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Music and Running Collide at Chicago Marathon with RAC’s Liz Anjos

The full-time electronic singer/songwriter hopes to PR at this year's Chicago Marathon.

Whether it’s on a bus touring the country or on her own two feet running as many races as she can, pop/electronic singer/songwriter Liz Anjos leads a life on the road.

The 31-year-old who resides in Portland, Ore., is a vocalist for RAC, a popular electronic band fronted by her husband André Anjos. However, she’s also a sub-3-hour marathoner with a personal best of 2:59:22, an avid running blogger, and a personal running coach. And she hopes to PR again at the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8.

But running hasn’t always been the main priority in Anjos’ life. For a majority of it, music took center stage.

“When I entered college, that’s when running and music almost collided for me,” recalls Anjos who had been on her high school track and field team. “I was a piano major and I was a little worried on how time consuming that would be and about keeping up in school. So I ended up just not running at all.”

It wasn’t until her senior year of college that she missed running so much she asked the school’s coach if she could join the team. That was 2006 and ever since then, Anjos hasn’t stopped running. Nor has she stopped playing music either, and she’s gotten quite successful at both.

“From the very beginning, with that initial choice in college, I tried to separate them [music and running], but realized they have always been interconnected,” Anjos explains. “In both areas you are preparing yourself for a performance even though they are in two completely different worlds.”

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When Anjos ran her marathon PR at the 2014 Philadelphia Marathon near her hometown, she had just finished being on tour with RAC a week before the race. That means in the midst of being on the road for months and waking up and performing in a new city almost every day, she somehow managed to fit in 60-mile training weeks and a couple of 20-plus milers despite the chaos and late nights of touring.

Running only seems to energize Anjos’ musical pursuits. “Maybe it’s the extra cardio from being on stage,” she jokes.

“I always feel better on the days that I run than when I don’t,” she adds. “It’s funny, I once tweeted about a run I did and someone responded with ‘Oh, you better not be tired for the concert I’m coming to tonight.’ And I thought, ‘Oh man, I better really bring it tonight!’”

Although Anjos got her big break in music performing with RAC, she’s recently been more focused on her own projects like her solo act Pink Feathers. Her first single was released in 2013 and she went on her first tour as Pink Feathers (with RAC) last spring. She calls her new sound “retro electro.”

Running-wise, Anjos’ focus is all on Chicago now. She’s been training to run a 2:55, but says that would be if everything went perfectly. Her secondary goal is to just beat her Philly time and PR.