Run Like Rod - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Run Like Rod



    Run Like Rod

    What better way to honor Rod Blagojevich than by running a half-marathon? Blagojevich promised to run the Chicago marathon as governor, but never did. Then he promised to serve a second term in office, but only made it halfway through.

    The Chicago Area Runners Association is about to start a 12-week training program for the F^3 Lake Half Marathon, which will be held at Foster Avenue Beach on Jan. 28. The three F’s stand for F’ing, Freezing and Frozen. If you have any doubt who inspired the name, the race uses the famous “jogger stencil” of Blagojevich as its logo. It was also founded in 2010, shortly after Blagojevich introduced the phrase “f---ing golden” to the political lexicon.

    If you’re going to run this race, you should make it your goal to run like Rod. The question is, which Rod? Like Elvis Presley, whose career can be divided into Memphis Elvis and Vegas Elvis, Blagojevich slowed down as he aged from Chicago Rod to Springfield Rod. Although he’s never run a half-marathon, we can extrapolate his likely times using this calculator. As a young man, Chicago Rod ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 3 hours and 3 minutes. That’s equivalent to a half-marathon time of 1:26. (1:37 for women.)

    As governor, Springfield Rod ran the 15-kilometer Steamboat Classic in Peoria in 1 hour and 20 minutes. That’s equivalent to a half-marathon time of 1:55. (2:10 for women.)

    The training begins on Nov. 12, and costs $120, if you’re not already a member of the Chicago Area Runners Association. Ordinarily, I’d say that’s a lot of money to learn how to run 13.1 miles. But you can’t just run this race. You have to run it like Rod. 

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!