Brendan (No. 4555, burrito in hand) with teammates after the California Int'l Marathon on Dec. 5 in Sacramento.
This week the 12 Questions crew grills our new Thirsty Thursday group run leader Brendan Eng, which is apt, since he loves to cook. By day Brendan is a data scientist at Intel where he works on technology that we might have access to in 3–5 years. On Thursday nights you can find him leading our most popular group run, followed by $3 pints at the Run Pub. Brendan started running long distance in earnest around 2015 about the time he did a charity underwear run in college. He liked the freedom of wearing tiny shorts so much, he stuck with it. In 2018 he ran 2:55:03 at the Philidelphia Marathon, according to him his greatest running accomplishment. To that we say, "...yet."
PRC: First things first. How do you like your eggs?
Brendan Eng: Sunny-side up, runny yolk.
PRC: In what city and state were you born?
BE: I was born in Hinsdale, Illinois, but I grew up in Westmont, a suburb about 20 miles west of Chicago. Westmont is known for Ty Warner, the founder of the Beanie Babies!
PRC: Wow. According to Wikipedia there is a documentary called Beanie Mania about to premier on HBO Max on Dec. 23. If not for you, we would've thought it was about the warm winter hat craze.
Brendan in the mountains of Illinois.
PRC: What high school did you attend? What was the mascot?
BE: I went to Hinsdale Central High School, where the mascot is the Red Devil. Coincidentally, I only ran one year of track and cross country in high school.
PRC: Now we have Van Halen's "Runnin' with the Devil" stuck in our heads.
PRC: What was the make and model of your first car?
BE: I drove a maroon 2000 Honda Civic up until 2019. My grandfather gave me the car as he was approaching his late 70s, and it was actually the car that he used to drive me to daycare!
PRC: How did you get into running?
BE: I've always been very active, but I got into running after a friend in middle school told me to try out track and field. I stuck with the 800, and eventually moved my way up in distance!
BE: I am currently rotating the Hoka Clifton 8, the Hoka Mach 4, and the Nike Pegasus 38. I like the Clifton and Pegs on easy, low impact days, but I like to use the Mach 4 on harder training days.
PRC: The Mach 4 is fun, isn't it?
PRC: What is the best thing to eat or drink after a hard run? The worst?
BE: My go-to post-workout meal after a hard workout is typically a toasted everything bagel with peanut butter and chocolate milk. The worst is probably an old Clif bar that's been stuck in your car for too long.
PRC: To be clear: That's on you. Not on CLIF.
PRC: What is your favorite race experience of all-time? Why?
BE: The 2018 Philadelphia Marathon. I drank way too much water in the morning and was in the porta-potty line up until 2 minutes before the start. I anxiously ran to my corral as the national anthem was going, gave a nod to Des Linden and Meb Keflezighi, and ended up running my current marathon PR!
Brendan running 2:55 in Philly.
PRC: What is your biggest pet-peeve? Explain.
BE: When people chew with their mouths open. I just find it gross.
PRC: Who is the most famous person you have ever met? Explain.
BE: I ran into Angelina Jolie in a Borders in downtown Chicago near the Water Tower in like 2003 as a kid. I spotted her before the paparazzi did!
PRC: Wow! A Borders. We remember those.
PRC: What is the best accessory PRC carries?
BE: I'm a big fan of the Amphipod running water bottles. I carry one with me on my long runs and have even used it during marathons. It is quite ergonomic. Can't forget Goodr sunglasses, either.
PRC: What is your hidden talent?
BE: I really like to cook! I would throw dinner parties in graduate school for my friends where I would serve multiple course meals.
PRC: Hmm. Did anyone notice that the croutons on the Caesar salad were little cubes of stale CLIF Bar?
Brendan cooking with gas. Jodi Broccoli-Hickey photo.
PRC: If you couldn't run, what other sport/hobby would you be doing?
BE: I would try to re-pick up the guitar!
PRC: Awkward, right? Never really know how to lift one of them.
PRC: What is the best advice you have ever received?
BE: If it was easy, anyone could do it. General advice on hard things in life.
PRC: You seem like someone who does hard things and is quick with a smile. We're happy to have you on our team!
You can meet Brendan when he hosts our next Thirsty Thursday run. This social group run takes place every Thursday evening at 6 o'clock at PRC-NW/Run Pub, 2258 NW Raleigh St. in Portland. Click here for more information about Thirsty Thursday and all our group runs.