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December 2, 2011

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Turlington Burns runs for a good cause Samantha Crichell

CHRISTY Turlington Burns is putting all the time she spends in motion juggling her different hats to good use: She ran in the New York City Marathon on November 13 to raise awareness for her maternal health charity.

In preparation for the big 42-kilometer run, Turlington Burns says she's found that no-frills exercise works in her busy days as wife and mother, model, businesswoman, master's degree student, documentary filmmaker and philanthropist. She says it's one of the few things that can be done anytime and anyplace, and she's thinking so hard about her cardio breathing that it's actually sort of relaxing.

"I think it just might be part of my routine now. It's part of my life, and I can't imagine not getting up and doing it."

Of course, modeling was her primary gig for many years with turns on every marquee runway and on the cover of every major magazine. At age 42, she still gets in front of the camera on a regular basis, so working out is, essentially, part of her job. She has also been an enthusiastic yoga practitioner for 25 years. She's been an on-again, off-again jogger, too, bringing her sneakers to London and Paris when she'd go for photo shoots, but she says she didn't fully appreciate all you can soak in from the sidewalk.

"I'm thinking I could rediscover all the cities I visit on my feet," she says.

She took it up again in earnest this summer when the New York Road Runners club offered her charitable organization, Every Mother Counts, 10 spots in the marathon.

So, the wife of actor-director Edward Burns and mother to daughter Grace and son Finn, was off and running. She stopped long enough to answer some questions.

Q: Have you settled into a training routine?

A: I prefer the morning - I have less energy at the end of the day. It's easier to blow off doing it once my kids come in the door. ... I've experimented with the clothes. In the beginning, it was all cotton T-shirts. That was all I had. But now I have the wickable shirts. And I'm always cold, so I had to figure out how to layer.

Q: Have you seen the paparazzi photos of you on your morning jog?

A: There have been a couple of photographers on my training run. I don't usually attract them, but they're in my neighborhood. I usually just kind of look at my feet. It's more embarrassing.

Q: How does the marathon fit with Every Mother Counts' message about access to health care for expectant and new mothers and their children?

A: In maternal health, distance makes a difference, and this is a perfect way to explain that. Five kilometers is the minimum distance a woman has to walk to get to a clinic in many places, and it could be 35K. You'd be surprised that it could be this way in the US, but a lot of hospitals have closed.

Q: Do you use social media?

A: Social media and Twitter have been really helpful to get our message out. I'm not a tweeter by nature but I was asked to start - or convinced - to start right before my film ("No Woman, No Cry," about at-risk pregnant women) came out last year. It took me six months to do and I said I'd only tweet about my issue, but now with my run, I tweet about that, and yoga, too.

Q: How closely do you follow fashion now?

A: Very, very little - only because it's time-consuming. I haven't worked full time as a model since 1995. After so many years, the novelty has worn off. I can appreciate it, but I don't covet any fashion items at all.


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