Shawn Erchinger

Club Member Since 8/10/2003

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“It doesn't matter if you win or lose, until you lose, then it matters.”

City: Colorado Springs State: CO

Favorite Shoe: Adidas Marathon Trainer Size: 8

Age: 49 years old

Marital Status: Married

Family members:
Wife-Carolyn
Daughters- Tori(10), Kaiti(8), and Ali(2)

What I do for work:
Insurance broker

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
Seward, Alaska
Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Whittier, Alaska
Valdez, Alaska
Westcliffe, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado

I really like Colorado Springs because of the great people and the cities proximity to the mountains. I enjoy outdoor activities and Colorado Springs and the surrounding area has a lot to offer me and my family.

When I started running and what got me started:
I started running in the 5th grade so I could miss one day of school each week to race. I guess being the youngest of 6 kids is what got me started. My brothers and sisters all did sports and ran cross-country and track and I liked watching them.

What does running mean to me:
Running makes me feel great, when the workouts are over. It's also allowed me to set some training goals and to shot for them. It adds an element of discipline to my life that makes me feel better about myself.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
Well, I haven't had any in such a long time. In Jr. High and High School I won quite a few cross-country races and collected lots of track medals in the mile.

I was a state champion cross country runner and really enjoyed running the Mt. Marathon Race in Seward, AK every summer starting at age 12. The Mt. Marathon Race is my favorite race and I've run it around 15 times with 4 first place finishes in the Jr. Race (only goes halfway up the mountain, ages 17 and under) and finished 2nd to six winners in the Sr. Race::( Does this make me a six time loser?:)

What I like about trail/mountain running:
I like the fact that it really works my legs to the max. And in Colorado, my lungs as well. I'm just getting back into running and I really suck right now but I'm improving rapidly because running on the Incline and the Barr Trail is just awesome. Exceptional beauty and the people who are so dedicated is a great motivation for me.

Favorite running trail and why:
My favorite running trail would be in Alaska up Mt. Marathon because of my families history in running the Race and because it was so much a part of my life growing up.

However...the Barr Trail is becoming my favorite, especially the Incline. I'll climb it roughly 150 times in 06'! It rocks!

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
Mt. Marathon Race in Seward, AK because I trained on the Mountain every summer growing up.

Best running experience:
Winning a state championship individually and as a team in 1985.

Worst running experience:
Spraining my ankle during the Mt. Marathon Race and moving out of contention to possibly win the Race and finish around 21st.

Neatest thing found on a run:
A new PR!:)

Running related bathroom stop story:
In August of 2005 I hit the Barr Trail at around 5 a.m. for a run up to Barr Camp. I made it about an hour up the trail when I began to get those very uncomfortable cramps that let you know you need to find a toilet soon. I didn't have any TP with me and so I just cut my run short and headed down the trail.

The pounding on the way down combined with my blazing speed:) made the intensity of the cramps much worse. It's a horrible feeling. It went from horrible to extremely painful. From there it got worse.

When I finally got to my truck I felt like certain parts of my body had been crushed in a vise! I opened the passenger side door, quickly opened the glove box, and thank God, a big pile of yellow Wendy's napkins greeted me. I grabbed a stack and turned to look for some privacy.

If you are familiar with the Cog you'll know that just after leaving the Cog where the road up Ruxton splits and becomes oneway for a short bit, there is a very large (huge) rock off to the right side of the road on the way down. Did I mention it's really BIG? Anyway, I had parked my truck just past the rock. I climbed through the thin trees and it looked like there was a little drop off, maybe 3 feet. I quickly hopped off the ledge and fell, and fell, and fell somemore. I did finally find mother earth. I landed squarly on both feet with my knees bent. I had my car keys in one hand and my Wendy's napkins in the other. The force of hitting the ground, which appeared at later inspection to be solid as a rock, sent quite a shock through my body. That was the bad news. The good news...I didn't crap myself. (I hope that's rated G) Anyway in about a nanosecond I did my business and the world looked brighter through my eyes. What a relief.

It was then I realized one of my feet really hurt. I limped around to find a way out of the pit. I had fallen about 8 or 9 feet from the ledge and I couldn't easily climb out. It was then I noticed "the den." My hurt foot was forgotten as I thought "crap!" If I don't get out of here and something hungry comes out of there I might look like a bacon double cheesburger to a hungry mountain lion or something. And I was literally trapped.

I did manage to climb up the rock wall a few feet and then I could grab the base of some little trees and I pulled and scrambled up to safety. It was then I realized that not only did my right heel hurt really bad but my insides below my ribs hurt like hell on my left side. As soon as I climbed into my truck and sat down I knew my insides had taken a serious shock as well.

To make a long story short, I ran the 2005 Pikes Peak Ascent with a broken right foot and some internal bruising:)

Because I'm a man (or idiot!)it never occurred to me to go see a doctor and get my foot x-rayed. My wife made me go when she got tired of seeing me ice it every night after a run and then limp around the house. And I couldn't do a sit up for over 100 days.

So now I take a tape measure with me on every run so I can measure the distance of any drop offs before I jump:)

Did someone once say "Look before you leap?"

Running pet peeves:
Saying "Hi" to someone you meet on the trail and having them totally ignore me.

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
I wanted to go into the seminary after high school. I went to the seminary San Francisco but the Redemptorists told me to go home and "pray about my decision" for at least a year. I met a girl during that year and decided to go a different direction in my life.

Other hobbies and interests:
Camping, Hiking, Fishing, Water and Snow Skiing, traveling all over the country. I love basketball and riding snowmachines. (You call them snowmobiles in Colorado. I'm from Alaska where they're snowmachines.)

Other stuff:
I'd like to run the Pikes Peak Ascent in under 3 hours this year.

I'd also like to run the Mt. Marathon Race in Seward, AK in under 50 minutes.

Run a sub 5 minute mile in training.

Page last modified: 7/21/2006


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