E! News correspondent Jason Kennedy is taking a break from the tedious job of covering celebrities and putting on his running shoes.
The South Florida native will be one of the famous competitors in this weekend’s Nautica South Beach Triathlon benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Grab your sunscreen and water bottles and get ready to cheer on the racers at Lummus Park on Ocean Drive bright and early — 5:30 a.m. to be exact. The annual event, which finishes at noon, draws thousands and has raised more than $1 million to date.
Former Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris serves as official emcee, and Hart of Dixie actress Laura Bell Bundy will sing the National Anthem.
Besides Kennedy, other able-bodied attendees expected are Days of Our Lives actor Greg Ellis; 30 Rock’s James Marsden; Cougartown resident hunk and rumored Courteney Cox flame Josh Hopkins; and soap opera beefcakes Cristian de la Fuente ( Amor Bravio) and Colin Egglesfield ( All My Children).
Kennedy, who grew up in Lighthouse Point and graduated from The University of Miami School of Communication, is ready to go the distance: a half-mile ocean swim, 19-mile bike course and a four-mile run.
“I try and work out a few times a week, and I keep my diet in check pretty regularly, so hopefully I’ll be good!” he says. “I work every day and sometimes on the weekends, but I force myself to hit the gym after a long day. That post-workout feeling is what keeps me going.”
Hobnobbing with the rich and famous sounds like a fun gig — and it is. But Kennedy does have a favorite assignment.
“Covering the Academy Awards is always a big deal at E!” he says. “I love the energy on Oscar day. I’m also getting ready to cover the Cannes Film Festival in France — not upset about that one.”
Part of the job requirement is staying on top of everything Hollywood related.
“We get over 150 emails a day, from Paris Hilton stubbing her toe to a star getting engaged so I always feel in the loop,” explains Kennedy, whose favorite movie right now is French dramedy The Intouchables.
Though Los Angeles is where he has planted some roots, home is sacred.
“I have a rule with my folks that I won’t let three months pass without coming back,” says the 31-year-old TV personality.
Must-stops around town?
“I’m a big fan of the Fontainebleau hotel, I love Scarpetta and having some fun with my friends at LIV,” says Kennedy. “But I’m not afraid to stay in with my family and watch a movie. I like to decompress when I’m back home.”
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Though the race is full, you can get more information about triathlon-related activities, which start Saturday, at www.nauticasobetri.com