Fair play to the excellent Go Feet blog for featuring this gem:
Johnny Marr, guitarist with The Smiths, ran in the 2010 New York Marathon – and finished in a fine time of 3:54:18.
In one of the photos, a noticeably tired Marr has slowed to a walk, and is perhaps employing the run-walk strategy that many runners use to get through marathon day.
Notwithstanding any walking breaks, Marr’s finishing time of 3:54 works out at an average of around 8 and a half minutes per mile, which is good going.
A vegan since his Smiths days, Marr has long been off the booze and cigarettes, and told the Guardian in 2009 that he took up running in the early 1990s. So, his fine New York Marathon time was no fluke. (Only a hater would point out that, without ever matching The Smiths’ mid-80s success, Marr would indeed have plenty of time and energy these days to devote to running.)
Marr has some way to go if he wants to be rock and pop’s top marathon runner – Bjorn from ABBA turned in a tasty 3:23:54 in the 1980 Stockholm Marathon, while ABBA were still at the height of their fame.
Both Johnny and Bjorn trump Joe Strummer’s unsubstantiated claims to a 3:20 marathon personal best. And did anyone ever find out Jedward’s time from the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon?
On a related Smiths/running theme, Go Feet has also done us the service of reading Morrissey’s autobiography, which includes the wonderful revelation that Morrissey was a successful 400-metre runner in his schooldays. Who knows – if he had kept up his running, the eminently quotable and utterly self-worshipping Morrissey could have become the Zlatan Ibrahimovich of the athletics world.
Here’s Johnny Marr the marathon runner with his minor hobby of playing the guitar: