Add Al Roker to the list of celebrities who want to cross “running a marathon” off their bucket list. Earlier this week, the Today show weatherman told People magazine that he is training for the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 7, 2010.
Although Roker’s wife and avid runner Deborah Roberts says he’s nervous for the big 26.2 miles, he’s been committed to training and just finished a 20-mile run. He probably won’t win the event, as People reports that Roker just broke the 13-minute mile barrier, but kudos to him for going after such a big fitness goal! (Last year Mebrahtom Keflezighi won the event in a staggering time of 02:09:15.)
Running newbies take heart: Roker admits that he doesn’t even like running. According to the article, he believes that running is 20 percent physical and 80 percent mental. Talk about a mental workout!
Once completed, Roker will join the ranks of many other celebrities who have ran marathons, including Will Ferrell, Oprah Winfrey, Sean (Diddy) Combs, Valerie Bertinelli and various The Biggest Loser contestants.
Roker picked a top-tier marathon as his first. The ING New York City Marathon attracts many world-class professional athletes and more than 100,000 apply for the marathon each year. The event draws two million cheering spectators and is televised to 315 million viewers. The marathon also has quite the memorable end- with the finish line in beautiful Central Park.
For the past 8 years, Roker has been on the road to a healthier life. In March 2002, he underwent gastric bypass surgery and, in less than a year, dropped more than 100 pounds from his 320-pound body. While gastric bypass surgery is serious and usually a last resort, it’s inspiring to see someone like Roker who has so obviously embraced a healthy lifestyle!
Image via skinnyrunner.com