Bill Gates's Wife Outruns Marissa Mayer

Google executive Marissa Mayer, best known for her ballgowns, cupcakes, and whimsical designs, feels that the media has ignored her athletic achievements. But how does she compare to rivals like Mrs. Bill Gates?

This sporting matchup may well be the one area where Microsoft is beating Google.

Mayer, 33, (top photo) complained to the Times:

"It hasn't shown up anywhere that I am really physically active," she says. "I ran the San Francisco half marathon this year. I did the Portland marathon. I went skiing just yesterday. I'm going to do the Birkebeiner, which is North America's longest cross-country ski race. That just shows you how much there are gaps."

Bill Gates's Wife Outruns Marissa Mayer

Contrast that to Melinda French Gates, 44, (bottom photo) the former product manager who married billionaire cofounder Bill Gates and now helps run the couple's gigantic charity, who is far more modest, according to a profile in the March issue of Vogue:

Gates is a trim, athletic woman with luminous chestnut hair that falls freely to her shoulders. She has run marathons and climbed mountains, but one senses she considers such achievements too frivolous to dwell on.

Mayer placed in the bottom 10 percent of the Portland Marathon, and dead last in the Birkebeiner women's ski competition. Gates ran one leg of a three-leg relay marathon in 1:23:40.1, a respectable showing which placed her 37th out of 102 contestants.

Not to mention this: Mayer also dated her company's cofounder. But unlike Mrs. Gates, she didn't get him to put a ring on it.

"Good students are good at all things," Mayer said in front of a Times reporter. Silicon Valley's elite is still collectively howling with laughter over that line. It makes you wonder: In the school of life, which other classes is Mayer flunking?

(Photo of Mayer via Action Sports International; Gates via Vogue)