Featured Runner “Erica Carper” September 2018

Erica Carper (in her own words): I was born and raised in KC, went to school in Florida and stayed down there for awhile, but came back in 2001 for good.  As a high school athlete, I was a mediocre softball player who hated running. I am using mediocre but we all know crappy is more appropriate.  Anyway, I managed to get a Master’s degree in Accounting, pass the CPA exam and get some solid public accounting experience under my belt before devoting all my time and energy into alcoholism.  I only mention it because it is why, 17 yrs later and freshly out of jail, I found myself at one month sober (but chain smoking Winston’s), declaring that I was going to do a triathlon to a few friends I had made.  They showed some incredulousness, considering all I have just mentioned. I was incredulous at their incredulousness, so I joined a gym and began running and swimming (I wasn’t going to have a driver’s license for over 2 years, so I had the biking thing DOWN). Turns out I began to enjoy the running.  Swimming, not so much. So after a few months and getting up to 8 miles (I only ran on an indoor track 1/10th of a mile long, I had no idea what I was missing) running, I ran my first half mary at the age of 38.  I did another. Then I found the Trail Nerds website and saw Psycho Psummer was coming up. So I emailed Bad Ben and asked if he thought I could do 15 miles – my only races were Hospital Hill and that first one.  He said, well, it’ll be a little more difficult, but c’mon out and have fun!! So I came on out. I did NOT have fun. It was a muddy hell that year. I finished the 15 miler and my dad asked me (he was my ride back then) what I thought.  I said “I hope to God I never have to do anything like that again”. Well, the pain faded and the glory of my accomplishment remained, so like so many before me, I found myself dying to do it again. From there, the rest is the same ol’ story and one I am so grateful I found.  I can’t imagine my life without trails and my trail friends. Pure gold!+


Date of Birth: February 10, 1972.

Place of Birth: Something about trolls and under a bridge.

Currently Residing: I moved to north Kansas City recently.  My only caveat was I didn’t want to live in a subdivision.  So I am in a subdivision. But I got a pool in my backyard so that makes it all okay.

Marital Status: Single.  I like being able to do what I want, when I want.  All The Time.

Job(s): Controller for a bunch of railroad-related and a couple non-railroad-related companies.  

Children:  None.  But there is still time.  Maybe what this world needs is a bunch of Erica spawn running around. Don’t be scared. Just kidding. No breeding.

Height: 5 ft. 4 in.

Weight: 130 lbs of Prime Cut Grade A Beef.

Shoe Size: 8 ½

Best Physical Feature:  I have gigantic calves.  In high school this guy I liked told me that it meant that I would be fat when I got older.  But it didn’t. It just meant that I continue to feel superior calling out toothpick-legged guys…it’s been decades now.

One of Erica’s “gigantic” calves!

Worst Physical Feature: Hairy chest?  Lack of tail? The horn?  Hard to choose.

Religion: Christian. He restores my soul.  

Political Affiliation: Independent.  

Educational Background: Master’s of Accountancy, Stetson University.  Lurch from the Addams Family went there. I went there because it was strategically located 25 miles southwest of Daytona Beach (FL), and I was 17 and it was wintertime in Kansas when I got the brochure.

Personal Strength(s): I am kind…followed closely by there is nothing I can’t do.

Personal Weakness(es): I forget that “nothing I can’t do” part too much.

Make Of Car You Drive: 2015 Jeep Wrangler…most fun car ever.  Ever, ever.

Make Of Car You Would Like To Drive: I like black cars that go fast.  

Pets: Now we’re talking. Elliot Snickerfritz, Endurodog.  CeeCee, my girl with an attitude, don’t f with her if you like your jugular.  Bogie Bear – he is a miracle and we love miracles, so he’s in the clan. NOW we are complete.  Oh – Al Roker. The cat. He was fat and funny and black, hence the name. Now he is skinny and old and funny and black – name still fits.

Erica & Elliot Snickerfritz – The Endurodog


Favorite Author: John Steinback

Favorite Book: Alice In Wonderland

Favorite Non-running Magazine: Consumer Reports – I was going to say I never even see magazines anymore, but my dad gave me a subscription to this and I read it when I get it, so it’s my favorite.

Favorite Movie: American Psycho

Favorite TV Show: Sherlock

Favorite Actor/Actress: Frances McDormand

Favorite Music: Good shit.  I love music, all kinds except today’s country.  Old country is good shit.

