Oprah Winfrey runs half-marathon in 2:16

August 16, 1993|By Orange County Register

SAN DIEGO -- Weight-loss attempts by talk-show host Oprah Winfrey in the past have been well chronicled. This time her all-out assault on fitness was a secret.

Winfrey was among 5,011 entrants who ran the 13-mile, 192 1/2 -yard America's Finest City Half-Marathon yesterday. Her time of 2 hours, 16 minutes, 3 seconds was particularly impressive considering she began running only five months ago.

"People were saying, 'Oprah's here,' " said Dora Haikal of Irvine, Calif., who ran a 2:03. "I didn't believe them. I didn't think that was possible.' But I went by her. I feel good somebody so outstanding was in the same race."

"That was fun," Winfrey declared after finishing the race -- never slowing to walk once. "But that last mile [uphill] was tough."

Winfrey, 39, who took up running five months ago and has lost 50 pounds since -- though she won't say what she currrently weighs -- said she made a decision to get fit by her 40th birthday, which is coming up Jan. 29.

She hired Bob Greene, a fitness trainer she met in Colorado who relocated to Chicago, where she lives, and who ran with her through Sunday's race.

"She went faster than she thought she would," Greene said. "When you factor in how long it took to get to the start line, she ran under 10-minute miles."

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