Click here for Eric’s coaching bio
Eric’s athletic career has evolved from pure swimmer, to pure runner, to triathlete, to pure cyclist, and back to triathlete again. This breadth and depth of athletic experience strengthens his versatility as an athlete and his robustness as a coach. Beginning as a high school swimmer-runner and recreational triathlete, he continued as a varsity swimmer and runner at the University of Virginia. He won the USAT Junior National Triathlon Championship (19 & Under) after freshman year, though at the time he did not consider himself a true triathlete, but rather a single sport athlete enjoying the multisport lifestyle since his cycle training was limited to commuting to classes. But in the back of his mind, he knew triathlon would be his athletic future.
After graduating from UVA, he headed West to attend Stanford University nestled in the foothills of the redwood-covered Santa-Cruz Mountain Range. Pleasantly surprised by these dramatic surroundings and the exceptional cycling culture, Eric focused on his weakness, turned it into a strength, and soon became a Collegiate National Triathlon Champion and Ironman Hawaii age-group World Champion. After the Hawaii Ironman, he turned pro, racing for 5 years until 2003 and twice competing at ITU Long Distance World Championships in 2000 and 2002 as a member of the U.S. Team before putting athletics aside to prepare for medical school. Then in 2005, while vacationing with family in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, he dusted off his bike for a 60-mile 2-wheel tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The overzealous ride led to an injury, but reaffirmed the longing he had to compete again. Having never been a pure cyclist, he thought “now is the time” and the following year won the 2006 Master’s National Championships omnium, known as the Best All-Around Rider title for combined performances in the road race, time trial, and criterium. That November he raced Tour de France standout Tyler Hamilton as the cyclist on Inside-Out Sports’ winning relay team at the Silverman Triathlon, which offered $100,000 prize to a team that could break 8-hours on the grueling Ironman-distance course. Though his team did not win the cash, and he lost time to the Olympic gold-medallist, Eric reduced these losses to 2-minutes per hour for the final half of the 112-mile cycling leg that included 10,000 feet of climbing (and an extra 30-pounds of bodyweight compared to Hamilton). Eric finished 2006 with the realization that he was a more capable cyclist than he previously thought possible, confirming his philosophy that anyone can bike fast simply by using the same training techniques he does.
Bean went on to earn a total of 7 Master’s and Collegiate Nationals podium finishes on the road and track, most notably winning the 2008 Time Trials at Master’s National Championships and Wisconsin State Championships. During the latter he was incredibly lucky, narrowly winning both the Pro/1/2 and M30-34 time trials back-to-back on the same morning by less than 20-seconds total. In 2007 Eric set the collegiate record at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway time trial (30.4 mph for 10-miles on the famous NASCAR racetrack). He is currently a Cat1 rider for the ISCorp Cycling Team.
In 2007 Eric returned to triathlon at the request of friends who wanted someone to cheer for at Ironman Wisconsin. Believing that the summer between first and second year of medical school would be his last opportunity for competition, and because Ironman Wisconsin was in his new home town of Madison, he re-qualified as a professional and raced IM WI in September. During the marathon leg, Zack Ruble had been slowly gaining ground on Bean and eventually cought Eric with 5 km to go. The duo ran side-by-side, with Ruble surging repeatedly but unable to shake Bean, who saved his one and only sprint for the final 200m and the hometown crowd to claim 6th place and the last IM Hawaii qualifying spot. 2008 was a year of luck for Eric. In addition to the Time Trial luck mentioned above, he also was given a rotation schedule with vacation during the entire month of September. Eric returned to North Carolina for a hard month of “cram-tastic” triathlon training (though he bike raced in 2008, he did not swim or run until after cycling nationals in mid-August), then had a career outing 20th place pro and 8:52 at a windy Ironman Hawaii. This race result was pivitol in Bean’s career: it afforded him the opportunity to race for the TIMEX Multisport Team, it allowed him to spread the final year of medical school over two years, and thus establish FFT and it’s Pro Development Team. As an athlete Eric improved to an 8:29 Ironman PR (Arizona, 2009) and placed 3rd at Ironman Wisconsin in 2010.
Through the connections on TIMEX, Bean met Alex McDonald, who has become an FFT athlete, partner, coach, and manager; Mike Lavery who has become an Ironman age-group champion athlete and FFT-Madison coach; Jackie Arendt, now working with Eric for the 4th year, has improved from solid amateur, to Ironman age group champion, to twice-2nd at pro Ironman races in 2011. The cycle continues as Lavery and McDonald are cultivating the next generation of talent…
Eric is taking a break from racing during residency training in anesthesiology at the University of Washington, yet expects to return in a few years to cycling and may race again in triathlon…his pro card doesn’t expire until December 2013.
Chapel Hill, NC
C. E. Jordan High school:
Which race do you most want to do?
What gets you out of bed in the am?
What was the highlight of 2010 for you?
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What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
Other hobbies outside of Triathlon?
|Career Highlights: Triathlon (pro):
Stanford Triathlon Articles
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