By Katie Rosenbrock
The Active Times

What would you do if you saw Katie Holmes running down the street? And I don’t mean like, running from the paparazzi or Tom. I mean like, working out; running for the benefit of bettering her body. Would you be surprised? Shocked? Star struck? Would you ask her for an autograph, maybe pull her to the side and snap a pic to post on Instagram?

The chances you might run into a celebrity while you’re out pounding the pavement are pretty slim. But it’s not impossible either. Sure, sometimes it seems like stars have the ability to stay slim and trim despite lying around eating bon-bons all day, but the truth is they have to work out too, and some of them (including Katie) like to run. In fact, you’ll soon find out that some of them don’t enjoy it at all but still do it anyway.

In his upcoming book Feet Don’t Fail Me Now: The Rogue’s Guide to Running the Marathon, author Ben Kaplan interviews a handful of celebrities about running. He mostly talks to them about their favorite workout songs—after all, not all of them are runners—but a select, surprising few just so happen to be a part of the club.
A few of the following famous figures have run marathons, one is a former Olympic swimmer, and some are just good old recreational runners like you and me. But they all have one thing in common -- no matter how far or how fast they go, and whether they hate it or love it -- they're all runners.

Celebrities: Did You Know They Were Runners? Slideshow


Pamela Anderson

OK, well maybe she’s not technically a runner yet. In about two weeks' time Anderson is scheduled to line up with about 47,000 other runners at the starting line of the 2014 New York City Marathon. She’s running to raise money for Sean Penn's Haitian Relief Organization, but she recently told The Daily News that she’s “never been a runner” and that she’s “never even run across the street” (whatever that means). It's not much compared to marathon training, but we guess she forgot about all that "Baywatch" beach running she used to do.


Sean Combs

Sean Combs, P. Diddy, Puff Daddy, Diddy. The rapper has gone by a lot of names over the years and in 2003 he added “marathon runner” to the list of things he can be called. He probably could have just given them the money, but despite his “baller” status he ran the New York City Marathon and raised $2 million for a few different charities including his own, Daddy’s House Social Programs, which provides aid to inner city youth.


Sarah Palin

Unlike a lot of celebrities who are new to the sport, Palin says thanks to her parents, she’s been running for more than 30 years now. In fact Palin’s family sounds like a fitter version of the Brady Bunch when she tells Runner’s World that her dad was a track coach who used to haul her and her siblings out to Anchorage for 10K family fun runs. It’s no surprise she’s kept up the sport all these years, though, because we all know once the run bug bites, you’re pretty much in it for life.



Slash That’s right. Slash, as in the lead guitarist of Guns N’ Roses, is a runner. Well, maybe not exactly. In "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" he admitted to Kaplan that he runs, but also mentioned that he hates the sport. In fact, he said he hates all exercise. He also said that he hates using an iPod but likes watching TV while he works out. We guess he’s just trying to reap a few of the benefits and call it a day.


Will Ferrell

This funnyman isn't just jogging around for jokes. Having completed a handful of long-distance races including The New York City Marathon in 2001, The Stockholm Marathon in 2002, The Boston Marathon in 2003, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon last year, it’s clear that the sport is one thing he takes quite seriously. He told USA Today that his SNL cast mates sometimes got angry with him for skipping late nights out while he was training for a race. It’s that kind of dedication that shows when a runner's really not joshing around.


Woody Harrelson

In "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" Harrelson talked to Kaplan mostly about the play he was working on at the time, comparing the writing process to training for a marathon. And despite admitting to being a bit of a lazy procrastinator, he told Kaplan that he runs recreationally, is a fan of “Born to Run” by Chris McDougall, and that he loves his Vibram FiveFinger barefoot shoes. We wonder if it's hard for him run outside without being bothered since almost "everybody knows his name."


Summer Sanders

Maybe you know her as the three-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer, or (depending on your age) maybe you remember her as the host of Nickelodeon’s slime-tastic show, “Figure it Out.” Either way now you can add "marathon-runner" to the list of ways Sanders has made a name for herself. After retiring her cap and goggles Sanders started running regularly, and fell in love with the sport. She told Runner’s World that she’s not competitive with the sport the way she was with swimming, but still she ran her first marathon on a total whim (without any training) and finished in 3:35. Maybe she’s no longer competitive, but it certainly seems like she’ll always be a natural athlete.


Kate Gosselin

Strictly a treadmill runner when she first started out, Gosselin decided to take her training outdoors once the “John & Kate Plus 8” buzz faded and the paparazzi went away . Of course, like almost any other runner, there was no turning back for her after that. She told Runner’s World she become “completely addicted immediately.” She ran the Rock ‘N’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon at the end of last year and said the best part about it was that her kids got to see her set and achieve her goal.

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For the complete list of Celebrities You Probably Didn't Know Were Runners, go to

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