10/15/09

Running Celebs in NYC marathon

Champions aren't made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them;a desire, a dream, a vision. Muhammad Ali


The Stars Will Be Out at the NYC Marathon

Peter Vigneron

The marathon is still 26.2 miles, even when you're rich and famous. This immutable fact hasn't deterred a gaggle of bold-faced names from announcing they'll run this year's ING New York City Marathon on November 1.

Here's a brief rundown of celebrities who plan to run New York, and the causes they're supporting.


Edward Norton
has recruited both magicianDavid Blaine and singer Alanis Morissette to run in support of the Maasi Wilderness Conservation Trust and has been posting updates on his marathon training on Twitter. Norton hasn't had the easiest time getting in shape; his shins are finding the experience somewhat disagreeable, but he remains committed to running. Along with Blaine and Morissette, Norton will be joined by three Kenyan men from the Maasai tribe, all of whom are involved with the Trust's efforts to promote land conservation in western Kenya. (Photo, from left: Samson Parashina, Edward Norton, Parashi Ntanin, Andrew Wolff, Martin Sunte, Luca Belpietro. Courtesy Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.)

Former ER star Anthony Edwards headlines the celebrity contingent from another Kenya-based charity, Toby Tanser's Shoe4Africa organization, as he helps raise money for a planned children's hospital in the northwestern city of Eldoret. Eldoret sits at nearly 7,000 feet elevation above the Great Rift Valley and is rightly known as the epicenter of Kenyan marathoning. Top New York entrants Martin Lel, James Kwambai and Paul Tergat all hail from the area. Tony-award winning actress Sarah Jones and Mercy starJames LeGros have also committed to run for Shoe4Africa.

Kenya doesn't have a monopoly on the celebrity charity market, though. Christopher Reeve's son Matthew Reeves will run for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which raises money for spinal cord injury research.

Olympic gold medal-winning speed skater
Dan Jansen has signed on with ING Run for Something Betterto promote children's exercise, as has former hockey star Pat LaFontaine. Radio host Peter Sagal (Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me) is raising money for the Healthy Schools Campaign. Reality TV stars Brennan Swain,Ryan Sutter and Ian Rosenberger will run with actor Donal Logue and Pitchmen host Anthony Sullivanfor Grassroots Soccer, an organization that uses soccer to teach children and young adults about AIDS.

There will even be a touch of royalty passing through the five boroughs: Dutch Prince Pieter Christiaan Michiel plans to run for the World Wildlife Fund.

On a final note(!), musician Nikolai Fraiture of the Strokes will run New York as well. Fraiture plays bass for the band, which is was formed in New York in 1999. He'll be raising money for the New York Road Runners Team For Kids charity, which promotes exercise among children and young adults.



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