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November 05, 2010

Tennis "Marathoners" - Amelie Mauresmo, Yannick Noah and Justin Gimelstob


There may be different motivations, but a few former tennis players are running in the 2010 ING New York City Marathon on Sunday, i.e. Amelie Mauresmo, Yannick Noah and Justin Gimelstob.  For Mauresmo, who retired a year ago, the marathon was a new and

different challenge to undertake as she transitions into her post-tennis life and career.  Gabriela Sabatini is another former tennis star, who started running and cycling since she retired.  Many tennis stars need a break from the tennis training routine, but yet still enjoy being/staying in shape and therefore pursue other sports/activities.  Mauresmo will be joined by fellow French tennis star, Yannick Noah, the 1983 French Open champion, who recently turned 50.  Noah ran the marathon in the past so that should help Amelie in her first marathon.  Regardless, one would assume that Mauresmo, who worked with some of her former tennis trainers preparing for this race, has done the requisite training and preparation given how she approached her tennis career and fitness.

Justin Gimelstob, who had several injuries during his career, is running the marathon because of a bet he had last winter with Andy Roddick.  Depending on Gimelstob’s final time, assuming that he finishes (!), some money will go to either Gimelstob’s Children’s Fund or Roddick’s Foundation.  If Gimelstob passes the finish line in under four hours and forty-five minutes, then Roddick has to pony up $10,000 for charity and if Gimelstob takes longer, then Justin has to write the check to Roddick’s Foundation.  Apparently, Gimelstob has “trained”, but come Sunday, we’ll see how really fit he has become…  

In the end, the motivation for Mauresmo, Noah and Gimelstob is really quite similar to what motivates most people to run a marathon, i.e. a new challenge/goal, testing one’s limits, a wager, “the experience” of it all… Regardless of what propelled each of them to run the NYC marathon this year, it’s great to see these tennis players “cross-training” and reminding sports fans what great “athletes” tennis players really are… even in retirement! 

POST-Marathon UPDATE re finish times:

Amelie Muaresmo - 3:40

Yannick Noah - 4:01

Justin Gimelstob - 4:09

Well done all!


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