Favorite Musical Performer: Prince

Favorite Artist: Van Gogh

Favorite Spectator Sport: Ugh. Me no like watching.  I like going to baseball games, but I don’t watch a lot. Mostly eating and talking.

Favorite Subject in School: Algebra ‘cause I like x.

Favorite Game: Fetch

Favorite Vacation Destination: Anywhere hot with a beach.  I used to say I liked Colorado to fit in with the other trailrunners, but I don’t.  I have almost died there. A lot. Have fun on your mountain and I will have fun drinking fruity drinks out of coconuts and hanging with cabana boyz.

Favorite Time Of Day: Dusk in the summertime.

Favorite Item Of Clothing: My bathing suit with Elliot Snickerfritz on it.

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Floating in the pool eating ice pops.

Favorite Running Shoe: I used to get Mizuno’s for free, but that ship has sailed.  I like Saucony for the trails and I got these Altra ones for the road that don’t even feel like you have shoes on.

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra:  Eggs

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Hot salty soup, cheese quesadillas.

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: I used to go to the Isle of Crap casino after Saturday WYCO ultras and kill the crab leg buffet and dessert bar.  But I would just get ice cream and mix in a bunch of sprinkles. So let’s say a half pound + of crab leg meat and a pint of ice cream and 2 cups of sprinkles is the best after-ultra meal.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): Sophia was great.

Favorite Place To Run: Wyandotte County Lake…‘cause it’s hard.

Favorite Type Of Running Surface: Good ol’ dirt and rocks.

Favorite Famous Quote:Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” – Martin Luther King Jr.


Number of Years Running Ultras: 9

Number of Ultras Finished:  25ish.

Best Ultra Performance(s): I got third female at a Free State 40 miler one year.  Sometimes, it’s just a matter of who else shows up.

Most Memorable Ultra: That time I quit Bandera 100K.

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: Less running, no caffeine, lots of walks.

Injuries: None.  I fell on a rock once and got 15 stitches in my knee, but that doesn’t count ‘cause it didn’t really slow me down and was kind of fun.  Great story I still tell, and the pics are priceless…look below.


Ultrarunning Idol: The people I see all the time at races are more my idols than anyone famous.  Like the Ruhs. Yeah, I’ll say it – I idolize you Bobbie and Ron!

Why Do You Run Ultras:  Always good to see what you’re made of and all the hardships you have to overcome, alone, during an ultra is good practice for life.

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: When it all turns to shit, don’t quit.  It won’t last. It’s not going to be horrible forever.  You’ll feel good again….that ain’t gonna last either though


Personal Hero: Kate Quigley – she started Chain of Hope and always fights for what she believes is right.  Always. Even when she is hated for it, even when she knows she’ll probably lose, she gets back up and keeps fighting. Always. Every goddamn day.

Personal Philosophy:  Be kind.  And funny too.

Short-Term Goal:  I started doing crossfit.  Like one class in. So they revolve around pullups and handstands.

Long-Term Goal: I am without any burning desires right now of anything to achieve long-term.  I am going to set the bar low and say staying alive.

Most Prized Possession: Other than the aforementioned Elliot Snickerfritz swimsuit, which is one-of-a-kind, I can’t think of anything I would consider prized.  Replaceable isn’t prized.

Most Proud Achievement: Finishing Rocky Raccoon 100 miler.  So, so proud.

Happiest Memory: All the training runs and trips to races and camping for races were the best times of my life.

Secret Ambition/Fantasy:  I win the lottery and travel the world and see EVERYTHING and never miss out on a good time, anywhere.  

Greatest Adventure:  Ummm….this life.  What a long, strange trip it’s been.


Least Liked Subject:  Physics.  Not to be a girl, but didn’t care for the science stuff.  Still got A’s though, pretty sure the guy who told me about my big calves didn’t.

Least Liked Household Chore:  Dusting.  Unless you can see the dust, in which case it’s too late, it’s like “why?”

Pet Peeve(s): When Alex at work gives me a schedule and the numbers aren’t formatted.  There are thousands of numbers on this – which member of your family do I need to cut in order to see some commas and decimal points? What kind of accountant wannabe are you, boy??

Greatest Fear: Looking stupid in front of a cute guy.  


Book Currently Reading: The Bible.  Yes, they even let people who cuss a lot read it.

Hobbies: Running (duh), dog rescue, floating in pool eating ice pops, riding my bike.

Collections: Just the dogs.

What’s Next: Like I mentioned, I am on my way to ruling the crossfit world.

Erica with ultra-pal, Heather Jeanne, at the 2016 Heartland 100 Mile.

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