Eric Grossman, Rock/Creek Race Team
Number of years running: 30
Location: Emory-Meadowview, VA
Occupation: College Professor
Favorite trail race(s):
Promise Land 50K in VA
Favorite trails to train on:
The Iron Mountain Trail in SW Virginia runs parallel to the Appalachian Trail. The two can be linked for various-sized and always interesting training loops.
Favorite trail running shoe:
Salomon Speedcross 3
Lifelong running goals:
I want to use running to understand what motivates people. I want to support communities of people who strive to be better.
I live with my family on the rural campus of Emory & Henry College in Southwest Virginia, where I help prepare teachers. I grew up in Louisville, KY, and began running when I entered high school at the age of 14. I have maintained a near constant and competitive running career ever since. I have been running ultras for about the last 10 years and have completed about 80 events spanning everything from 50K to 100 miles. I have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and have a special interest in multi-day adventure running.
2012 season summary:
In the spring of 2012 I focused on setting the course record at the storied Promise Land 50K in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia. I used two other 50Ks: Louisville’s Love’n the Hills and Terrapin Mountain in VA to build my fitness and then blasted through Promise Land with everything that I had. My time of 4:25 for this long (34 mi) and mountainous course broke the course record that had stood for many years.
In the summer I directed and participated in the Tour De Virginia, a 14-day stage race of the AT. I averaged just over 4mph for the 550 miles of technical single track despite oppressive heat and humidity and continuous blow downs from spring storms. In the fall I focused on the Baltimore Marathon, a surprisingly hilly road marathon. Although I have stayed off the roads in the last many years, I was able to run 2:33 and win the master’s division for the race. In November I ran the Mountain Masochist 50 mile trail run (2nd) and in December the Hellgate 100K (2nd).
Proudest running accomplishments:
My longevity as a competitive runner clearly stands out. I won the state championship 3200m in 1985, 27 years before winning the master’s division of the Baltimore Marathon. My body is far from bomb proof – I’m as prone to injury as anyone. I have had to figure out how to manage injury with high level fitness training over a long period of time. The bigger accomplishment, though, is staying motivated to run while building a family and professional career.
Planned races for 2013:
My training is focused on a summer attempt at the fastest known time for completing the 480 mile long Colorado Trail. The current record is 8 ½ days. I will run the inaugural Cruel Jewel 100 in Georgia in May as part of my preparation. As long as I stay healthy I plan to run the Iron Mountain 50 mile trail run in September, the Stump Jump 50K in October, the Mountain Masochist Trail Run in November, and then try to reclaim my course record for the Hellgate 100K in December.