Runners in the recent New York Marathon have been asking why Katie Holmes was admitted to the race when 60,000 hopefuls were denied.
“Access Hollywood” has learned that Katie Holmes was admitted to the race as a VIP. She was not given a spot through a lottery system, or for running in one of the 26 sanctioned New York Marathon charities (how Lance Armstrong got in), or even for having a competitive running time.
The minimum qualifying run time for a woman runner is 3 hours and 23 minutes.
Katie completed the marathon in 5 hours, 29 minutes and 58 seconds.
“Access” spoke with Sarah Hunninghake, manager of media relations with the New York Road Runners Club, which promotes the New York City Marathon. Sarah told us that “Katie’s team” approached the New York Road Runners Club months after the deadline for the race, asking to allow Holmes to run in the marathon.
Hunninghake continued to explain that the marathon gives VIP spots to individuals with compelling stories, who are not admitted in the traditional way. The VIP spots provide the runners with “a different level of security,” she added.
“Celebrities and people with name recognition are important to every sport, it adds glitz and glamour,” Richard Finn, director of media relations for the New York Road Runners Club told “Access.” “Does Billy Crystal have trouble getting tickets to the Yankees World Series? No. Do celebrities have trouble getting reservations in hot restaurants? No. In fact, they probably don’t even pay for the meals much of the time.”
Holmes was given a pseudonym on the list of runners as a security measure, he said.
Though she was allowed to enter the marathon, unlike most people, Finn assured “Access” that they had faith in Holmes’ running abilities when they offered her the VIP spot.
“Even if we offer a VIP spot in the race, we want to make sure that they can run 26.2 miles,” he concluded.