Finishing marathon inspires Messier

Mark Messier conquered New York. Again.

The hockey legend known as The Captain, who brought a Stanley Cup to the Big Apple in 1994 with the Rangers, finished the New York City Marathon in 4 hours, 14 minutes, 27 seconds. Messier, 50, ran representing the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund, and Tomorrow's Children's Fun.

"I just got filled up with inspiration," he said. "I feel great now."

Messier started at a solid 8:50-mile pace through the first 5 kilometers but, like most runners Sunday, was just trying to hold on by the time he reached the park. He was about seven minutes slower in the second half of the marathon. Still, not bad for guy who ditched ice skates for running sneakers.

Matt Higgins, New York Jets executive vice president of business operations, decided to run NYC to raise awareness for children with hypocholesterolemia, a condition that presents abnormally low cholesterol in the blood.

Higgins' daughter, Collette, suffers from autism and hypocholesterolemia. There is not yet enough complete research to determine the connection between cholesterol and brain function in autistic children.

Higgins, who lives in New Jersey, competed his 26.2-mile trek in 5 hours, 8 minutes, 55 seconds. He also ran two years ago after undergoing successful treatment for testicular cancer. ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus wrote a story about Higgins and his daughter on Friday.