Eric moved to Springfield, Missouri after graduating from college in 1999. He didn't know anyone and spent a lot of time with the wrong people, drinking and partying.
He discovered running at the Sunshine Run in October 1999 and immediately fell in love with the running community. Running and a healthy lifestyle quickly replaced partying and the bad crowd.
He loved serving people as a Health and Fitness Supervisor role with the Park Board. At the same time, he dreamed of a career with more fulfillment and independence. A career where he could make running part of every day. A career where he could fulfill his secret goal of one day owning a business. So he opened The Starting Block - later known as Ultramax Sports - in Springfield with friends Mark and Amy Livesay in 2008.
Despite the occasional on-the-job "lesson", such as destroying a fast food drive through with a rental truck or the time the store sign crashed to the ground in the midst of customers at a tent sale, the store was an immediate success and gained a loyal customer base.
In 2016, Eric and his wife Lissa purchased the store and converted it to a FleetFeet franchise.
A fire the day after Christmas forced five weeks of closure and a complete remodel. But it was also an opportunity to truly make the store their own. The entire staff pitched in to renovate and re-merchandise. They are the reason this beautiful store exists today.
FleetFeetSpringfield fits over 10,000 people for shoes every year, produces well-loved annual events like the Santa Run and Big Run, contributes thousands of dollars (and shoes) to charity every year, and trains many runners for races ranging from the Bass Pro Marathon to the Dogwood Canyon Trail Runs.
Eric and Lissa are blessed to be part of such an amazing community and look forward to many more years of service.