The Power of Celebrity (Part 4): Going the Extra Mile

There they were, all over the morning news programs at the crack of dawn today: a few of the 40,000 triumphant individuals who completed the 40th Annual NYC ING Marathon. They looked well-rested and they all seemed to ‘glow’: shiny medals, beaming from their necks and matching the radiance of their smiles.

Every November, I think to myself: will I ever run in a marathon? Will I ever have the mental and physical stamina to do it (especially without an Ipod)?

I was flooded with emotions when I saw the footage of the first American to win in 27-years, Meb Keflezighi drop to the ground, tears falling, and kiss the asphalt upon completing the race in just about two hours.

Just as inspiring were those celebrities who ran for a good cause. According to the New York Times, actor Edward Norton stayed in the zone by fixating on the mantra, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” which comes from a book by the Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Norton completed the race in 3 hours 48 minutes 1 second (for good measure). He ran for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, which aims to preserve the ecosystem and culture of the 7,000-member tribe in Kenya. By Sunday morning, Norton and 29 other runners had collected more than $760,000 in sponsorships.

Maybe one day, I’ll run for myself and for others. Until then, I’ll write about those who do.

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