Jonathan de Villiers Photographs the Pre-Race Meals of Five Sports Stars
Running a marathon takes preparation: drumming up sponsors, training for weeks, and, of course, eating the right food. To celebrate this Sunday’s New York City Marathon, NOWNESS asked five top athletes—including retired American football legend and Super Bowl winner Amani Toomer, and professional marathon runner Mara Yamauchi—to detail the pre-race meals that will be propelling them through the five boroughs and across 26.2 miles this weekend. Photographer Jonathan de Villiers has captured each individual’s chosen menu, with the results ranging from sensible (whole grain cereal and Gatorade) to indulgent (hot cranberry and orange scones) to, well, kind of French (mussels Provencale). De Villiers, who is a regular contributor to L'Officiel, Wallpaper* and The New York Times Magazine and is himself an avid marathoner, explains that he took some poetic license with the portions specified by the athletes, piling up the selected dishes to decadent excess as a way of emphasizing the huge amount of calories burned in the race. NYC’s inaugural marathon took place in 1971, made up of a little over 100 runners lapping Central Park to reach the magical distance. Today it’s one of the best-organized and biggest events of its kind worldwide, with over 40,000 people taking part.
Get the lowdown on the race-bound sports stars here. Their individual menus are listed below (in order of the images above).
1. Brad Ludden, Champion Kayaker and Philanthropist
Bagel topped with one layer of almond butter and a layer of Nutella
Banana, honey and dash of sea salt
Side of hash browns and eggs
2. Laura Skladzinski, 50 State Marathon Record Breaker
1 pint Tripel Karmeliet beer
French bread and herbed butter
Mussels Provencal, steamed with tomato, garlic and fresh basil
3. Keir Dillon, World Class Snowboarder and Halfpipe Wizard
1 cup whole grain cereal (should have less than 5 grams of sugar)
1 cup skimmed milk
Gatorade G2 with a splash of Amp Energy (just to kick-start those proteins into gear)
Two slices of whole wheat bread lightly spread with peanut butter
4. Amani Toomer, Retired Footballer and Super Bowl Winner
Pizza. All day long. To load up on carbohydrates.
5. Mara Yamauchi, Pro Marathon Runner
Chikara udon (udon with chicken, vegetables and an egg, served in a soy-based fish soup)
6–7 mochi rice cakes in miso soup
1 glass orange juice