I’m a Runner: George Calombaris

George Calombaris, 37, Melbourne, Chef and MasterChef judge

I’ve always been a bit of a runner. I played soccer in my younger days and have always been fit and agile.

Unfortunately, when you become a chef you dedicate your life to the stove. It’s only in the last two years that I’ve been influenced by two fantastic personal trainers, Clementine and Ryan, who’ve coached me into adjusting my diet and getting into running and cardio. I’ve lost 20kg and kept it off.

I knew I had to get fit when I was out in the backyard with my boy [James, now 3; he also has a daughter, Michaela, 15 months] and I was struggling to take a breath. That made me think, hang on, what type of dad do I want to be?

I want to be the father my son looks up to. I want him to be able to say, “My dad can run with me and ride a bike with me.” I don’t want to be tired; I don’t want to be that type of father. That was definitely my motivation.

I see my personal trainers on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The other morning we did a band run, which is horrible. Ryan put a big elastic band around both of us and we ran along a cobblestone road. I didn’t like him very much!

Clementine has taught me “no excuses”. She says, “Would you make excuses on the standard of a dish that you serve in your restaurant? No. Then why would you make excuses for your own body?” I’m very religious now. I lock my workouts in my diary and nothing will get in the way. It’s a lovely little way to kick-start the day – you feel so good after it.

I’m back playing soccer one day a week, which is exciting because I can run the whole 90 minutes now. We average running 6 or 7kms per game.

I’ve run some short races such as Run for the Kids. But this year I’d like to put my hand up for a couple more.

I will definitely encourage my fellow MasterChef judges [Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston] to lace up and head out for a run with me. I love the boys and I want them to be happy and healthy.


Coach Beginner

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