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Willie Geist crossed marathon finish line twice for a funny reason

The Sunday TODAY host is setting the record straight that it didn't take him four hours to finish the New York City Marathon in November.

Willie Geist wants everyone to know it didn't take him more than four hours to cross the finish line at the New York City Marathon last year.

In November, Geist ran the marathon to help raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which aims to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

The Sunday TODAY host told Jimmy Fallon that he actually completed the race in three hours and 58 minutes, but due to a little hiccup, he had to go back to the finish line and cross it again.

Willie Geist
Willie Geist reveals why he had to cross the finish line twice when he ran the New York City marathon in November 2021.Bryan Bedder / New York Road Runners via Getty Images

"So here's what happened," Geist, 47, said on "The Tonight Show." "I was under four. I couldn't believe it, like, four was a lofty goal, and I did it. I'm sitting back in the tent after the race and this guy comes up."

Geist said that the man was a photographer and he asked him if would be willing to reenact crossing the finishing line.

However, Geist said he didn't want to because he was all "cramped up" and he couldn't move. But the photographer insisted that he should go back.

"He said, 'I'm going to be real honest with you. Chelsea Clinton was crossing right about when you were. Former President (Bill) Clinton, former Secretary of State (Hillary) Clinton were waiting at the finish line. All of our cameras were on that, and no one took your picture,'" Geist remembered him saying.

"So I limp back out like a salmon going upstream while everyone's finishing. And they're like, 'Keep going back farther.' And the announcer's like, 'Ladies and gentlemen, look who's back!'" Geist recalled. "I'm like, 'Oh no.' So I cross it again and that's the photo I have framed with the wrong time."

The race was the first time that Geist had run a marathon. He said that completing the 26.2 miles was "no joke" because he felt like giving up a few times during the race.

But every time he felt like quitting, he would look at the word "Dad" that he drew on his arm to remind himself why he was running.

Around 31 years ago, Geist's father and TV journalist, Bill Geist, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

"It swept me across the finish line without question," he said.

During the race, Geist also shared a moment with Fox, outside of the actor's 5th Avenue home. Geist ran up and gave Fox, 60, a big "sweaty" hug.

"That sweaty hug (sorry, Mike) gave me the juice to hit the gas and finish my first marathon in 3:58. And no, that is not sweat I’m wiping from the corner of my eye," Geist joked on Instagram when he shared a video of the moment.

Geist told Fallon that he ended up raising "about half a million bucks" for the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

"Good for you," Fallon said.