Encouraged to run a marathon by his fiancee, Amanda Beach, who
has completed three, Justin Leonard (above, in sunglasses) ran
his first on Dec. 9. He finished Dallas's White Rock Marathon
1,018th out of 3,442 participants.
SI: What was it like crossing the finish line?
JL: An intense feeling of relief and a huge sense of
accomplishment. It's much different from a golf tournament
because everybody you're running with has that same awesome
feeling, so there aren't any losers. That's really cool.
SI: What was the hardest part?
JL: Getting out of bed the following morning.
SI: How did running the marathon compare with your expectations?
JL: It was much more emotional than I had imagined, especially
toward the end, seeing everybody else struggling, and having
Amanda run the last six miles with me.
SI: Did you cry?
JL: No, but close.
SI: By finishing, did you prove that golfers are athletes?
JL: All it proves is that I'm crazy.
SI: How'd you train for the race?
JL: I read a couple books, and Amanda gave me tons of direction.
SI: Like what?
JL: Go out slow, running the first few miles at a 9:20 pace, and
then gradually pick it up, which I did.
SI: Without Amanda's advice, how would you have done?
JL: I'd still be at mile 12.
SI: Have any other Tour players done a marathon?
JL: The longest run I've heard about was by David Duval, who did
a six-miler up and down a mountain in Ketchum, Idaho.
SI: What do the other players think about your running?
JL: Davis [Love III] told me he couldn't drive for four straight
hours, much less run for that long.
SI: Are there similarities between golf and marathoning?
JL: They take the same amount of time for me.
SI: Any more in your future?
JL: Amanda and I are talking about retiring, but we can always
change our minds, like boxers and basketball players.
COLOR PHOTO: JACK COUNTS/SPORTS PHOTO, INC.