LAKEVIEW — Ricardo Martinez has finished 43 marathons, including 13 Chicago Marathons, and runs 80 to 100 miles per week.
So Monday's bitterly cold weather wasn't going to stop him from a 10-mile run on Chicago's lakefront path.
"Some people are scared about this type of weather, but if they try, they will notice that you can run in every condition," said Martinez, who turned 39 on Sunday. "The [cold] really doesn't bother me. As long as your body gets warmed up, and you keep going, it's fine."
Martinez dressed for the occasion, wearing four layers of upper-body clothing and two pairs of gloves. After posing for a photo, he added a facial mask that covered everything but his eyes.
He was the only runner seen on the lakefront path just south of Irving Park Road between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. There also were two cyclists.
Martinez, of Streamwood, started running 17 years ago after having knee surgery. He said doctors at the time told him he would never run after the surgery.
"That was my inspiration," said Martinez, who is from Mexico. "I did run, so now I keep going. Whatever I can do — if I can run until maybe I'm an 80- or 90-year-old, that would be great."
Martinez, whose personal best time in a marathon is 2:28, said he liked having the lakefront path to himself Monday.
"It's just the road and you," he said. "You can keep focused on that. You don't see anybody, and nobody bothers you. You can run however you want to. I think that's what I love the most when I run alone."
River North resident Matan Korrub shared Martinez's passion for Monday's cold conditions. Korrub, 31, who has completed three marathons and averages about 40 miles a week, jogged three miles on the lakefront path starting at Division Street.
He was covered in a full facial mask and skiing goggles.
"People tell me I'm crazy for running in this. But I felt totally comfortable and safe," Korrub said. "In fact, I was overdressed and I worked up a sweat under all those layers. I genuinely enjoyed the time I spent out there, it was like being on a different planet. I was reluctant to leave."
Asked if Monday was the coldest weather he had ever run in, Korrub simply answered: "By far."
"Part of why people run is to test their limits and push boundaries," Korrub said. "There was a certain peacefulness and serenity out there this morning. It's so unusual to see conditions like this that it made for a very unique experience."