This reader-model is going to kick some ass in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday 11. Get to know this guy and you can't help rooting for him.
Okay, so cover model Rob Chenoweth is fast (he’s the captain of the Fleet Feet Racing Team), handsome (clearly), smart (he is a TOC reader, after all)…but he’s also a totally regular dude who loves hanging out with his fiancé, grabbing a burger with his buddies and drinking beers. Our kind of guy. We talked to the 40-year-old, who lives in Old Town, about his training regimen (intense) and post-marathon plans (beer).
Time Out Chicago: Tell me about the photo shoot, what was it like?
Rob Chenoweth: It was a lot of fun. Everyone was so nice and we had a good time. It was really awkward running through the tape—you’re trying to make yourself do a different face with each take. And then in the shot where we were outside pouring beer on my head…I felt a little self-conscious when people were walking by. But it was a lot of fun.
TOC: Are you going to send a whole box of issues to your friends and family?
Rob Chenoweth: We’ll see what it looks like, first. [Laughs] Depending on what it looks like, I may do that.
TOC: What’s your training schedule for the Chicago Marathon been like?
Rob Chenoweth: For the last 16 weeks I’ve run 90 to 100 miles a week. Monday through Friday I run 4 to 5 miles in the morning and after work I run another 8 to 14 miles. I do one long run. Every Monday I meet my teammates at the Fleet Feet store and we do a tempo run together. And speed workouts on Wednesdays at the track.
TOC: Whoa, that is serious! Were you runner in college and high school?
Rob Chenoweth: I ran in high school—cross-country and track. I was kinda good, but not great. I went to the University of Illinois and I was thinking of trying to walk on the team. But then I found beer and other ways to spend my time.
TOC: How did you get back into it?
Rob Chenoweth: I didn’t run a step until I was 30. A high school teammate knocked on my door and reminded me we said we’d run a marathon by the time we were 30. He said, “You have 10 months.” That was it!
TOC: Running a marathon takes a lot of sacrifice, what do you miss?
Rob Chenoweth: Since I have to run after work, if my coworkers or friends go out for happy hour, I usually can’t go or I have to meet up with them later on. And if there’s a party or event on a Friday night I usually skip it. Fortunately a lot of my friends are runners. And my fiancé is the captain of the girls team. We talked all the time at practice and started hanging out.
TOC: How do you recover after a run?
Rob Chenoweth: Usually at the Fleet Feet store there are snacks. I put on compression socks. I eat a lot. I’ll have a big burger and a beer. We go to Corcoran’s or Wells on Wells. After long runs we head up to Stanley’s.
TOC: Do you have a favorite running accessory?
Rob Chenoweth: Hmmm. I don’t know! I always have a necklace on.
TOC: Is it a Phiten one like Kara Goucher’s?
Rob Chenoweth: It’s not the Phiten. It’s a stainless steel chain with the Celtic symbol for warrior. It’s kind of an arrow thing. I wear it all the time, even when I’m not running.
TOC: How many marathons have you run?
Rob Chenoweth: This will be my ninth marathon and my seventh time running Chicago. I ran Boston once.
TOC: What’s your marathon PR?
Rob Chenoweth: 2:36:44…um, 24? I set that last year. Wait, let me look it up. It’s 2:36:24.
TOC: Hey, that’s your PR, you’ve got to know that number!
Rob Chenoweth: I know! You think I could’ve given myself the benefit of the doubt.
TOC: Are you trying to beat that time this year?
Rob Chenoweth: Yeah, I’m hoping to break that. As long as the weather cooperates, I might do it. I may have been in better shape last year, but it was so hot. If it’s a good weather day I hope to beat it.
TOC: How will you celebrate running the marathon?
Rob Chenoweth: My fiancé and I [who is also running Chicago] meet with the team afterwards and go to Stanley’s. I’m taking Monday off work.
TOC: You plan to be in recovery mode…
Rob Chenoweth: Yeah, I’m actually taking Monday and Tuesday off.
TOC: Will you take time off from racing afterwards?
Rob Chenoweth: I probably won’t run for a couple of days. And then I’ll jog if I feel like it. By the last week of October, I should feel okay. I’ll go by feel for the rest of the calendar year.
TOC: Okay, enough about running. Do you have a favorite restaurant in Chicago?
Rob Chenoweth: Beth and I love North Pond. We just went to the Publican and really liked it. I want to go back with some guy friends. We’re starting to like Old Town Social.
TOC: What are you looking forward to doing in Chicago this Fall?
Rob Chenoweth: There’s tons of movies we want to see. We want to do some of the restaurant beer tastings. There’s a beer tasting at Brasserie Jo the week after the marathon that Beth just told me about. We really want to go to that.