Famous People that Run Far, Fast and for a Good Cause
Besides being very successful at what they do for a living, some famous people are also very good at running. Some even use their fame to do good while running. Is it by chance that successful people make good runners, or that good runners tend to be successful in life? According to this study, companies with CEOs that keep fit by running marathons showed to be more successful. Since being successful usually requires commitment, diligence, discipline, perseverance, pacing and a host of other traits and strategies also required to complete a marathon, it comes as no surprise that these famous people also fared pretty well at running.
Not that running only a marathon distance qualifies you as a true runner. Or that being a CEO is any indication of potential success in life. Another study showed that generous people are generally more successful. The more they donate, the richer they seem to get. We did some reasearch and found a delightful number of inspiring, famous people that run far, fast, and often do so in the name of charity.
Funny man Will Ferrell, famous for movies such as Zeroville, keeps in shape by running and has completed several marathons to date. He ran the 2003 Boston Marathon in a time of 3hrs 56min, which remains his PR. Will admirably supports 19 charities and 20 causes through his running and other appearances,.
Edward Norton, famed for starring in movies such as Fight Club and Primal Fear, ran the 2009 New York Marathon in 3hrs 48min. He raised money during this event for the non-profit organization Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which supports wildlife conservation in East Africa to benefit the Maasai.
Ryan Reynolds, actor in movies such as Safe House, ran the 2008 New York Marathon in a time of 3hrs 50min. Ryan supports Parkinson’s awareness after his father was diagnosed with the disease.
Celebrity chef, restaurateur and television personality Gordon Ramsay has finished the London Marathon several times with a PB of 4hrs 26min for this race. Gordon raises funds under the Gordon Ramsay Foundation for the benefit of Cancer Research UK, Action Against Hunger and the Scottish Spina Bifida Association.
After vowing to herself that she would run a marathon before her 40th birthday, Oprah Winfrey completed the 1994 Marine Corps Marathon in 4hrs 29min. Oprah supports 29 charities and 27 causes, most notably the Angel Network, The Oprah Winfrey Foundation, and The Oprah Winfrey Operating Foundation.
Sir Richard Branson, the entrepreneur of the Virgin brand and with an estimated net worth of $5.4B ran the 2010 London marathon in butterfly wings. He finished the race in a time of 5hrs 02min and commended the incredible support from the crowds. Sir Richard supports 35 charities and 28 causes. He doesn’t only donate money but most often gets involved personally to address humanitarian, environmental and social crises and issues.
Although he may not have run in an official race yet, in 2016 Mark Zuckerberg inspired 44,000 people on Facebook to commit to run one mile for every day of the year. Mark is also famous as a philanthropist, and in 2010 he signed the “Giving Pledge”, committing to donate half of his profits over time to charity.
Former captain of the South African Springbok rugby team, Corne Krige, ran the Otter African Trail Marathon in 2013 in a very admirable time of 7hrs 19min. With this run, Corne helped raise awareness for the Castle Lager Boucher Legacy’s “Our Rhino in safe hands” programme.
Jenson Button, British formula one Formula One racing driver for Mclaren-Honda and 2009 world champion, established a PB of 2hrs 52min for the London Marathon in 2015. He ran the race in aid of Cancer Research UK.
Danish professional tennis player and former world champion, Caroline Wozniacki, ran the New York City Marathon in 2014 in a time of 3hrs 26min. Despite skipping breakfast and only “grabbing two bagels in a tent” before lining up for the race, Caroline beat her own time goal of 3 hrs 30min. She also managed to raise more than $80,000 for her charity, Team for Kids, which supports youth fitness programs.
Princess Beatrice, the 21 year old daughter if the Duchess of York was the first of the royal family to run the London Marathon. Beatrice ran the race as part of a “human caterpillar”, which consisted of 34 runners interlinked with two bungee cords. They finished the Marathon in a time of 5hrs 15min, raising funds for the charity Children in Crises.
Although not a royal per se, the well-known younger sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Pippa Middleton, deserves an honourable mention. Pippa ran the 2015 Safaricom Marathon in Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to raise funds for the Kenya Tusk Trust. She placed as 7th female in a time of 3hrs 56min. In 2016 she ran the grueling Great Wall Marathon in China in aid of the British Heart Foundation, and finished as 13th lady in a time of 4hrs 54min.