We love feeling like part of a community, and you're in good company with these celebrity runners...
As runners, we get buckets of motivation from seeing other people run. There’s something about sharing everything, from the tough times to the sheer joy, with a supportive community that understands why someone would get up at the crack of sparrows to run in the rain.
I get this inspiration from all over the place – most often from every day runners that I come across on social media or in my copy of Women’s Running magazine. But after spotting a few famous faces sharing their run journeys on Instagram recently, I thought I’d do a deep dive and find out if any of my favourite female celebs were fellow pavement pounders. And, as it turns out, plenty of celebrities share in the joy of running. Here are just a few…
Alicia Keys | Musician
US singer and songwriter Alicia Keys, who has sold over 90 million records worldwide, is an accomplished runner. After running a marathon in Greece in 2007 she swore to herself that she’d never run 26.2 miles again – until she took on the New York Marathon to raise money for her non-profit Keep A Child Alive in 2015 and got her mojo back. “This is my city,” she told Refinery29. “I thought about all the times I rode a train through the boroughs or drove through the boroughs, and it occurred to me that I’ve never run through the five boroughs. So why not?” She crossed the line in 5:50:52 and encouraged her fans to get out there and run.
Amanda Holden | Actress and TV personality
ITV regular Amanda Holden took on the London Marathon in 2008 for a wildlife charity, with an impressive finishing time of 4 hours and 13 minutes. She continues to run regularly to this day, and often posts her about her favourite running gear on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Andrea McLean | Journalist and TV presenter
Loose Women co-presenter Andrea McLean took part in the Vitality London 10,000 in 2019, running in her pants to support a body positivity campaign that we absolutely loved. The Celebrate You team all had their reasons for getting involved with the movement, and Andrea was particularly focussed on supporting women post-menopause. “I want to represent women who are turning 50, who’ve had a hysterectomy or hit menopause,” she told her Instagram following. It’s about reminding people that the body is just the outer skin, and it’s what’s underneath – the soul, the heart, the brain that are important. I turn 50 this year and I will not go quietly into the night and say, ‘oh I’m an old lady now.'” She continues to run regularly and documents her progress online.
Bryony Gordon | Journalist and author
We’ve been following writer Bryony Gordon’s journey since she ran the London Marathon in 2017. In 2018 she released her book Eat, Drink, Run: How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad, chronicling her experience and making marathon running feel more accessible. She also went on to be part of the Celebrate You team, taking on 10K in her pants in 2019, and has been spotted on plenty of other start lines since. Esther spoke to her on the podcast earlier this year about mental health, her charity work and what motivates her to run – you can find the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your pods.
View this post on Instagram
Carrie Hope Fletcher | Theatre star
From the stage to the start line, Les Miserables star Carrie Hope Fletcher ticked running a marathon off her bucket list this year in London. In an emotional post to her Instagram following, she wrote: “As soon as I crossed the finish line I burst into tears and I don’t think I’ll ever stop crying about this. It is without a doubt my biggest achievement.”
Chandra Wilson | Actress
Grey’s Anatomy star Chandra Wilson got stuck into running after her daughter was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease, tackling the Rock’n’Roll Pasadena 5K in 2013 to raise money for the CureMito charity.
Christy Turlington Burns | Supermodel
US model Christy Turlington is a long-time marathon runner: after completing the New York Marathon in 2011, she’s been spotted taking on 26.2 miles several times since. Most recently, she crossed the New York finish line at the 50th anniversary race in November 2021. In 2013 she directed a documentary film called Every Mother, Every Mile, exploring how her charity Every Mother Counts has drawn attention to women’s healthcare inequality through long distance running.
View this post on Instagram
Cynthia Erivo | Theatre star
Tony award-winning actress Cynthia Erivo, who has just been cast in the upcoming feature film version of Wicked alongside Ariana Grande, regularly shares her love of running on social media. Back in 2016, she ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon in just 1 hour and 48 minutes before rushing straight off to perform in the Broadway production of The Colour Purple – pretty impressive!
