Celebrity Marathon Times

Celebrity Marathon Times

Sean P Diddy Combs
Mark Mainz/Getty Images

When I talk to future marathon runners about their goal times, the conversation often turns to celebrities who have run marathons. They want to know what it will take to beat Oprah, P. Diddy, Lance, or other famous people who made news by running a marathon. Here are times for some celebrity marathon runners, in order from best to worst times.

Lance Armstrong, 2006 (2:59:36) and 2007 (2:46:43) New York City Marathon

Lance Armstrong
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After he finished the New York City Marathon in 2006, Lance Armstrong called the marathon "without a doubt the hardest physical thing I have ever done." But it didn't stop the seven-time Tour de France champion from attempting the race again the following year. He trained a little better in 2007, which resulted in a better time and less pain.

Apolo Ohno, 2011 New York City Marathon (3:25:12)

Apolo Ohno
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Speed skater Ohno, the most decorated American winter Olympian (2 gold, 2 silver, 4 bronze medals), set a goal to run the New York City marathon in under three and a half hours. He crushed his goal with an impressive time of 3:25:12.

Caroline Wozniacki, 2014 New York City Marathon (03:26:33)


Running for the New York Road Runners charity Team for Kids, the star tennis pro and 2014 U.S. Open runner-up had a very strong performance on a chilly, windy day.  What made her first marathon even more impressive was that she said her longest training run was only 13 miles.

Natalie Morales, 2006 New York City Marathon (3:31:02)

Natalie Morales
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I really admire Natalie Morales, the West Coast editor of the Today show. She seems to have it all -- brains, beauty, talent and, man, can she run! Morales also ran the 2014 Boston Marathon in 3:34:45.

George W. Bush, 1993 Houston Marathon (3:44:52)

George W Bush
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

After marathon runners manage to beat Oprah's time, they often set their sights on another famous marathoner's time -- former U.S. president George W. Bush. But it's not an easy feat –- Bush is no chump when it comes to running.

Ed Norton, 2009 New York City Marathon (3:48:01)

Ed Norton
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Actor Ed Norton, well known for his roles in American History XPrimal Fear, and Fight Club, ran the New York City Marathon in support of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which supports the preservation of biodiversity within the Maasai tribal lands of East Africa. He was posting updates and asking for donations on Twitter, even as he started the marathon. But he definitely put his phone down at some point, finishing in a very strong time.

Ryan Reynolds, 2008 New York City Marathon (3:50:22)

Ryan Reynolds
Scott Gries/Getty Images

The Green Lantern actor ran the New York City Marathon like a true superhero, completing the race in an impressive time, and doing it as a member of the Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson Research’s Team Fox in honor of his father, who has Parkinson's Disease.

Anthony Edwards, 2003 Chicago Marathon (3:55:40) and 2009 NYC Marathon (4:08:20)

Anthony Edwards
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Actor Anthony Edwards may have been known as the sweet and kind-hearted Dr. Green on ER, but he's definitely fierce on the marathon course. His generous spirit was still with him in New York, however, when he ran to raise money to help build a public children's hospital in Kenya.

Will Ferrell, 2003 Boston Marathon (3:56:12)

Will Ferrell
Scott Gries/Getty Images

I passed funny man Will Ferrell in the 2003 Boston Marathon and he wasn't cracking jokes -- this guy is a serious runner! (And his time shows it!) I'm sure everyone around him was grateful that he was running in clothes, unlike his character in that infamous scene from Old School.

Sarah Palin, 2005 Humpy's Marathon (3:59:36)

Sarah Palin
Mark Lyons/Getty Images

Running a sub-4:00 marathon is high on some runners' goal lists, but can you imagine being able to say you ran a sub-4:00 and beat former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's time? Not too shabby for the former U.S. vice presidential candidate. I knew she was a runner, but I didn't realize that she could really go the distance.

Jennie Finch, 2011 New York City Marathon (4:05:26)

jennie finch
Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Finch, a former Olympic softball star, traded in her cleats for running shoes in her first marathon. The new mother started the New York City Marathon dead last and TimexSports donated a dollar toNew York Road Runners Youth Programs for every runner that she passed during the race.

Mark Messier, 2011 New York City Marathon (4:14:27)

Mark Messier
Andy Kropa/Getty Images

Messier, a former NHL hockey player, ran the NYC marathon to raise money for two charities - Tomorrow's Children's Fund and Answer the Call, which supports the surviving families of 9/11 first responders. Messier was so exhausted and dizzy after he crossed the finish line, he was put in a wheelchair and shuttled to a medical tent. He recovered quickly after taking in some fluids.

Sean Combs (P. Diddy), 2003 New York City Marathon (4:14:54)

Sean P Diddy Combs
Mark Mainz/Getty Images

I have to give it to music mogul Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. He trained for only about two months, was running on a bum knee, and still managed to pull out a sub-4:15 marathon. He also raised $2 million for children's charities and New York City public schools in the process.

