September 8, 2010

Just call me your resident celebrity marathon trainer

I wrote this yesterday but held off on posting it until I could finalize it. Now I’m ready to make it live and give the full report on some big news!

Some of you may have heard of Justin Gimelstob, the pro tennis player. His good friend Andy Roddick made a $10,000 bet with Justin that he couldn’t run a marathon. After all, Justin’s a tennis player, not a distance runner. Furthermore, he’s had a broken foot in the past and still has some back injuries. Justin bristled, took the bet, and it was decided that the cutoff time for the marathon would be 4:45. If Justin could run the NYC Marathon and finish under 4:45, Roddick would donate $10,000 to Justin’s charity; if he couldn’t, Justin would need to pony up $10,000 for the charity of Roddick’s choice. I heard about this little wager in the New York Times and was immediately intrigued. Here’s an underdog who wants to run a marathon… how can I not empathize with that? I found him on Twitter and dashed off an e-mail offering to help. Today, I heard back from his manager, and was offered an incredible opportunity: to run with Justin in the NYC Marathon!

I was thrilled. New York was one of my favorite marathons, and the chance to run it again and help pace someone to a goal was amazing. In addition to helping Justin to beat Roddick, I’d also get to raise money for the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund, which supports various children’s charities in the New York / New Jersey area. I’m so thrilled to get to give back like this, both with training someone and by helping a charity! My goal is to raise $5,000 by November 7th… lofty, but I think I can do it. I would LOVE all of your help though – I’ll be setting up a website to collect donations and track progress soon.

To sweeten the deal for me, Grant (Justin’s agent) told me that Justin is currently in the New York area for the US Open (he’s the official announcer of the Tennis Network), and is training with morning runs in Central Park. He invited me to join them for a run tomorrow morning! Fabulous – I am so excited. Now I just need to get to bed early so I can be all rested up to demonstrate my running prowess and give Justin confidence that I’m the right woman for the job πŸ™‚ Full training run report to come…

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15 thoughts on “Just call me your resident celebrity marathon trainer”

  1. Holy Crap, Laura – how cool is this?!?! And I think it happened at the exact right time – gives you some great motivation for your training as well. πŸ˜€

    Angela/Pretty in Orange

  2. You have motivated me…my marathon running days are over, but I think I still have a “Half” or two left in me. If you want some running company for the first several miles of Hartford, let me know. Thanks Laura. Big hug for you.

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