Eddie Izzard | Comedian and activist
Long-time runner Eddie Izzard completed 31 marathons in 31 days back in January, after taking on a similar feat in 2009 for Sport Relief and in 2016 in honour of Nelson Mandela. She’s no stranger to a tough challenge, and uses her platform to raise funds and awareness for charitable causes. Esther spoke to her on the podcast earlier this year while she was in the middle of running her twentieth marathon of the challenge – a virtual Helsinki 26.2 – about plodding, politics and coming out as trans.
Ellie Goulding | Singer
British pop artist Ellie Goulding has been spotted out running numerous times, and took part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in 2014. She told Outside in 2013 that she regularly runs while on tour, stating: “I’m not diva-ish about anything apart from always having tea and always being able to fit in a run!”
Fearne Cotton | TV and radio presenter
Fearne Cotton may well provide the soundtrack to your runs with her popular mental health podcast Happy Place, but did you know she’s a keen runner herself? Fearne ran the Bath Half back in 2011 to raise money for breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! and continues to use running as a way to manage stress and anxiety.
Image: @mrsgifletcher on Instagram
Giovanna Fletcher | Author and I’m a Celeb… winner
Author, podcaster and TV personality Giovanna Fletcher is another member of the brilliant Celebrate You team, completing the Vitality London 10,000 in her pants back in 2019. She often posts about her running journey on Instagram, but has recently turned her attention to multi-day treks to raise money for CoppaFeel!, for which she’s an ambassador.
Jada Sezer | Model and influencer
Another Celebrate You runner, British model Jada Sezer joined the 700-strong team to run 10K in her pants back in 2019. In the same year, she and Bryony Gordon took on the London Marathon together, and she ran the virtual 40th anniversary race again this year. She’s a firm advocate for fitness at any size, and encourages her followers to get active – you can listen to her talking about this on the podcast here.
Jenni Falconer | Presenter and podcaster
Jenni Falconer is long-time friend of Women’s Running, having appeared on our podcast and on the cover of the magazine. She ran the Royal Parks Half this year, and continues to keep her followers updated with her run progress. You can keep up-to-date with her running on her podcast, RunPod – Esther’s even been a guest!
Jennifer Lawrence | Actress
US actress Jennifer Lawrence has been spotted out running several times. She reportedly caught the bug while training for The Hunger Games films.
Karlie Kloss | Supermodel
Model Karlie Kloss ran the New York Marathon in 2017 in just 4:41:49. She told Popsugar that she’d always had her eyes set on competing 26.2 miles: “If I could do that, then I could literally do anything.” She’s run several races since stating: “I love just what running does in my life and the freedom and flexibility to be able to do it anywhere, anytime.”
View this post on Instagram
Laura Whitmore | TV presenter
British TV personality Laura Whitmore has always been a fitness fanatic, but caught the running bug in 2020 when she took on Couch to 5K over lockdown.
Lorraine Kelly | TV presenter and journalist
Scotland’s Lorraine Kelly participated in the 2010 London Marathon, telling Closer magazine that she wasn’t sure she’d be able to complete the full 26.2 miles and was thrilled when she crossed the line. “I wanted to do something that would really test me, to see if my old knees could stand running another 26 miles!” she said.
Meghan Markle | British royal and actress
American member of the British royal family Meghan Markle told Shape in 2015 that she’d often used running in the past to clear her head and manage her mental health: “I love running [and] I think you have to find a work out routine that really speaks to you beyond trying to get goals for your body.” She wrote on her public blog The Tig, now closed, in January 2016 that she wanted to run a marathon within the year – before she was catapulted into the public eye. Let’s hope she can achieve this someday without the need for too much security!
Mel C | Singer
Former Spice Girl Mel C wasn’t just Sporty Spice for show – she lives up to her name in her free time, too. She’s taken part in numerous races and running events, including triathlons, telling BBC Good Food in 2016 that sport helped her to recover from an eating disorder and develop a healthy relationship with food.
