Broadway star running United Airlines NYC Half Marathon for late wife Marin Mazzie

MANHATTAN, New York City (WABC) -- The unique course of the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon closes down the Crossroads of the Worlds -- Times Square -- and also cuts through the famed Great White Way.

And from the bright lights of the Broadway stage, one runner is hearing cheers for a different kind of performance.

Actor Jason Danieley is running in memory of his Tony Award-nominated wife, Marin Mazzie, for Cancer Support Community.

He's used to eyes on him while on stage, as he currently stars in Pretty Woman the Musical. But this time, he'll be running by the Nederlander Theatre to applause for another pretty woman.

"Marin and I were together 22 years," he said. "That's a long time. That's almost half of my life."

His late wife, who died last September following a three-year battle with ovarian cancer, was a three-time Tony-nominated actress known for powerhouse Broadway performances in "Ragtime," "Passion" and "Kiss Me, Kate."

The couple was on stage together for the last time at Feinstein's 54 Below.

"We've played all the rooms in New York, and this is by and far our favorite place to play," he said.

Their talent together transcended the stage, and their love became a platform to influence others -- at Feinstein's, they have a specialty cocktail called Marin's Sunflower Power.

Fundraising at 54 Below is a fun way to toast her legacy, and honoring Mazzie's hope to empower others facing cancer made choosing a running charity as simple as the shirt on his back.

"I would be running behind someone who was from Memorial Sloan Kettering or the Alzheimer's Association or, you know, Cancer Support Community," he said.

His purpose was their purpose -- a nationwide effort to help patients and families get support.

"I'm running for Cancer Support Community, which is a national organization that gives over $50 million in free services to people living with cancer and the families," he said. "And they're associated with the Gilda's Club."

That organization is named after Gilda Radner, who also died of ovarian cancer.

During his runs, he feels Mazzie's support and energy.

"I can't do it by myself," he said. "She's with me every step of the way, encouraging me and giving me the strength to do this."

It is a special kind of harmony that will take him beyond the finish line, with a Pretty Woman's legacy.

The United Airlines NYC Half Marathon is this Sunday, March 17. Our coverage begins on Eyewitness News at 6 a.m., with live reports along the route.

Our race coverage begins at 7:10 a.m., streaming live at abc7ny.com. Then stay tuned for the highlights show on Channel 7 at 1 p.m.

CLICK HERE for more information on the race.

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