I picked up this earth-shattering bit of news this morning when I (once again) shunned the pouring rain and (this time) stayed in bed instead of going out running. This allowed me to turn on the Today show promptly at 7 a.m., a luxury of which I have been deprived since I started this morning running thing a few years ago. They started promoting Valerie's piece as "up next" around 7:25 a.m. Still, I was able to take a shower at 7:35, make breakfast at 7:45, be back upstairs at 7:55 just in time for them to promise (again) that Valerie Bertinelli will be "up next"! I think she was finally on at about 8:10.
Valerie was primarily on the show to promote her new book, Finding It. The bit about the Boston Marathon came up almost as an aside, and Valerie explained briefly that "Dana Farber asked me to do it" and she is training now. It turns out that she is participating in the Dana Farber Cancer Institute Marathon Challenge to raise funds for cancer research. So in that aspect, her celebrity status probably will be legitimately beneficial, rather than just a way to run Boston without qualifying (as perhaps an earlier snarky Facebook post might have suggested).
I'm not going to write a whole post about celebrity runners. The February 2010 issue of Runners' World has a really entertaining and thoroughly researched article on this topic (page 56), and I highly recommend checking it out for a chuckle. It's not available on the website yet but may be later on. I especially enjoyed the comments by Tom Cavanaugh ("Ed")* (I've always secretly had a crush on him, and I didn't even know he was a runner!).
Hmmm, I seem to have digressed. Back to Valerie Bertinelli.** Although the "running for charity" thing modifies my opinions, I would have been really impressed if she'd quietly gone out and qualified for Boston on her own. Of course, she would have been screwed a little bit, since Boston 2010 is just four days before her 50th birthday, when she enters into a new qualifying time category! The Today Show web article suggests that running Boston makes her just like "thousands of other everyday folks in the race."
Well. I wonder how the thousands of people who have bust their behinds attempting to qualify for Boston would feel about being called "everyday folks"?
*I loved this show too...what's not to like? Hottie Tom Cavanaugh playing a lawyer who practices law from a bowling alley, Julie Bowen (who I just want to be like, or look like anyway), Justin Long, and many other lovable characters and witty dialogue.
**Who I really do like, but I've never wanted to be her...can't imagine that level of perky. And she lost a few points with me when she put on the bikini. (Why? Because it makes it seem like she bought into the attitude that you have to be super-thin and bikini-ready to be a weight loss success.)