Natalie Dormer | Actress
Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer took part in the 2016 London Marathon, telling The Guardian that she’s been a keen runner since childhood. “I like the quietness of running,” she says. “I like that I’m not verbalising, not talking, just going into my inner self.”
Oprah Winfrey | TV personality
American TV legend Oprah Winfrey famously ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington in 1994 and, although there’s little evidence that she’s taken part in a high-profile running event since, she still gets a notable mention here: she’s credited with encouraging a huge amount of ordinary people to take on the 26.2 mile distance. Reportedly, two paparazzi members were so intent on getting a photo of her running that they ran the entire distance with her!
Pamela Anderson | Actress
Baywatch star Pamela Anderson completed the New York Marathon in 5 hours and 41 minutes back in 2013, sharing a photo of herself in her hotel room covered in ice packs afterwards! She ran with a group raising money for Haiti following a devastating earthquake.
Pippa and Kate Middleton | British royals
Pippa Middleton has taken on numerous tough challenges, including the Great Wall Marathon in China in 2016. Her sister, the Duchess of Cambridge, hasn’t had such a public running career due to her role in the British royal family, but would reportedly love to run a marathon one day. Close friend Bryony Gordon revealed on Loose Women that the Duchess had told her she feared a marathon would be off-limits due to the security risk, but that she dreamed of taking on 26.2 miles.
Reese Witherspoon | Actress
Legally Blonde star Reese Witherspoon shared her love of running on Instagram over lockdown, encouraging her followers to join her on a 30-day run challenge. She even shared her favourite running playlist for inspiration and her treadmill routine for chilly days – a great example of the sense of community that running gave us all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
View this post on Instagram
Ruth Langsford | TV presenter
This Morning presenter Ruth Langsford tackled Couch to 5K earlier this year, documenting each run on her Instagram as she progressed. She finished the programme in August, thanking all of her running friends and giving props to the popular app that got her started.
Saffron Barker | Youtuber and Strictly… star
Former Strictly Come Dancing contestant Saffron Barker ran the London Marathon this year. “It’s really about believing in yourself and telling yourself you can do it,” she told Heat World during her training. “Something I do, if I know I need to get the miles in, I tell myself exactly how far I’m going to run. Otherwise, if I don’t have a goal, I’ll give up. I’m definitely someone who needs targets and goals.”
View this post on Instagram
Scummy Mummies (Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson) | Comedy duo
Podcasters and comedy legends Helen and Ellie, better known as the Scummy Mummies, have become keen runners in recent years. Back in October of this year they took on their biggest challenge: the 40th anniversary London Marathon. They took to Instagram to thank their fans, run coaches, family and friends, stating: “You made us feel like bloody heroes.”
Image: @shareefa_j on Instagram
Shareefa J | Model and influencer
Women’s Running cover star Shareefa J is another member of the wonderful Celebrate You team who took on 10K in their pants in 2019. She also ran the London Marathon this year – her first marathon – and has recently ventured into the world of triathlon. She keeps her followers updated with her body-positive, mental-health focussed fitness journey on her Instagram.
Image: @suzi_shaw on Instagram
Suzanne Shaw | Singer and actress
Suzanne Shaw is an accomplished runner: she ran 60 miles in a night earlier this year to raise money for charity, and is a Mizuno ambassador. “I am most proud of my running achievements,” she told her Instagram followers. “Getting out the door when I had zero motivation, wanting to stop running on long distances, crying through pain when I was taking on a challenge, putting one foot in front of the other. I did that!”
Image: @tanyafranksruns on Instagram
Tanya Franks | Actress
Eastenders actress Tanya Franks also took on the 2021 London Marathon, sharing the joy with her followers on social media. “The city came alive again in a huge way,” she said. “Big thanks as well to all the stewards, marshalls, volunteers. Without you this event is impossible.”
Uzo Aduba | Actress
Orange is the New Black star Uzo Aduba ran the 2015 Boston Marathon in 5:03:24 and told The Guardian earlier this year that she’d recently caught the running bug again, as well as enjoying cycling.