The Loop

The Loop

The 9 most surprising celebrities to run the New York Marathon

October 24, 2017

Steve Vaccariello

The New York Marathon is one of sports’ strangest flashpoints—a collision of Halloween hangovers and obsessive compulsive cardio that plays out like some sort of sadly Snoopy-less version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. New Yorkers get up at 7 a.m., invite friends they don’t invite like into their homes, chug Bloody Marys by the batch, and cheer on a bunch of strangers willfully giving themselves pneumonia. The runners actually bother going to Staten Island. None of it makes much sense.

But despite its nonsensical trappings—the very fabric of life here in Gotham—the New York Marathon remains perhaps the most famous footrace on earth, attracting not only a professional cavalcade of long-legged, deep-lunged masochists from around the world, but also a small group of valiant A-listers desperately hoping not to puke within lens-shot of TMZ. Some of these make sense—Tiki Barber is running this year, for instance—but many more, just like the Marathon itself, don’t. To celebrate those odd, soon-to-be-toenail-less souls, we present the nine most surprising celebrities to run the New York Marathon. Good luck and god speed, you famous idiots.

Pamela Anderson

Fotos International

Years of slow-motion beach training helped the former Mrs. Tommy Lee prepare for her 5:41:03 effort in 2013.

Drew Carey

Steve Vaccariello

As part of his 100-pound weight loss program, Drew Carey—sitcom star, game show host, and affable Ohioan—completed the 2011 New York Marathon in 4:37:11.

Al Roker


Like Carey, Al Roker also celebrated his radical transformation with a 2010 New York Marathon jaunt. Good lord guys, ever hear of a salad and some push-ups?

Bobby Flay

Nicholas Hunt

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay possesses the one essential characteristic all marathon runners must: Smugness. Finishing the 2010 New York Marathon in 4:01:37 only helped to top off the ego tank.

Teri Hatcher

Tibrina Hobson

Hatcher’s 2014 New York Marathon time of 5:06:42 was both real and spectacular. (This reference is not for anyone born after 1992).

Kevin Hart

John Lamparski

The 5’ 4” Hart will attempt his first New York Marathon this year. Go ahead and make your short jokes. We’re, umm, above them.

Carole Radziwill


Like Hart, Radziwill will also be attempting her New York Marathon this weekend. You know her from the Real Housewives of New York, though you probably won't admit it.

P. Diddy

Thaddaeus McAdams

In 2003, Sean Combs continued running from the guilt of killing Tupac with a New York Marathon time of 4:14:54...allegedly.

Haruki Marukami

Ole Jensen - Corbis

Japan’s national literary treasure is also an avid long-distance runner, finishing the 1991 New York Marathon in just over three and a half hours. He is the only celeb to finish the race in less time than it takes the guy at the bar to mansplain The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle to his date.