NBA, NFL & NHL Players Who Have Run Marathons

NBA, NFL & NHL Players Who Have Run Marathons

There are a good number of reasons why certain athletes from other sports are unlikely to engage in something as strenuous and challenging as a marathon. Some athletes are required to carry a certain amount of bulk in order to weigh in with big tackles, hard hits, and slam dunks, whereas others just cannot afford to have their legs sapped for days after the event if they have a big game coming up.

However, that does not stop some NBA, NFL, and NHL players from holding ambitions of one day completing a marathon, often doing so once they have retired from their respective sports and are in search of new challenges and good causes to promote. Here we give a rundown of all the current and former American sports stars who donned their runners and set out to complete a 26.2-mile race or at least part of one.



NFL players are not blessed with the body types that usually make for great marathon runners, but their will to win is what gets them across the finish line

Roger Craig – Ran Off into Retirement

Roger Craig was an exceptional NFL player, having won the Super Bowl three times as part of one of the best teams the league has ever seen, built around the great Joe Montana. His team were so good that sports bettors consistently backed them to get the job done. Since retiring in 1993, this legendary San Francisco 49er needed a new outlet for his athletic cravings, and so took up marathon running. While he doesn’t have the speed to have FanDuel sportsbook free bets wagered on him to win the New York or London Marathons anytime soon, he has completed at least 38 full marathons as well as a whole host of shorter distance races. This makes him perhaps the most prolific NFL runner of all time. How the current 49ers roster would love to have a peak Roger Craig in their midst, to boost them up the NFL odds lines!



Explosive plays and physics-defying slam dunks are usually the focus of NBA players, but some like to push their limits in long-distance races

Georges Laraque – 2015 Montreal Marathon Finisher

Weighing in at a ready 280 pounds, this former NHL enforcer hardly has the ideal physique for marathon running, but that did not put him off running the 2015 Montreal Marathon. Since retiring in 2010, Laraque has used running to help keep his weight down and fits his new hobby around his exploits in the realms of public service. Who knows, his healthy running habit might even have helped him get out of hospital quicker than he otherwise might have done when he was recently admitted in 2020.

Tiki Barber – All-Time Rushing Giant Still Has Moves

The Giants have never seen the likes of Tiki Barber again. He left an indelible mark on the Big Apple once his stellar career ended in 2006. To this day he remains the greatest runner that the Giants franchise has ever had on its books, and he backed up those running credentials by completing a hattrick of New York Marathons from 2014 to 2016. His fastest time was the one he recorded at his third and final attempt when he clocked a respectable 4:28:26.

NBA Players and Commissioner Ran Legs of 2014 NYC Marathon

Of course, most current players are not advised by their team’s medical staff to add strenuous marathon training to their already packed workout and practice schedules, and so when active NBA players do make appearances in marathons it tends to be in a promotional capacity. That was the case in 2014 when a multitude of NBA stars was joined by then NBA commissioner Adam Silver in each running a short leg of the course. Who knows, perhaps some of those same players got the marathon running bug and will be back on the course when they retire, to complete the full 42km.


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