Golf great Sorenstam to take on half marathon with little training

Nov 28, 2017
Donald Trump and Annika Sorenstam chat as she waits to start the Pro-Am portion of the ADT Championship at Trump International Golf Club near West Palm Beach on Nov. 19, 2008. (Rich Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Running among Sunday’s half-marathoners will be a champion of another sport, golf legend Annika Sorenstam.

The winner of 89 worldwide victories spends little time hitting balls with sticks these days. She’s busy designing golf courses, marketing apparel and overseeing her Annika Foundation, when not driving her two children to and from school.

But she stays fit by biking, swimming, playing tennis and running with friends in the Orlando area, while training for a triathlon in April.

At this stage, running the Fitteam Palm Beaches half-marathon is “pushing it,” she concedes. She has run several 10Ks but this will be her first half-marathon and she has only been putting in 11-15 miles a week, about half what an ordinary mortal would need to build up to a 13.1-mile race.

But even at 47, having retired from professional golf nine years ago, her record speaks to the kind of person who won’t let a few miles stand between her and a finish line. She has 72 LPGA Tour victories and 10 major championships to her name. Her $22 million-plus in earnings is still nearly $3 million more than her next-closest competitor.

“I’m excited,” she says of the upcoming race.

Sorenstam has had success in Palm Beach County before. When the LPGA’s ADT Championship was held at Trump International Golf Club near West Palm Beach, she won the event in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

For the half-marathon, she’s coming to West Palm Beach the day before with her daughter Ava, 8, for a girl’s day on the town.

She’ll be running the race with a friend. “It has been fun to have someone to run with for the last year and a half,” Sorenstam said. “When I played and trained, it was more weight work and strength training. Now it’s more about cardio.”

The Fitteam Palm Beaches Marathon is a three-day series of events that begins Friday with the Bill Bone 5K and fireworks, a concert and more fireworks at 5 p.m Saturday, and then the marathon and half-marathon, which kick off at 5:55 a.m. Sunday.

A Health and Fitness Expo will be held at City Place in downtown West Palm Beach from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Expo will feature the latest in health and fitness products and services, running apparel and upcoming race information.

For more information, visit https://www.thefitteampalmbeachesmarathon.com. Registration is open through Dec. 1 at $105 for the marathon, $85 for the half-marathon and $40 for the 5K. Onsite registration will be available at $120, $95 and $45 respectively.