Al Roker put a different kind of Rokerthon in the books this weekend.
The TODAY weatherman joined thousands of athletes in Brooklyn, New York, on Saturday to complete the Brooklyn Half Marathon. Videos and photos showed Al power-walking the 13.1-mile race, and he said he maintained a pace of 15 minutes and 14 seconds per mile, setting a personal record for himself.
"It isn't setting any land speed records, but it was faster than any of my training walks," Al told TODAY over the phone on Sunday, noting that he was enjoying a walk in New York City's Central Park at the time of the call. "I don't know if it was the adrenaline of being with people ... It just had everything going for it. It couldn't have worked out better."
Al said that after finishing the race in three hours and 19 minutes, he felt nothing short of proud.
"There is a sense of accomplishment," he said. "It's like, 'Wow, this is something 22,000 people did. Not everybody can do it.' And you do feel like, 'Oh, OK, I did that!'"
Al posted several photos from the big day on Instagram, and friends and followers quickly jumped in with words of praise and support.
"You're incredible!!!" wrote TODAY meteorologist Dylan Dreyer.
Al's wife, Deborah Roberts, shared a sweet post celebrating her husband's accomplishments on Instagram.
"Scenes of a Saturday. Cheering on the perseverance and accomplishments of @alroker ... After training for months, Al reminds us of what shooting for the stars is all about. #proud of you!" Roberts wrote, in part.
Al told TODAY that he actually started training to walk the half-marathon several months ago. His journey with walking has been well-documented, but he said about a year ago, he was inspired to try to run the New York City Marathon. While he wasn't in shape to do that at the time, it inspired him to start training with an app called Target 100, which sets users up with a virtual coach and helps them develop a personalized program.
In general, Al said, he finds walking much more enjoyable than running.
"No shade to people who run ... I've got two knee replacements, I've got a hip replacement. Walking is a lot easier," Al said. "One of the things with Target 100 is you've got to do 100 minutes of (exercise) a week, and I have tried to do 10,000 steps in a day. ... And I find that helps. It gets your head in a great place, especially when you can walk outside, and I just enjoy it. It's great for me, a great activity, because it gives me a chance to kind of decompress."
Al added that as someone who travels frequently, walking is a great, simple exercise that he can do anywhere.
"There are any number of apps, or you can just Google walking paths in a particular city. Especially when I've been out on a story, I'm able to go walk, I just pack my sneakers and shorts and ... away you go," Al said. "And you get to see a city from a different perspective than you do if you're in a car."
Al isn't the only person making major changes just by adding walks into their daily routine.
Celebrities like Mindy Kaling and Rebel Wilson swear by walking as a way to unwind and lose weight, while one woman told TODAY that she lost 149 pounds by starting a simple walking challenge during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are all sorts of different ways to walk: Whether you want a meditative, relaxing stroll, a HIIT-heavy power walk, or even a walk inspired by Taylor Swift, there's a system out there for everyone.
"Look, everybody can do it," Al said.
CORRECTION (May 23, 2022, 7:30 a.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly said this was Al Roker's first half-marathon. It was his fourth race. The article also misstated his finishing time. It was 3 hours and 19 minutes, not two-and-a-half hours.