These professional athletes earned fame and fortune playing in some the world’s most famous sports leagues—the NFL, Major League Baseball and the NHL.
Yet their careers only lasted so long, even if the competitive spirit remained. So many of them found running and endurance sports as the outlet they needed to transition into post-professional life.
“You come across that finish line, they drape that medal around your neck and you’re relieved,” says former NFL star Roger Craig, a daily runner. “You did it. No one helped you. You didn’t have an offensive line blocking for you. You had to reach within yourself, pull it out of your gut and finish.”
Here are nine athletes who put up the pads, pucks and batting gloves to join the endurance sports world, completing the ultimate goal of running 26.2 miles—with a few going well beyond that.