My name is Eric and im a 30 year old runner who has just moved back to the UK after running across America after previously living for 6 years in the Austria Alps..
My running journey first started as a way to turn my life around. I had put myself in hospital from many years of alcohol abuse and someone suggested that a run a marathon. The training routine, people and experience would help with the transition into a healthier lifestyle. So, reluctantly, I signed up with a charity (Spinal Research), to run the London Marathon back in 2013. From that point on I was hooked. Not so much on the physical side of it, but connecting with amazing people taking part in the events and actually being able to relate with people outside of my old lifestyle bubble.
I spent the following few years trying to outdo my largest distances in races. Half, full, 50km, 50 mile and 100k. I became addicted to trying to constantly outdo myself until the races at the larger distances started getting few and far between. So I decided to actually create my (unknown) lifelong dream. To run across the USA. So that’s what I did. I began on the 29th April 2018 and finished on the 3rd December the same year. I covered 3,646 miles crossed 16 states, survived being run ooff he road by Semi Trucks, tornados, hurricane-force winds, snowstorms and wild animal encounters. I met so incredible people who I will stay friends with for many years to come, and I have achieved something that I never thought I would be capable of doing. Looking back to the version of me laying in the Hospital bed after tearing open my stomach lining, back then I would never have imagined myself doing anything lie that.
One of the things I have taken away from this incredible experience is that I want to bring people together through running, especially people like me from 6 years ago who could never have imagined themselves doing something like this.
My plans now that I have returned for the amazing challenge is to create virtual running events that are open to everyone, especially those with physical disabilities, who can compete on a level playing field with fully abled people. Create a support community for new runners to help keep them going throughout their own running journey. Many people are also asking me when the book about the run is coming out, so that is also a future path!
This challenge has opened so many doors for me to connect with people and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!