Marathon spotters guide

Keep an eye out for these celebrities and runners with inspiring stories so you can cheer them on.

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  • Photograph: Kees van Haastregt

    Edwin van der Sar, 41, Netherlands
    The Dutch soccer star (who played for Manchester United for six years) expects to finish his first NYC Marathon in less than four hours. He's running for the Laureus charity (laureus.com), an organization that uses sports to help disadvantaged communities.

  • Richard Blais, 39; Atlanta, GA
    The Top Chef All-Stars winner is running his first marathon this year in support of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (healthiergeneration.org). He's expecting to finish in about four hours.

  • Photograph: Courtesy New York Road Runners

    Elizabeth Maiuolo, 36, Upper East Side
    Training for a marathon has been a source of strength, both physically and mentally, for Maiuolo; she started running after having a heart attack when she was 28. Since she began racing in 2008, she's run several marathons and even ultramarathons. Maiuolo is representing Manhattan in the Five Borough Foot Locker Challenge, a race between five people who have overcome great difficulties.

  • Photograph: Courtesy New York Road Runners

    Rob Vassilarakis, 40, Bronx
    Vassilarakis is on the running team for Harlem United (harlemunited.org) and is representing the Bronx, where he was born and raised, in the Challenge. (If you see him, we suggest yelling, "Go, Boogie Down!") He was inspired to run by a friend who completed the 2006 race while sick with the flu. Vassilarakis also battled an addiction to drugs for 15 years, and sees completing this year's marathon as a victory over his past demons.

  • Photograph: Courtesy brightroom.com

    Marjorie Kagan, 81, Upper West Side
    This is Kagan's first marathon; she began running earlier this year as a way to keep busy following the passing of her husband.

  • Kevin Dwyer, 39, Upper West Side
    Dwyer, who has cystic fibrosis, began training for the race only earlier this year. He's running for the Boomer Esiason Foundation (esiason.org), an advocacy group dedicated to raising awareness about the disease. He'll be wearing a Team Boomer shirt with his name on the front.

  • British Consul-General Danny Lopez, 37, Midtown East
    Lopez is no stranger to competitive running: He's been racing for four years, and has completed half-marathons all over Europe. This is his first time running the NYC Marathon. Spot him by looking for a runner wearing a baseball hat with the Union Jack on the back and the logo for British GREAT Campaign on the front.

  • Mike Wilson, 48, Long Island
    Just one year ago, Wilson was undergoing treatment (including chemotherapy and radiation) for stage IV throat cancer. He began training for the race just seven months ago, and is running in support of Fred's Team, which raises funds for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (mskcc.org).

  • Photograph: Robert Davidson

    Rob Davidson, 36, South Harlem
    This year's race is the sixth marathon for Davidson, who is racing for the VH1 Save the Music Foundation (vh1savethemusic.com), where he's the program director.

  • Christy Turlington Burns, 41, Tribeca
    The supermodel is running her first marathon ever in support of Every Mother Counts (everymothercounts.org), an organization dedicated to raising awareness of maternal health. If the above photo is any indication, she'll probably still look pretty great even during the brutal last legs of the race.

  • Richard Feinstein, 68; Jericho, NY
    Talk about dedication: In 2011, this former Marine will run his 33rd marathon, which he calls "a 26-mile block party."

  • Lauren Caiella, 28; Jersey City, NJ
    Following her mother's diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, Caiella decided to train for the race. She's running in support of the National MS Society (nationalmssociety.org).

  • Photograph: Courtesy New York Road Runners

    Andrew Rausa, 24, Brooklyn Heights
    Rausa and his father, Sam, are running the marathon together. They began running as a pair as a way to deal with stress following Sam's cancer diagnosis three years ago. Now, both have run multiple races, with Andrew often acting as trainer for his dad. Rausa's representing Brooklyn in the Challenge.

  • Photograph: Courtesy New York Road Runners

    Michele King Gonzalez, 30, Staten Island
    Gonzalez used running as a way to deal with stress while stationed in Iraq and working for the United States Military Intelligence Corps. This year's race is her fourth marathon.

  • Salvatore Polizzi, 31; Astoria, Queens
    Brooklyn restaurateur Polizzi started running after both his mother and an ex-girlfriend's mom were diagnosed with cancer, and is racing in support of Fred's Team.

  • Photograph: Eric Bakke/Endurapix

    Joe Bastianich, 43, New York City
    We'd want to carbo-load with restaurateur Bastianich, part of the team behind ventures such as Del Posto and Eataly.

  • Veronica Webb, 46, Financial District
    The model-actress is running her third marathon in support of Harlem United (harlemunited.org), an AIDS-awareness organization, and expects to finish in just under five hours.

Photograph: Kees van Haastregt

Edwin van der Sar, 41, Netherlands
The Dutch soccer star (who played for Manchester United for six years) expects to finish his first NYC Marathon in less than four hours. He's running for the Laureus charity (laureus.com), an organization that uses sports to help disadvantaged communities.

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