor?

Still not impressed? Ok, these two gotta make you jealous. How about world record holders Paul Tergat (marathon WR of 2:04:55) or Hicham El Guerrouj (“King of the Mile” in 3:43:13).

Yes, all of these amazing athletes are close, personal friends of mine …

…on MySpace.

myspace.pngMySpace is the first place on the Web where I started out feeling old, and I’m not even 40! At first, it seemed to be populated with mostly 20 somethings and teenagers. I stayed away from MySpace until recently when I learned that one or two running bloggers I already knew were there (Hi A.Maria & Jeanne!) and began discovering a much wider age range populating the space than I originally perceived.

Of course, I have also made some other non-elite running friends on MySpace. For example, La Lynx (Hi La Lynx!) has become a regular at my blog and I visit her MySpace regularly now too.

Alas, unlike in my offline life, not everyone on MySpace wants to be my friend. Despite numerous requests to become friends, I’ve been virtually ignored by Haile Gebrselassie, Alan Webb and Craig Mottram (aka The Big Mazungo). Am I offended? Nah. Of course, I’ll be cheering for Tergat next time he and Gebrselassie meet but, I digress.

Perhaps just as odd as someone not wanting to be my friend is having a dead running friend

…I changed my mind—it’s definitely odder that someone wouldn’t want to be my friend.

Is that all there is on MySpace? Heavens no! There are even groups (forums/bulletin boards) for runners. Two of the larger, more active ones I’ve participated in are the Marathoners and Track & Field Runners groups.

So, give MySpace a try. And, if you feel tentative, come on over to MySpace where I promise to accept you as my friend.

shatner-store_1941_7973552.gifP.S. Have I mentioned I know Bill Shatner?

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Elite/Famous Ultra/Trail Runner Web Sites

In a follow-up to Mark’s list of Elite or Famous Distance Runner Web Sites, I decided to add a list of famous/elite ultra/trail runner websites. Again, these are all either run by the athlete or sanctioned by them as an official site.

  1. Extreme Ultrarunning is David’s Horton’s site. He is legendary in the world of ultrarunning and known for being the only American to ever complete the nearly impossible Barkley Ultra and setting the Pacific Crest Trail speed record (66 days – 2,659 miles).
  2. Charlie Engle has a blog and website and is currently in the middle of running 4,000 miles across the Sahara Desest.
  3. Krissy Moehl chronicals her running adventures in her personal blog. She is on fire and has set 4 course records this year, including the new women’s record at the grueling Santa Barbara 9 Trails last week.
  4. Ever controversial Dean Karnazes has a blog, a website, and you can currently track him as he runs across the United States on the way back home from running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days.
  5. Known for a 7 year winning streak at Western States and a current 2 years streak at Badwater, Scott Jurek is a force to be reckoned with.
  6. Stehpanie Ehret may only be 100 pounds (according to her site), but she was first overall (men & women) at the 2003 Javelina Jundred.
  7. Photographer, runner and now race director – Luis Escobar’s site is called All We Do Is Run
  8. Peter Bakwin is Stephanie Ehret’s husband and recent finisher of the impressive double Hard Rock.

That is the list I have come up with. Who am I missing? It’s hard to determine who is considered “elite” in ultra running circles. I tried to stick to well known names and runners who finish in the top 5 or 10 of their races. I’m sure I’ve missed some. A listing of some ultra runners web pages can be found here.

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Elite/Famous Runner Web Sites

I set out to collect a list of famous or elite distance runner websites – personal sites maintained or at least sanctioned by elite runners. I was dissappointed to find a very limited number of such sites.

  1. Winner of the 2004 Olympic Marathon: Stefano Baldini. Stefano needs to get the English translation part of his site working.
  2. Probably the United States greatest current hope in men’s marathoning: Meb Keflezighi
  3. The best American female marathoner in several years: Deena Kastor
  4. Does Paula Radcliffe need any introduction?
  5. Katherine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.
  6. Uta Pippig is a female runner who, among other things, won the Boston Marathon three times in the mid-90’s.
  7. Khalid Khannouchi. Khalid has struggled to come back ever since he injured his foot a few years ago but, in his best days, he was the world’s premiere marathoner. I hope Khalid is able to come back and begin updating his website.
  8. Jeff Galloway is now mostly known as a writer but he was once a world-class marathoner.
  9. Chasing Kimbia is a very cool site which follows the progress of several athletes. These guys really have the right idea when it comes to promoting the sport of distance running and I’d love to see more sites like it.
  10. Adeel suggested Marius Bakken. A great addition.
  11. Craig Mottram is from Australia and is special in that he is one of the few to consistently keep up with elite African runners.
  12. Blaine reminded me about Joan Nesbit Mabe
  13. Pete Pfitzinger is a two-time olympian, world famous coach and author of the highly respected book titled, Advanced Marathoning.

These are all the websites I have been able to find. Do you know of any that should be added to the list?

I wish more of the elites would put up sites. In the age of the blog, it would be very easy for them to do so and it would be a great way for them to connect with those of us who admire them.
Here are a couple of sites worth visiting that often provide bios and/or terrific information for elite runners:

  1. The International Association of Athletics Federation.
  2. Wikipedia has terrific lists of middle-distance, notable long-distance athletes and notable marathon runners.
  3. Here is a terrific athlete page on Kimbia Athletics

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  2. Blogs by Elite/Famous Runners Courtesy of Runner’s World
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  4. Elite/Famous Ultra/Trail Runner Web Sites