NHL legend Mark Messier completed the New York City Marathon on Sunday, traversing the 26.2 mile-course in four hours, 14 minutes and 27 seconds.
Messier participated in the race to help raise awareness for his two charities, Tomorrows Children's Fund and The New York Police & Fire Widows' & Children's Benefit Fund.
"It was leading up to the 10-year anniversary of 9/11, that's where it all started," Messier told NHL.com on Thursday. "I tried to do some things where I was looking for support from other people. It didn't go through and that was very disappointing. But then I turned to myself and said I have to do something for myself. What could that be? I didn't see myself running a marathon two years ago or even a year ago, but I am sure glad it has turned into this because it has been quite a journey both physically and emotionally. I'm really glad I'm doing it and I think it is for a great cause."
It was the first endurance race the 50-year-old Messier has participated in. Other former Rangers great like Mike Richter and Adam Graves have completed the race in the past.
Olympic speed skater Apollo Anton Ohno, who was running in the race to raise money for the Special Olympics, finished with an official time of 3:25:14.
"This being my first marathon, I didn't know what to expect," Ohno told the New York Times. "My body is simply not designed to work like that. It's so long. I probably hit the wall many times."
You forget how good [Nieuwendyk] was. You hear the points and stuff and you almost forget until they kind of walk you through his career, and that was really cool for me. I might have felt it a little more than some of the other guys because he was one of my favorites growing up, but that was very cool and I'm honored to have been a part of it. I had chills the entire ceremony.
— Calgary's Joe Colborne on the "Forever a Flame" ceremony for Joe Nieuwendyk