When the brother of 15 time Grammy Award winner, Alicia Keys, mentioned the idea of running a marathon to her, her first reaction was “My first instinct was to say, ‘HELL NO!’ LOL,” the 34-year-old native New Yorker wrote on her blog.
After giving it deep thought, she wrote, “But then I thought, this is my city, so why not? I thought about all the times I rode a train through the boroughs or drove through the boroughs, and it occurred to me that I’ve never run through the five boroughs. So why not?” Keys not only ran the New York City Marathon 2015, she used the marathon to raise funds for- Keep a Child Alive — a charity she co-founded that makes HIV medications more accessible to children and families in Africa and India.
Keys is not alone. From Berlin to London, to Paris, New York and Boston each year, celebrities take to the streets to run world-renowned marathons, often participating to raise money for charity.
As the February 6, 2016 date of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon approaches, will celebrities in Nigeria’s entertainment capital, Lagos, also emulate their counterparts elsewhere and run the marathon either for fun, to create awareness about a cause they believe in or to raise money for charity?
Oprah Winfrey ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in 1994 and her finishing time of 4:29:15 is still one of the most talked-about marathon times.
P. Diddy (Sean Combs), ran the New York City Marathon with the goal of beating Oprah’s time, he did in 4:14:54.
Other celebrities who have run marathons include American actress Katie Holmes, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and Canadian-American singer, Alanis Morissette.
Ethan Hawke, the Academy Award–nominated actor ran marathons on behalf of the Doe Fund, the nonprofit organization which provides programs to people hoping to overcome homelessness, incarceration or substance abuse.
James Blake, the former professional tennis star, also ran marathons for the James Blake Foundation, in memory of his father who died from stomach cancer in 2004. Katrina Bowden, the 30Rock actress, runs for the Team in Training of the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. The endurance sports training program raises money for blood cancer research. George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States, ran the Houston Marathon and Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States, ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 4:58:25 .Mikuláš Dzurinda, Prime Minister of Slovakia did the full marathon in 2:54:57.
One hopes that Lagos celebrities like television mogul Mo Abudu, politicians Femi Gbaja, corporate gurus like Hakeem Bello-Osagie, Tunde Folawiyo, and entertainment celebrities like Femi Kuti, Ali Baba, Basketmouth, Kate Henshaw, Funke Akindele, AY, Gbenga Adeyinka, 2face Idibia, Timaya, 9ic, Wizkid, Olamide, D’Banj, Rita Dominic and others too numerous to mention will grace the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon like their counterparts elsewhere.