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Interviews

Eddie Yanick’s Race Across Texas

13th April 2015

Who Decides to race Across Texas?  Eddie, of course!

I thought I would take the opportunity to ask Ultra Survival Runner Eddie Yanick about his recent accomplishment: Race across Texas.  Over 550 miles of running across the Lone Star state.  Doing something of that magnitude is not something most of people would even want to challenge.  Then again, Eddie Yanick isn’t like most people.

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1. Tell us about yourself Eddie.  How did you get interested in running?
Eddie:
My Grandfather got me into running when I was a kid. I would run 5k’s and 10k’s with him all the time.

2. What type of running events do you prefer? How did you get started doing this sort of thing?
Eddie: I didn’t really get serious about running until I began Obstacle Course Racing. It wasn’t long, however I found my way into Ultra-Running, thanks to Josue Stevens.  He told me about a crazy race in Nicaragua where you climbed volcanoes.  I was sold immediately. I’d say his Survival Runs are by far my favorite.

3. So Eddie, can you tell us a little about this “Race across Texas”? How did you get involved in this event? What is it?
Eddie: The Race Across Texas was a stage race within the Race Across USA, an event where athletes cross the country on foot, raising awareness for childhood obesity. I originally came across this event through a Facebook group called USA Crossers. I had been getting ideas and planning my own crossing, when I found this.

Run Across Texas runners

4. With that being said, I think the first question most people would ask is why? Why run across Texas?
Eddie:  I’ve been asked this quite a bit, and my joking answer has always been, “Because I’m stupid.” All joking aside though, as cliché as it sounds watching Forest Gump, growing up, is what inspired me to run across. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for a long time. I strive for greatness of myself.

5. How long was it and how long did it take you?
Eddie:  We ran roughly 22 marathons in 24 days. The total overall mileage was 587 miles.

6. How did you prepare for such a herculean feat?
Eddie:  Several months prior to the event I spent many training miles day and night on the road. It was my sole focus. Though I came close to burn out as the time approached.

7. Do you have a coach or trainer?
Eddie: My good friend John Sharp coached me in the months leading up to and during the event. Without him, I would not have gotten far.

8. What kind of things go through your head after so much distance? How did you cope??
Eddie: Every day was a new adventure. Some days were very good, while some were very bad. The running was the easy part. I was my own worst enemy out there. I thought of everything at times, and of nothing at others. What helped me stay sane, was to find ways everyday to smile and laugh. I took many pictures, and pet horses, and looked for treasures of the road. My favorite find was a blue balloon on a string, that I played with for a while during one day.

Patting a horse on the roadside Eddie bouncing Blue baloon


9. Did you do it alone?

Eddie: There was a small group of us, 8 running across the country, and one other state runner like myself, Ruben Cantu. They are all amazing people, I’m glad to call friends.

10. What were your highlights?
Eddie: One of my highlights was a day where I had the most fun. I laid in a field of flowers, then decorated my beard with them for fun. Ran with a tire, found on the side of the road. And took pictures hanging out in an old discarded rocking chair, with Core Team Runner, Newton Baker.

Eddie in a found rocking chair Lying on Clover Flower Beard

11. What were your lowlights??
Eddie: My biggest “lowlight” was day 5.  I was hurting beyond belief this day. My knee felt destroyed, I had a terrible shin splint, and my achilles was inflamed.  That was an extremely difficult day physically and mentally. I finished in my slowest time of 7 hours: 33minutes. There were sleepless nights where I would toss and turn trying to force myself to sleep, to no avail, the pain was so bad.

12. What moment stands out the most in your mind?
Eddie: Running the 22nd and last marathon in a personal best time of 4:13, with Bryce Carlson, then continuing the last 4.7 miles to the Louisiana border, to find my dad there waiting for me. That was a feeling I can scarcely explain. An enormous feeling of accomplishment, success, pride, happiness, and bittersweet relief, all wrapped into one.

Eddie and his dad atthe finish

13. What was the craziest thing you experienced on this journey?
Eddie:
I’d say the craziest thing I experienced was day 1. It was cold, windy, it rained, hailed, and even snowed all in the same day. What an insane way to start your first day across Texas!

14. What are you bringing home from this event? What have you learned about yourself, your abilities??
Eddie:  I’ve learned that pain is temporary. It may last for a minute, an hour, or a day. Or even a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. I told myself every day, if I could do this, I could do anything. And I did it.  Now I know nothing is impossible.

15. Besides yourself, is there anyone else or any persons who helped you accomplish this feat?
Eddie:  Everyone who cheered me on, throughout my journey. Ruben Cantu’s family for taking care of me and helping me. My friends, my family. I in no way accomplished any of this on my own.

16. Would you do it again if you were asked?
Eddie:  Given the opportunity, I would run across again in a heartbeat. There is nothing else like it.

17. How did it feel to finish?
Eddie:  After pushing so hard to finish the 30 miles to the border on the last day, to cross the finish line, and see and hug my dad was an indescribable feeling. One can only understand, if they had been out on the road with us.

18. So what’s next for you?
Eddie:  I’ve got some pretty big plans for this year. I’m preparing now for a self supported 48 hour Run/Bike event. Then later on in the year I plan to cross Texas once more, but on bike.

Eddie, please fill in the blanks for us:

  • My preference of running gear is: Any comfortable buff and Brooks running shoes.
  • The craziest thing that happened to me on or at an event was: I have almost drowned and almost fell into an active volcano during a Survival Run. Fun stuff.
  • When I bonk, I find I usually end up like a zombie until I can replenish my salts, electrolytes, and water.
  • My race nutrition of choice is dependent on the distance I’m running, but I’m always a fan snickers, twix, and pizza with some Amino Rush, from VPX Sports to drink.
  • On my bucket list is to run across all 50 states.
  • The one thing you might not know about me is I have an addiction to fine hats.

Eddie's Fine Hat

Jamie Boyle
Author

Jamie Boyle