The Fast and the Famous: 7 Hardcore Celebrity Runners and Marathon Finishers

Finishing a marathon is no simple feat, and to do it more than once is an awe-inspiring achievement. Some celebrities run for charity and never do it again, while others run with with a burning desire to beat their own personal best time and put another notch on their marathon belt.

Think you have what it takes to beat their fastest times?

1. Will Ferrell

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Great Odin’s Raven!

If you think it’s all tomfoolery for Will Ferrell, you’re probably right – but that’s for everyday stuff, like going streaking to the quad and gymnasium. When it comes to the sport of running though, the star of Anchorman 2 has nothing but respect for the sport and is as serious as they come.

He was on the cover of Runner’s World magazine in 2003 and was even petitioned by organisers of the Fargo Marathon to lace up his sneakers again to grace their event (he didn’t make it).

He runs 4 – 6 miles every other day to stay in shape and ready for any future marathons, and he says that having a sense of humour helps with the pain of running a marathon. I always thought funny bones were immune to pain?

Will Ferrel’s Race Times

   Race    Location    Year    Time
New York City Marathon New York 2001 5:01
Stockholm Marathon Stockholm 2002 4:28
Boston Marathon Boston 2003 3:56 (PR)
Rock n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon Los Angeles 2012 2:03:50

2. Alanis Morissette

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If you thought rockstars were about all night partying, alcohol and drugs, think again. The queen of alt-rock angst is one of the healthiest rockstars today, heavily invested in living a vegan lifestyle (she’s 90% vegan) and regularly doing yoga intensives in Hawaii.

A competitive swimmer growing up, Alanis also dabbled in kickboxing and Capoeira before she discovered running, and ran her first marathon with her twin brother.

Her training regimen includes taking ice baths after a run – one minute for every mile covered. It’s a painful and unpleasant experience, but it helps keep inflammation down. Naps are also important for recovery, so she makes sure that every room in her house has futons where she can crash anytime.

Alanis Morissette’s Race Times

   Race    Location    Year    Time
New York City Marathon New York 2009 4:28:45
Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon  California 2009 4:17:03

3. Gordon Ramsay

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Chef Ramsay is a beast, not only in the kitchen, but also in the sport of distance running. The award winning chef has ran more marathons than any celebrity on this list and is no slouch (check his times).

He ran his first marathon in 2001 when his father-in-law, Chris Hutcheson, told him he was “putting on the weight”, a nicer way of saying he was getting fat.

For Chef Ramsay, what you fuel your body with before and during a race will help you get a better result. His training includes heavy strength work like squats and TRX pull ups.

Now he’s setting his sights on Triathlons, and with his fiery drive and focus, I have a feeling he’s going to do exceptionally well there, too.

Gordon Ramsay’s Race Times

   Race    Location    Year    Time
London Marathon London 2001 4:57:00
London Marathon London 2004 3:30:37
London Marathon London 2005 3:38:48
London Marathon London 2006 3:46:10
London Marathon London 2007 4:20:11
London Marathon London 2008 3:45:41
London Marathon London 2009 4:05:02
London Marathon London 2012 4:26:21
Edinburgh Marathon Edinburgh 2008 4:07:38
Edinburgh Marathon Edinburgh 2009 3:25:47
Los Angeles Marathon Los Angeles 2010 3:48:48
Gold Coast Airport Marathon Gold Coast 2013 4:37:24

4. Natalie Morales

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One of the more seasoned female runners on this list, I can’t help but appreciate Natalie Morales’ accomplishments in the sport of running – she always manages to improve on her previous marathon time.

An avid runner, she runs 15-20 miles a week, upping it to 30 miles when she’s training for a race. Natalie’s time on the 2006 NYC Marathon qualified her for Boston, which she did in 2014 to show support to the city and the victims of the 2013 terrorist bombings. She smoked the course with a blistering time a few seconds off her PR, a pretty awesome feat for the 43 year old mother of two.

Natalie Morales’ Race Times

   Race    Location    Year    Time
New York City Marathon New York 1995 4:22:53
New York City Marathon New York 1996 4:15:14
New York City Marathon New York 2006 3:31:02
Boston Marathon Boston 2014 3:34:45

5. Sean Astin

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With cult classics The Goonies and The Lord of the Rings under his belt, Sean Astin should just be sitting in the Caribbean sipping Cuba Libres. But, as fate would have it, he got addicted to running when he raced more than 28 years ago, and he’s been lacing up his running shoes ever since.

During the filming of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he couldn’t run because he had to stay in character. Samwise Gamgee was always fat, so he had to stay sedentary. He picked up the sport again in 2010 and has competed in numerous full and half marathons.

In 2012, Sean formed #run3rd, a motivational tool to dedicate his runs to his family,charity and for other runners who dedicate their runs to other people and  causes.

Sean Astin’s Race Times

   Race    Location    Year    Time
Los Angeles Marathon Los Angeles 1998 4:04:00 (PR)
Los Angeles Marathon Los Angeles 2010 5:16:12
Los Angeles Marathon Los Angeles 2012 4:25:47
Los Angeles Marathon Los Angeles 2013 4:42:31
San Francisco Marathon San Francisco 2013 5:03:53
Marine Corps Marathon 2014 4:30:56
Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon Las Vegas 2014 5:03:53
Walt Disney Marathon 2015 4:55:21
Boston Marathon Boston 2015 4:49:53

6. Sarah Palin

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Even before running for the second highest position in the USA, Sarah Palin has always been running – literally – in her beautiful home state of Alaska. Running for 10 miles in temperatures below -20 degrees F and in pitch black conditions is routine for Mrs. Palin, as well as going for a run at midnight when the sun is still up. Mrs. Palin can’t go a week without running, and makes it a point to sneak out for runs even when she’s on the campaign trail.

Sarah Palin’s Race Times

   Race    Location    Year    Time
Humpy’s Classic Marathon 2005 3:59:36
Storm Lake Running Club Half Marathon  Iowa 2011 1:46:10

7. Anthony Edwards

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ER was pretty big in the late 90s and Anthony Edwards was in the thick of it. At 37, the TV star and Top Gun alumni wasn’t exactly a spring chicken anymore when he started running. Since he wanted to quit smoking and lead a healthier lifestyle, he decided to run the Chicago Marathon and has never stopped running.

Anthony runs a 6 miler in Central Park three days a week, and runs in the hilly parts of Connecticut with his running coach Toby Tanser when he’s training for a marathon.

His 2009 New York City Marathon run was to raise money for the charity Shoe4Africa, and they even collected running shoes from marathon participants after the race. His accomplishments both on the race and for charity are worthy of another Emmy.

Anthony Edwards’ Race Times

   Race    Location    Year    Time
Chicago Marathon Chicago 1999 4:13:00
Chicago Marathon Chicago 2001 4:04:55
Chicago Marathon Chicago 2003 3:55:40 (PR)
New York City Marathon New York 2009 4:08:20
New York City Marathon New York 2010 4:04:45
New York City Marathon  New York 2013 4:45:26

If you ever wanted to run a marathon for whatever reason – your health, spirituality or just to find out if you can, know that that these famous people have done it multiple times before and will probably do it again in the future.

If they can handle all the rigours of training for a marathon with their busy schedules, so can you. All it takes is passion, determination and the will to carry on. Dig deep, and see you on the 26th mile.