Christy Turlington Burns, 2011 New York City Marathon (4:20:47)

Christy Turlington Burns
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Former supermodel Burns ran the NYC Marathon to raise awareness and funds for Every Mother Counts, an advocacy and mobilization campaign to increase education and support for maternal and child health.

Mario Lopez, 2011 NYC Marathon (4:23:30) and 2002 Boston Marathon (5:41:42)

Mario Lopez
Isaac Brekken/Getty Images

He took his time in the 2002 Boston Marathon, but the former Saved By the Bell star and host of the Extra TV show really picked up the pace for the 2011 New York City Marathon, as he cruised to a 4:23 finish.

Ethan Hawke, 2015 NYC Marathon (4:25:30)

Ethan Hawke
Michael Stewart/Getty

The Academy Award-nominated actor and start of the movie Boyhood ran for the Doe Fund, a nonprofit U.S. organization that provides paid transitional work, housing, educational opportunities, counseling, and career training to those a history of homelessness, substance abuse, and incarceration.

Alanis Morissette, 2009 New York City Marathon (4:28:45)

Alanis Morisette
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Grammy-award-winning singer Alanis Morissette couldn't keep up with Ed Norton in the New York City Marathon in 2009, but she joined efforts with him by raising money for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.

Oprah Winfrey, 1994 Marine Corps Marathon (4:29:15)

Oprah Winfrey
Photo by Albert Ortega/Getty Images

One of the most common questions I hear from marathoners in regards to their goal times is, "What do I have to run to beat Oprah's time?" or "I want to beat Oprah!" Going sub-4:30 is a popular goal time for marathoners anyway, but knowing that they beat Oprah's marathon time is usually icing on the cake for people who reach that goal.

Al Gore, 1997 Marine Corps Marathon (4:54:25)

Al Gore

If you're hoping to beat a politician's time and think George W. Bush and Sarah Palin's marks are a little out of your league, Al Gore's time in the Marine Corps Marathon is a lot more achievable.

Bill Rancic, 2013 New York City Marathon (4:57:23)

Getty Images

Entrepreneur, author, TV personality, and first-ever winner of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” Bill Rancic was the very last person to start the NYC marathon in 2013. He finished with an unofficial time of 4:57.  Timex pledged to donate $1 for every runner he passed. Thanks to his 4:57 finish time, they donated $30,000 to Fab-U-Wish,  a charity founded by his wife Giuliana Rancic that supports women affected by breast and ovarian cancer. 

Teri Hatcher, 2014 New York City Marathon (05:06:42)

GC Images/Getty

The Golden Globe Award-winning actress, best know for her roles on Desperate Housewives and Lois and Clark, ran the New York City Marathon to raise money for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization.

Tiki Barber, 2015 NYC Marathon (4:50:56) and 2014 NYC Marathon (5:14:37)


The former New York Giants running back battled some windy, cold conditions in the 2014 NYC marathon. He returned to run a second one in 2015 with a much faster time of 4:50:56.

Katie Holmes, 2007 New York City Marathon (5:29:58)

Katie Holmes
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

I was at the New York City marathon in 2007 when Katie Holmes ran it and it was frustrating that there seemed to more buzz among the spectators about her than the elite runners. But I was impressed that she didn't run with a big fancy entourage of security guards and trainers. And those pictures of her stopping to see hubby Tom Cruise and their daughter, Suri, around mile 23 were sweet.

Pamela Anderson, 2013 New York City Marathon (5:41:03)

Getty Images

Just six weeks before the race, the former Baywatch start Pamela Anderson had told the New York Daily News that she hadn't "attacked the running thing" and said she's "never been a runner." Although many thought she may not complete the race, she crossed the finish line with her brother Gerry.

Alicia Keys, 2015 New York City Marathon (5:50:52)

Alicia Keys
Michael Stewart/Getty

Alicia Keys ran the 2015 New York City Marathon for the Keep a Child alive charity. She most likely heard her "Empire State of Mind" song -- one that resonates with New Yorkers -- being played by spectators along the streets of New York.

Meredith Vieira, 2010 New York City Marathon (5:59:00)

Meredith Vieira
Mark Von Holden/Getty Images

Former Today show co-anchor Meredith Vieira had said she always wanted to run a marathon, but it was colleague Al Roker who inspired her to finally take on the challenge. They were together in the beginning, but Vieira pushed ahead, finishing an hour and 10 minutes before Roker. She was totally giddy wearing her medal on television the next morning.

Al Roker, 2010 New York City Marathon (7:09:44)

Al Roker
Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Today show weatherman and co-anchor Al Roker had perfect marathon weather as he ran (and walked) through New York City's five boroughs. It was almost dark when he crossed the finish line, but he was all smiles as he was greeted by his family.

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