Eleanor Fulton is from Lone Tree, Colorado and began competing in track at a very young age in Junior Olympic competitions. She was a multi-time state champion in high school, and ran at the University of Washington, where she earned 4 All-American titles. She is a 2-time US 1500 meter finalist. She now trains in Portland, Oregon.
How does it feel for running and racing to finally be back to normalcy?
It's really fun. One of the first experiences that felt "normal" was at the Portland Track Festival, where I was just able to see a lot of friends, and feel the energy of a big track meet. I think I'm more appreciative of those things now.
What was one of the biggest training hurdles during this period and how did you deal with it?
I think I'm part of a larger trend, but I purchased a fair amount of home gym equipment so that I could lift and cross-train without going to the gym. I was actually pretty lucky with some things Covid-related. I work full-time, but because of the pandemic, I now work remotely. That was really nice for training and time management. I was also able to go to altitude for the first time in a long time, because I could work from wherever. That was a fun experience.
What was your experience like in this year's Olympic Trials?
The trials are an emotional experience regardless of outcome. It felt like I'd been training for them for a year and a half, due to the pandemic, so I felt like it was such a major event when it was actually time. I was happy to be there, but I was disappointed in my effort in the 1500 meter semi-final.
What was the most special moment you took away from the Olympic Trials?
The outpouring of support from people that had seen me on tv was really wild, and really fun. All of that support made it feel like a special event.
What lesson did you learn at the Olympic Trials that you will take with you for future competitions?
I was disappointed in my effort. I felt like I had a lot of doubts in my mind when I ran, which resulted in me not really finishing on empty. I hadn't come that far to not try my best, so I'm definitely wanting to make sure I don't repeat that phenomenon.
If you could change one thing about the sport, what would it be?
I'm worried I might miss something more important here, but one trend in sports marketing that I think needs to change is the tendency to only offer sponsorships to athletes that have just graduated college. There are a lot of older athletes extending their careers and running faster than ever in their 30s, etc. Basing athlete potential solely on NCAA performance is flawed.
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
As a strength, this is a knock-on-wood type thing, but I tend to cross train really hard and bounce back from injuries relatively well. As a weakness, I struggle with the mental side of performance when I get to big races.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
Oh man. Off the top of my head, I don't have any great answers but I feel like I get pooped on by birds more often than most.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
Loud chewing noises, hands down.
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I work full-time, so free time is hard to come by. I do, however, enjoy spending time with my dog and reading. I also volunteer with a non-profit group, Go The Distance. They have my heart.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
I'm a big Brenda Martinez fan. She was cool enough to get coffee with me when I was first starting out post-college, and she's just a sweet person.
Who is one of your favorite athletes to train with?
My fiancé is a marathoner and gave up his training schedule to help me out in my Trials training block. We had a lot of fun, and it was a really selfless gesture that I appreciated.
What's next for you?
I am racing more this summer, though that's up in the air a little bit.
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