David Eckles - Professor of Running
Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:09PM

David was born in June of 1975 in a little town located in Dodge County by the name of Eastman, Georgia, (obviously a hotbed of Clover Glove running talent from that area of the state).  David’s father was the principal of Dodge County High School until 1982, that is when David’s father accepted a position as the principal of Thomasville High School and the family was relocated to Thomasville, Georgia.  As a youth, David recalls his initial foray into running by participating in the “fun run” at the Rose City Run.  Quite the athlete, while attending Thomasville High, he earned varsity letters in tennis and soccer.  He also excelled academically in mathematics, earning a Hope Scholarship.

Utilizing his scholarship, David began his freshman year in Athens at the University of Georgia electing a concentration in Actuarial Science.  David entered UGA’s Terry College of Business Risk Management and Insurance program, only to find the concentration discontinued the following academic year.  Fortunately for students at UGA, David was lazy enough NOT to change his major.  David applied his academic background to practical experience with an internship with the Risk Management Department of Gold Kist during the Olympic Games held 1996.  While attending UGA, David ran a handful of races in the Athens area.  He can remember filling out finish cards, so odds are they were Classic Race Services races run by CRS founder, Will Chamberlin.

After David graduated, he remained in Athens for a year to strengthen his mathematical and statistical background.  He then headed north to attend the University of Pennsylvania graduate school studying Risk Management and Insurance.  While there, David spent free time playing graduate pick up basketball.  On a lark in 1999, David and other graduate students participated in the Philadelphia Distance Run, now known as the Philadelphia Rock N Roll Marathon.  He finished his race in 2:23:41.  The distractions of dissertation and basketball assured that running was not a priority until the last year of graduate school.  As a result, David earned a MA and PHD degrees from his studies, a broken nose from basketball and put on some unwanted pounds.

David began running more and was up to three miles a day when he accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.  He primarily taught Risk Management and Insurance in the Department of Finance and Quantitative Analysis.  After two years of running, professoring and gnats in Statesboro, David came back to UGA in the fall of 2005 as an Assistant Professor of Risk Management and Insurance in the Terry College of Business.  David began running with his friend Brian Parker.  Until 2007, David had only participated in no more than one race a weekend.  He set a goal of running more race in a day, multiple races a weekend and varied distances.

David admits to being a little off his top form but is one of fastest “fat guys” around.  With a PR of 19:59 set at the Bostwick Gin Run 5K, a 42:24 at the Charles Harris 10K and completing two full marathons, the fastest being 3:36:52 at the Albany Snicker Marathon, David certainly has accomplished more than most.  His favorite award is one that was won when he returned to his childhood run, the Thomasville Rose Run.  David has no intention of slowing down in the number of races he runs.  He enjoys “attending races around the state with all my running friends”.  His new goal is to, as he puts it, “eventually catch up with a couple of old guys, who shall remain nameless, who regularly beat me”.

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Look for future profiles on Brenda Gail Wall, Bub Way and Adrian Woodruff.

Article originally appeared on Black Bag Race Series (http://blackbagracingseries.com/).
See website for complete article licensing information.