TC Interviews: Eric Eagan
Eric Eagan was recruited to the best SUNYAC Division 3 school to run track and jump long. The first year, the man who recruited him retired and the program, who won championships for over 20 years, was under new leadership. It was this leadership who instructed Eagan to compete in the triple jump with a broken heel.
That jump destroyed him and he began the first of three injuries that shaped his running life. After each injury, he found himself out of shape and uninspired causing him to take a break from the sport.
After college, it took Eric a bit to come back to running. He spent a lot of time on East Ave in Rochester exercising his drinking muscle. He always told himself, he just needed to get back to running. Working at Nazareth college, he started dating his wife Sheila and began to run on the trails and track behind the school. He did a couple 5ks, a few halves and full marathons before making his way to trail running more full time. The Monroe county park system is very efficient and most trails are taken care of. He felt moving toward those places was natural, a pull where he felt the most comfortable.
His last injury was a four year journey of surgery, struggle, heartbreak and finally, finally some answers. Eric has been both an elite athlete and 80 pounds overweight, which in his own words, has made him see what the middle ground looks like.
In this episode Ellie and Eric discuss what being an elite male in college looks like, the typical training schedule and volume. They don’t run their easy runs at 6 minute pace everyone, so slow down.
Eric is one of the founding members of Trails Roc, a huge network of trail runners, races and trail work in Rochester. He is one of the most experienced and caring RDs on the east coast, sharing races with his co-director Sheila. He will tell you that he is nothing without her. In 2017 Eric and Sheila put on their first solo race, Many On The Genny, a 40 miler in Letchworth State Park.
Outside of running, Eric works in the Rochester school district and is a huge advocate both for student learning and funding, teachers salaries and pointing out the discrepancies between schools “not having any money” yet paying administrators six-figure salaries. He and Sheila buy their own supplies for kids and bend over backwards to make sure they do everything they can to help their students. We all have those teachers you remember from school, the ones who made an impact. Eric is one of those individuals.
Eric can be found on his blog http://emergingtrail.wordpress.com