Star of Real Housewives of NYC brings a taste of the Big Apple to the Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.
Written by: Sarah W. Flynn
The Real Housewives of New York City star Kelly Killoren Bensimon may be better known for racking up tabloid headlines than racking up miles, but that’s not stopping her from hitting the streets of the Windy City this weekend for the Rock ‘n‘Roll Chicago Half Marathon benefiting the American Cancer Society. And who better to guide her through some pre-race prep than fellow New Yorkers—and professional triathletes—Laurel and Rebeccah Wassner?
The trio met in Central Park just days before Bensimon toes the line on Sunday as part of a star-studded celebrity lineup (Giuliana Rancic of E! News and former Bachelor Jake Pavelka, amongst others, are also slated to run). The 42-year-old model and writer gleaned tips from the Wassner twins, which touched on everything from when to eat a gel pack (“about halfway through,” advised Rebeccah) to finish line poses (Laurel suggested to “make sure to finish with a smile.”)
After taking her through their typical pre-race drills, the Wassners led Bensimon on a three-mile loop of the park, dodging photographers eager to snap a shot of the paparazzi-magnet. The chatty, chipper mom of two spoke of her excitement about returning to her home state (she grew up in Rockford, Ill.) as well as her hopes to inspire her fans—including 40,000 followers on Twitter—to get off the couch, turn off the TV, and get running.
“Just 20 minutes of fresh air clears my thoughts, makes my problems seem more manageable, and life more fun,” she said. “I want to motivate other people to just put on their sneakers and go.”
Speaking of fun, Bensimon plans to have lots of it on Sunday, despite getting a late jump on training (“I only started about three weeks ago,” she admitted, “but I went out for a nine-miler last week and it felt great.). And she’s confident she’ll have no problem reaching the finish line on Sunday.
“It’ll be the easiest 13 miles I’ve ever ran,” said Bensimon. “Running in a race that benefits a charity is an incredible experience. Anytime you do something for someone else, you feel better.”
Sarah W. Flynn is the editor of Competitor New York magazine.