Eric Schranz, 43, with a degree in PR/journalism, having worked in politics and governance, is the founder and ramrod of ultrarunnerpodcast.com, your go-to source for news and and interesting people in the sport.
My full name is… Eric Ryan Schranz. I’ve got two kids (Sunny, 8, and Van, 6), a lovely wife name Sam and a giant poodle named Carlos. I’ve been hosting and managing ultrarunnerpodcast.com for 8 years. What started as a hobby has turned into a full time job (with part time pay, of course.) I’m the luckiest guy in the world to get to stay at home with the kids while also making a living at my passion.
I grew up in…Valencia, California. I love the SCV, but my fondest memories were on the sailboat and spending time on Catalina Island.
I met my gorgeous wife…in 2001 while at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Oh, fine, yes, it was at a bar.
These days I live in…Sacramento, California. I can literally run from my neighborhood to Lake Tahoe (~140 miles, most on trails) and only have to cross one street. One drawback to Sacramento is that we’ve got no real hills to run on. Every time I’m back in SCV, I head straight for Nike Base (or the Beast, or whatever it’s called nowadays.)
My running career…started strong! I was a good high school runner, took ten years off in my 20s, then rediscovered my love for the trails and running about a decade ago. While my racing calendar has slowed down, I still love to race anything from a 5k on the roads to 24 hours on the track to 100 miles on the trails.
My favorite coach…Easy! Gene Blankenship. One of, if not THE most inspiring people of my life.
Ultrarunning is…many things. It’s growing in popularity! It’s…pointless. Really, why are we running 50 miles again? It’s liberating and challenging and fun. What it does for me is allow me to selfishly focus on just myself and not have to worry about kids, wife, house, or any other responsibilities.
Ultrarunners are…A motley bunch. The top of our sport has guys and gals with type A personalities with C-level jobs and families, and they’re racing next to stoners living in their trucks. You need shoes, some clothing, a bib, and you’re set to line up against the best in the world. Our sport is seeing an influx of post collegiate runners jumping over from marathons and athletics and making a big impact.
What people get wrong about ultrarunning is…that it’s sooooo hard. It’s tough mentally, but the physical part isn’t the challenge. Anyone can drag themselves 50 miles through the trails. It comes down to if you really want to and whether you’re able to suspend rational thought long enough to pull it off.
I wish people would stop…making everything so damn political.
The biggest problem with running today is…There’s nothing wrong with running! We’ve got our little issues here and there, but running is still one of the two true sports in the world. (The other is boxing…all other sports are just metaphors.)
My biggest phobia is…grasshoppers, without a doubt. Scared to death of those damn things.
My worst habit is…Biting my nails. I’ve just resigned to the fact that I’m never going to stop. One less worry.
The most favorite ultrarunner I’ve met is…Ooh, that’s a tough one. Everyone’s got a great story and they also have quirks. I suppose one of my favorites would be Frank Bozanich. He’s been running ultras since the 70s, held the 50M record for awhile, and still throws down hard in every race. He’s got a proud no BS attitude and doesn’t pull punches with what he thinks of the sport.
The best prank I ever pulled…Just recently, actually! I fake-announced my niece’s birth (Kristin’s daughter) and everyone believed it! One things’s for sure: I’m happy that I wasn’t coming of age in the time of social media and camera phones.
People would be surprised to know I…am actively involved in modifying NERF guns and hosting large NERF battles with kids and adults. Want to do something crazy? Wear a HRM and GPS during a NERF battle and watch your fitness spike.
California…has excellent weather and beautiful trails. And that’s about it.
My secret talent is…I don’t keep many secrets about myself. I’m good at running, cooking, interviewing, and playing with kids. I’m lousy at cleaning, accounting, and listening to excuses.
I like to collect…Brooks Green Silence shoes. They discontinued them years ago, but as far as I know, I’ve got the largest collection in the world. Best shoe ever made, and they cancelled it?!? (I’m a 12 and desperately seeking the Union Jack colorway if anyone has any lying around…)
Ten years from now, I hope….to be a better husband and partner and patient father. My kids will be 18 and 16 (ack!) and I’m scared out of my mind.
Social media…is something I have a love/hate relationship with. I need it for my job (guests, news, trends, salacious innuendo, etc), but if it weren’t for that, I’ve have nothing to do with it.
One historical figure I really admire…George S Patton. His leadership, strength and fearlessness are something we’re missing nowadays. My son’s middle name is Patton.
My parents….Are a massive influence on me and my kids. Athletics is one thing, but they really instilled in me the importance of right and wrong and to be myself. But yeah, having a dad who can outwork you and a mom who could whoop me on the roads has me constantly trying to improve myself.
Ultrarunner Podcast is… a site dedicated to ultramarathons and trail races. With 400 interview-style episodes in our catalog, we’ve talked with new runners, veteran runners, coaches, doctors, elite runners, race directors, my mom(!) ,and a guy who runs trails while tied to a damn donkey. Each episode is about an hour long, perfect for a commute or weeknight jog. The site also has a daily news rundown that’s inspired by Don’s Diary and an extensive collection of honest and thorough product reviews.
Best…The best Mexican food is at a place in Ukiah (Mendocino County) called Super Chavez market and they cook in front of an old body shop next door. Their al pastor could solve many of the world’s problems. If you’re into health codes or ambience, this ain’t the place for you, but for authentic Mexican food, I’ve searched California from top to bottom and not found a better place.
Worst…The worst trend right now is not respecting opinions and politicizing everything. Settle down, folks. Let’s talk civilly and learn something from each other.
Craziest…One of the craziest times recently was driving on “one of those crazy roads” in an old van in the Indian Himalayas. We were headed to the race start and I wasn’t sure we’d make it in one piece.
Funniest…A word my daughter invented when she was three: Scunt.
Smartest…My wife is the smartest person I know. Any subject except geography, and the depth of her knowledge and understanding baffles me. Put that down in the “sexiest” column too.
Maddening…People who insist on worrying about other people’s business and decisions.
Toughest…I’ve talked to some of the toughest athletes in the world. From Bev Abbs to Amelia Boone (oooh, one whole letter, Eric!), the limits that people are able to push themselves amazes me.
My favorite running books are…I don’t read a lot of running books, but I’m reading “North” by Scott Jurek right now for an upcoming episode.