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Richard Blais: My 'Weird' Marathon Rituals

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Richard Blais: My 'Weird' Marathon Rituals

Running for charity, the Top Chef reveals how he's prepping for the NYC race.

When Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais runs the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, he'll be motivated by one thing: food!

"I run to eat," Richard, who's pounding the pavement to help fight childhood obesity, tells The Dish. "[Running] lets me taste what I need to, eat out, and just be comfortable with food."

Richard, an avid runner for the last decade, plans to follow a specific protocol before the marathon. "[I'll do] one last small run in Central Park to visualize the end. Natural carb loading three days prior," he explains, noting that he'll fuel up on rice, grains and lean protein. "Then I'll tape up, kinesio the night [before], and go to bed early."

But that's not all. "I'll shave my legs," he adds, "because I'm weird and because it's superstition!" His breakfast on the day of the race will be half a bagel topped with peanut butter, and he'll rely on "lots of water and a few Gu packs" during the 26.2-mile journey.

Richard — who's been teasing his marathon prep on Twitter and hopes to post updates on social media live as he runs — plans to indulge another quirk during the marathon too, just like he did when he ran it for the first time in 2011. "I discard clothing throughout. It's a habit, and gives me a weird reward," he explains. "So I'll lose a jacket at the start, a hat, a long sleeve shirt and maybe a pair of sunglasses along the way." (He loves that New York Road Runners pick up gear that's been left behind and donate it to those in need.)

A word to the wise: Avoid the 59th Street Bridge after the marathon. "[It's] the only part of the course without spectators," Richard warns, "so I -- and a few thousand people -- probably plan on going potty there that Sunday."

What will he do when he crosses the finish line? "Hydrate, ice-cube bath, drink lots of chocolate milk, and then probably find a nice, dry aged steak somewhere to devour," says the chef, who's also a glutton for punishment: "My main goal this year is to be able to run a mile the next morning!"

But the Atlanta restaurateur isn't running a marathon just so he can splurge on his favorite foods (which happen to be "cheeseburgers, pizza, tacos -- but all in moderation!" he says). He's also running to raise money for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a non-profit focused on ending childhood obesity. "Kids need to play, move, be active, eat whole foods and get proper nutrition," he explains. "A big part of my work now is helping people live healthier."

Share your well wishes for Richard in the comments!

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