1994 Marine Corps Marathon
Oprah Winfrey, famous TV personality, ran a marathon in 1994. She completed the Marine Corps Marathon in 4 hours 29 minutes, (the average time was 4 hours 44 minutes).
What amazes me most about her achievement is finding the time in her truly busy schedule to put in enough training to be able to complete 26.2 miles in better than average time; especially as she was grossly overweight at 222 pounds (100 kg).
How did she do it?
She enlisted professional help from the head of the Telluride Ski Resort exercise program and followed his schedules to the letter.
Initially the “contract” was for weight loss to attain 150 pounds (68 kg) not running a marathon, but the most effective way of burning calories is running. It requires a lot of effort.
During the course of Oprah’s training she was entered into running races after at least 40 pounds (18 kg) had been shed. She completed the San Diego half marathon in a respectable 2 hours 16 minutes and seemed to get the bug to want to do more, like run a full marathon.
The same day that Oprah reached her target weight of 150 pounds (68 kg) she also ran 5 miles in 40 minutes, an average of 8 minutes per mile (which is generally considered a good average speed). That event alone became the catalyst to spark more intensive training suitable for completing her new goal of completing a full marathon.
The rest is history. She did it.
Oprah may have had the best the World can offer with personal chef, personal trainer and seemingly endless resources, but that doesn’t really do her justice. No one else could run for her, she had to do it herself, and that takes a lot of mental commitment. You can train the physical body to perform but not if the brain says it can’t be bothered.