So I really struggled to choose an inspiration of the month this time around, which is why it's February 1st and I'm only just writing this. For the past few months I have been obsessively listening to Ultrarunnerpodcast which some of you may also know. Hosted by Eric Schranz, host and Editor-in-Cheif of the show, this is a series of hundreds and hundreds of interviews with inspiring ultra runners from all over the world, all with their own stories, advice and tips to tell. Trying to choose just one inspirational person from a list of so many that I've now heard from was impossible. For the simple reason that they all are.
There are so many different characters throughout the history and present days of ultra running as a sport, I thought why not choose the man who manages to put these all together, bring the community together and have a laugh while doing so? It takes tremendous skill to ask exactly the right questions to people to extract their stories and emotions without offending or pushing. So without further ado, heres my interview with the creator himself, the friend of ultra running Mr Eric Schranz...
|Eric Schranz, host and creator of ultrarunner podcast|
1) At what age did you first get into running, and was there a single defining moment that had you hooked? If so what was it?
I started running in elementary school, maybe around age 10, but didn’t go on my first trail run until maybe 12 years old or so. My dad took me out on some trails in San Diego and it changed my life.
2)What is it about the ultra distances that grabbed you, rather than aiming say for a 30 minute 10k?
While I still like short races, the mental aspect of long runs is what keeps me coming back. Whether it’ a race or adventure run, I like having to use my brain to finish the run and it gives me time to think.
3)What did you study at college? And please do tell the story of getting kicked out…
Ack! You’ve been listening too closely! I majored in journalism and Public Relations (emphasis in politics) in college and graduated with a BA in the former. I got kicked out of college (actually just the dorms, but whatever) the first week of school for having beer in my room. The beer wasn’t mine, it my roommates, but we triggered the smoke alarm from all the pot smoke, so I guess it was my fault after all.
4)Which race would you consider your greatest achievement and why?
Himalayan 100 miler. I struggle with any amount of altitude, and this entire race was well out of my comfort zone.
5) What's the best and worst thing about working on URP?
Best is that I work from home doing something I truly love. Worst? I’m my own boss and it’s up to me to stay on task.
6) Who is the most fun character you've met through trail running?
Errol “Rocket” Jones is a guy who’s tough to dislike. He’s an African American vegetarian who’s been running ultras for 35 years and has an infectious laugh and attitude that lights you up regardless of how tired or cranky you are. Truly a gem.
7)What is the longest period you've been injured, and how did you cope with that?
After some knee surgery in 2017, I didn’t run for about 7 months, and in that first month, I gained over 15 pounds! I didn’t cope well with is because I’d convinced myself that “I’d be fine” in six weeks.
8) If you could travel to any place in the world, where would you go?
Thailand. It looks like the perfect combination of tropical beaches, jungles, exotic cultures, and delicious food.
9) If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? If you say pizza with sauce I'm not writing that because that's just not OK.
Fresh fruit. Mangos, apples, bananas, tomatoes…As much as I love prepared meals, there’s something about natural fruit that puts a smile on my face.
10) FAVOURITE BEER OF ALL TIME??!
I’d have to say Athletic Brewing IPA. It’s the beer that really helped me recognize that I could still enjoy delicious beer without drinking alcohol. It’s something I’ve struggled with for awhile.
I'd really encourage you to have a look at the links he provided me here. I'd have to agree with him the Errol "Rocket" Jones sounds like a hell of a guy having listened to his interview myself. He's touched and contributed to the lives of so many and with such style and humour. Eric's own article on overcoming (not sure this is the appropriate word here?) his relationship with alcohol is also a completely open, honest review of what it's been like and how it has changed things for him now. Makes a great read :)
Thanks so much for reading guys, I hope you're as inspired as I am!!
Lots of love, your Heinz enthusiast, Helen xox