Some 30,000 runners participate in the New York City Marathon every year. On Nov. 3, 2003, onlookers might have caught a glimpse of an entertainment mogul making strides through the crowd: Bad Boy Records founder, producer and rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs.
As if years of platinum records and fame weren't enough, Diddy sought to make that year's marathon a moment all his own. But it wasn't a vanity project: Combs trained intensely for eight weeks ahead of the run, changing his diet and even cutting back on partying. Though he battled tendonitis in his knee during training and suffered cramps during the 26.2-mile run, Diddy crossed the finish line with a time of 4:14:54.
Best of all, he did it for a great cause. A number of donors, including then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Jay-Z and even ex-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez donated money to his fundraiser - and as a result, more than $2 million was raised for New York City's public schools and a pair of children's charities.
"Never in my life have I ever experienced anything as crazy as this," Combs told reporters after completing the race. "This is definitely a life-changing experience for me because I did not stop."