Wait—Gordon Ramsay can cook and run an Ironman (and have a voice left for all of that shouting)? And he's not the only chef lacing up his running shoes this season.

By peoplestaff225
Updated October 15, 2013 03:18 PM

Gordon Ramsay can cook and run an Ironman—and have a voice left for all of that shouting?

Sunday was a big day for Ramsay, who knocked out a 2.4-mile swim, followed by a 112-mile bike ride and a final 26.2-mile run in just over 14 hours at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. On Twitter, the chef (who has lost 40 pounds since his training started) called the triathlon harder than opening night at a new restaurant.

That warning isn’t strong enough to scare off Ramsay’s MasterChef co-judge Graham Elliot, who is planning to run the Chicago Marathon next October. Elliot, who has dropped 91 pounds since having weight-loss surgery, calls the race “the truest test of one’s endurance, stamina and physical and emotional strength.” His inspiration: Ramsay, fellow MasterChef judge Joe Bastianich, and the producers and director of the show all “are fans” of endurance races.

“I figured it would be a good incentive to publicly say I wanted to do this marathon because it would keep all of them pushing me to do it,” says Elliot, who has been jogging every other day and is up to almost three miles. Right now, he’s researching trainers who specialize in prepping runners for the big 26.2.

Running a marathon “would be a truly life-changing event and would be even more fun because my wife, Allie, who is a jogger herself, will be accompanying me each step of the way,” Elliot says. “I’m also going to have to find a way to convince Joe and Gordon to come run with me!”

It probably won’t be a tough sell: Bastianich is already training for the New York City Marathon on November 3, and finished 2011’s race in under four hours. Also on the roster: Bobby Flay, who has run three NYC marathons already; Landmarc chef and Chopped judge Marc Murphy, a newbie marathoner who’s running for food bank City Harvest; and Top Chef: All-Star winner Richard Blais, who will log the miles for Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization working to lower the rates of childhood obesity. Meanwhile, chef Dave Beran of Next restaurant broke the 4-hour mark in the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, his fastest of the four marathons he’s run.

How do these chefs balance all the time spent in the kitchen (not to mention around food in the kitchen!) with such rigorous training schedules?

“We work such weird hours [so] training gets me out of bed earlier in the morning, and then after work I don’t waste all of my time going out,” Beran says. “As for surviving the race itself? For Beran, it’s just fun. “You get to run through an entire city and there are only a couple of little stretches where there aren’t people,” he says. “There’s a whole city out there tailgating!”

—Marissa Conrad