Every year the New York Marathon attracts a few celebrities who are inspired to run the 26.2 miles around the city.
We've heard a lot about the Chilean Miner, Edison Peña, and his plans to run the marathon. He's certainly one of the most exciting entrants into Sunday's race, but did you know we can also cheer on a number of professional athletes (in addition to the runners competing), reality stars, a model, a chef, a talk show host, a weatherman, and someone famous for massive weight loss?
It's a banner year for celebrities in the New York Marathon (and my friend Amy! Go Amy!), so let's take a look at the celebrity contenders in order of how we think they'll do in the race.
My top pick for celebrity runners is Amani Toomer, New York Giants wide receiver. In addition to being in the middle of his regular season training, Toomer has a challenge on his hands. Toomer will be the last person to cross the starting line, and for every person he passes, Timex will donate $1 to the New York Road Runners youth fitness program. I'm thinking everyone else should be watching their backs.
Next up is Justin Gimelstob, professional tennis player and friend to Andy Roddick. The main reason I think he'll do so well has less to do with his tennis physique, and more to do with his competition with Roddick. And we know that competition makes boys work harder. If he crosses the finish line, Roddick will donate $10K to Gimelstob's Children's Fund charity. If he quits early, Gimelstob has to donate the same to Roddick's foundation. It's a win-win either way.
I expect the other pro athletes, like professional snowboarders Keir Dillon and Tricia Byrnes, will also do well, although Brad Ludden, the professional kayaker, is having to use a whole new set of muscles for this sport, so we'll keep a close eye on him.
Survivor winner and cancer survivor Ethan Zohn will certainly be able to outlast and outplay in this challenge that must be a walk in the park considering what he's done before.
Model and actress Veronica Webb is surely in shape to kick this marathon's butt. Additionally, she's so light she'll fly through the five boroughs.
Robin Quivers has been on a serious health kick for some time now, and this marathon will be the ultimate show of her physical strength. Also, for anyone who can put up with Howard Stern for so many years, what's 26.2 miles?
I'm feeling good about Anthony Edwards in this race, and fellow actors Kirk Acevedo (Fringe) and Terrell Tilford (One Life to Live). Tilford is also a cancer survivor, and we know the strength of survivors surpasses the pain of the last 7 miles.
Al Roker, I do believe in you. I do. I just feel the weatherman lives life a bit frivolously, and that might just include his marathon training regimen. Still, I'm pulling for you Al!
Another inspirational figure, Jared "Subway Diet" Fogle, has already said he just hopes he can finish. I do too, Jared, but I'm just going to assume you could finish late in the game.
I hate to give the chefs the last spots, but something about being surrounded by delicious fatty foods and marathon'ing don't seem to mix. So Bobby Flay, Joe Bastianich, and Joe Campanale -- I hope we see you make it to the finish line. Regardless, we know you'll have a heck of an after-party.
What celebrities would you like to see run in the New York Marathon?
Image via the_junes/Flickr