Celebrities were out in full force in New York today. Not for a movie premiere or an awards show; rather, a handful of determined stars were sweating it out in the Big Apple for the 2008 New York City Marathon.
This year’s biggest celeb finisher was actor Ryan Reynolds. Scarlett Johansson’s better half crossed the finish line in 3 hours, 50 minutes—-better than the four-hour target he was aiming for.
“I’m still standing. I’m very excited about that,” Reynolds told reporters after finishing the 26.2-mile course. “It was an incredible experience.”
Unlike some other race participants who entered to test their physicality, Reynolds says his goal was to raise money and awareness for Parkinson’s disease. The actor ran for Team Fox in honor of pal Michael J. Fox (who lives with the disease) and his father, who has battled Parkinson’s for the past 15 years.
Reynolds says the last leg of the race was the most challenging, but he was given a burst of motivation when he saw one special spectator during mile 20.
“When I saw Michael J. Fox on Fifth Avenue, I gained about 15 pounds in goose bumps,” said Reynolds. “It kind of pushed me through the last six miles or so.”
Reynolds’s mother and brother greeted him with hugs at the finish line in Central Park. Once they departed shock jock Howard Stern moved in to cheer on his new bride Beth Ostrosky.
Stern’s 36-year-old wife of less than a month crossed the finish line in 4 hours, 15 minutes.
“This was the happiest day of my life,” said Ostrosky, who ran to raise money for Long Island’s North Shore Animal League.
The couple told reporters that they planned to celebrate Ostrosky’s finish with a dinner of sushi and pasta.
Olympic gold medal winners Brandi Chastain (soccer) and Kerri Strug (gymnastics) were among the other dozen or so celebrity participants competing in this year’s marathon.
The athletic duo participated in the race as ambassadors for a program that promotes youth fitness. Both said they had to retrain their muscles to undertake the long haul, but in the end were glad they pushed themselves to the finish the race.