Every year the London Marathon attracts a gaggle of people from Strictly and the soaps which you can track round the course, whilst wondering “how come they didn’t have to go through the ballot? There are however, some genuinely world famous people who have tackled the 26.2, and some other famous-ish people who’ve done it in a really impressive time. So I thought I’d take a break from the serious running chat and provide you with some information and stats with which to wow your running and non-running friends. (Nb – I’ve stayed away from the ones everyone knows like Gordon Ramsey, Nell McAndrew and James Cracknell.)
Pamela Anderson, 5:41 2013 New York Marathon
This is actually a really lovely story: The former Baywatch star was so upset by scenes of the damage caused to Haiti by floods in 2013, she decided to enter the New York Marathon at only six weeks’ notice – having not done any training to that point. This makes her time of 5:41 seem much more impressive. Perhaps running in slow motion on the beach has benefits after all…
George W. Bush, 3:44 1993 Houston Marathon
The George Dub-ya interview is probably the most interesting and exciting I’ve read in Runners World. Running played a large part of his journey to the White House. I won’t spoil too much of the article for you, but here’s my favourite fact – he put a treadmill on Air Force One and regularly did long runs when flying across the Atlantic. Apparently he used to run 18 minute 5ks when he was younger…
Jenson Button, 2:52 2015 London Marathon
Those who are aware of the retired racing driver’s prowess in triathlon won’t be surprised by his impressive marathon time. Don’t believe me? Here’s the run on Strava https://www.strava.com/activities/292945901
Mark Carney, 3:31 2015 London Marathon
Mark Carney has a very busy job – he’s the Governor of the Bank of England. Yet he found time to train for the London Marathon and completed it in 3:31, whilst in his 50s!
Brian Cranston, 3:20 1985 New York Marathon
Many people have enjoyed a Breaking Bad marathon. Decades before it was made, the Walter White actor enjoyed watching the New York Marathon, whilst still sulking from being fired from a TV show two days earlier. The race snapped him out of his stupor, inspired him to get fit. The following year he ran the race in a great time, moved to Los Angeles, got some great acting roles and the rest is history.
Puff Daddy / P-Diddy, 4:14 2003 New York Marathon
Puff Daddy/P-Diddy/Sean Combs’s time is more impressive given that he completed the race on only two months training. However, none of this is as impressive as his justgiving page: Michael Bloomberg, New York’ Mayor at the time, gave $10,000, fellow rapper Jay Z $25,000 and Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez pitched in $3,000 a mile – allowing the Puffy Boy (that’s another name, if he fancies it) to raise $2,000,000 for children’s charities.
Will Ferrell, 3:56 2003 Boston Marathon
In 2003 Will Ferrell broke four hours and set a PB in the Boston Marathon. In 2004 Anchorman, the greatest movie of all time* was recorded. Make of that what you will. The American funny man has also been on the cover of Runners World – check out that cover, it’s quite something.
*Author’s opinion only
Amelie Mauresmo, 3:16 2012 Paris Marathon
The former Australia Open and Wimbledon Champion and former coach of Andy Murray boasts an impressive 3:16 marathon time set in 2012 in Paris.
Pippa Middleton, 3:56 2015 Saraficom Marathon, Kenya
Pippa Middleton is not your average marathon runner. Whereas 3:56 doesn’t seem particularly standout, the Saraficom Marathon is a tough race and her run was good enough to place her 32nd overall and 7th Female. She followed that up with a 4:51 in the even tougher Great Wall Marathon in China where she was 13th Female.
Jonny Lee Miller, 3:01 2008 London Marathon
The Trainspotting, Dexter and Elementary star is also a star on the roads, boasting an impressive 3:01 marathon PB.
David Lee Roth, 6:04 1987 New York Marathon
The life of a rock star doesn’t exactly lend itself to marathon running. The Clash’s Joe Strummer swore by a night of pre marathon alcoholic carb loading, reportedly leading to a PB of 3:20 in Paris. David Lee Roth, of Van Halen fame, didn’t fare quite so well.
Oprah Winfrey, 4:29 1994 Marine Corps Marathon
This won’t be news to slightly older American readers as Oprah’s exploits were well known across the Atlantic at the time. Running was a central part of Oprah’s weight loss regime where she shifted around a third of her body weight, going from 222lbs to 150, and finished well under the average time of the 94 Marine Corps race.
And one celebrity who definitely should run a marathon:
Example, real name Elliot Gleave
The singer/rapper boasts a half marathon PB of 1:19. His dad’s marathon PB is an even more impressive 2:26.