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New York City Marathon finishers include stars from other sports

November 7, 2011 |  8:21 am

Six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier and Olympic gold medalists Apolo Anton Ohno and Jennie Finch were among the finishers at the New York City Marathon on Sunday.

Messier trained on his own on the roads of Greenwich, Conn., for seven months. He ran for two charities, Tomorrow's Children's Fund and Answer the Call, which supports the surviving family members of 9/11 first responders.

“I just got filled up with inspiration,” said Messier, who turned 50 earlier this year. “I feel great.”

Messier followed in the footsteps of his former teammates Mike Richter and Adam Graves from the 1994 Stanley Cup champion New York Rangers. He finished in a time of 4 hours, 14 minutes, 21 seconds, besting Graves' 2006 time by 13 minutes but falling short of Richter's 2007 mark by nearly 20 minutes.

Ohno, who normally trains for speedskating races that last from 90 seconds to just over two minutes, logged 600 miles in getting ready for the 26.2-mile trek that took him 3:25:14 to complete.

“This actually hurts my short-track training,” said Ohno, 29, who earned $26,000 for Special Olympics from Subway for finishing under four hours. “But the toughness you can gain from this crazy marathon is applicable.”

He added: “The last 6.2 miles are gruesome. My body isn't designed for this.”

The eight-time Winter Olympics medalist said he even experienced leg cramping for the first time in his athletic career.

“But I wasn't going to stop, no matter what,” he said.

Finch ran a half-marathon while five months pregnant, had her second child in June and then returned to training for her first marathon. She was the last runner to start Sunday and earned $1 for the New York Road Runners youth programs from Timex for every runner she passed.

“The energy on the streets is amazing,” said Finch, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in softball who finished in 4:05:26, unofficially raising about $30,000 for the charity. “So many people running with so many different causes.”


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Left photo: Mark Messier. Credit: Seth Wenig / Associated Press

Center photo: Apolo Anton Ohno. Credit: Diane Bondareff / Associated Press Images for Subway

Right photo: Jennie Finch. Credit: Larry Rosa / Timex via Associated Press