Mark Messier to run NYC marathon

Six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier has taken on a physical challenge of a different sort - he's going to run a marathon.

Six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier has taken on a physical challenge of a different sort – he’s going to run a marathon.

Messier, 50, announced on Thursday that he will run the 2011 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 6. Messier made the announcement at a press conference at the Empire State Building.

Messier told reporters he has been running different roads and all kinds of routes near his Connecticut home over the last 30 weeks to prepare for the race. He will use the race to raise money for two charities – the New York Police & Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund and the Tomorrows Children’s Fund.

Messier played for many years with the New York Rangers, and still works for the team as the special assistant to the president. He also played for the Edmonton Oilers in the 1980s, where he and his teammates, including Wayne Gretzky, won the Stanley Cup several times.

Having more recently turned to running, Messier told reports from NHL.com he completed most of his training by himself, researching running techniques and nutrition on his own.

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“It’s a huge challenge for me,” Messier told reporters. “I was never a runner when I trained to play hockey. This is something at 50 that has been a big challenge. Re-training all my muscles completely from skating has been a challenge.

“I don’t really have any goals, but I think finishing would be a tremendous feat for me,” he added.