Catherine Plano is here today with Erica King. Erica’s first entry into business started when she was 10 in hospitality with her family catering and restaurant businesses.
From there, she worked as a make-up artist in film and television, travelling the world and rubbing shoulders with both Australian and international personalities. Erica also completed a thesis on tribal customs in New Guinea while living with a remote tribe in the highlands of PNG. After studying psychology, Erica transitioned into the corporate world, providing management training in her area of specialty – organisational change.
That led her to the dental profession where she provided management consultancy services to 575 privately owned dental practices for 17 years. This was a leading dental management organisation that achieved very significant gains for its clients.
Eventually, Erica owned and managed a group of dental practices alongside her partner in suburban Melbourne for another 12 years. She managed a total of 150 staff members across 6 locations.
It was during this last phase of her dental career that ended in 2016 that Erica chose to follow through with her passion and commit 100% of her time to making a real difference in women’s lives with running.
This decision was in the making for a long time, 14 years to be exact, when Erica decided to learn to run, literally from scratch at 38-years-old. Previously, she had been involved in ocean swimming and general gym type fitness. Erica was on the search for a new challenge as she felt she was stuck in a rut.
Erica being Erica, she then thought of the toughest running challenge there is – a marathon. Where would make for the most exciting city in the world to run a marathon? New York City!
Erica says her journey proved to be a lonely but wonderful experience – she recalls feeling the fresh air, thinking of nothing, having no mobile phone and no distractions while out running… just complete peace and time for myself.
As you’d expect, Erica’s journey generated widespread media attention, both as a result of her audacious goal and because she was raising money for Breast Cancer Research.
Finally, after all of the hard training, Erica found herself standing at the starting line on Staten Island in New York alongside another 30,000 runners from all over the world, listening to a band play New York, New York. It was 6 degrees celsius – the wind was icy and Erica could not have felt more excited in her life.
The entire race route was lined with thousands of cheering, enthusiastic spectators and Erica recalls just how emotional crossing the finish line in Central Park was – with tears of joy streaming down her face and every part of her body screaming, Erica had just run 42.195kms for the very first time in 4 hours and 50 mins.
While it’s not a great time for a seasoned runner, for Erica, it was a fantastic achievement and she wasn’t fussed about the time. Erica is not a professional athlete and could not even run a step 10 months before. She is just someone who set a goal and achieved it. From that moment on, Erica knew she could truly achieve anything that she set her mind to. And best of all, Erica raised AUD $97,000 for Breast Cancer Research.
Now that she had the running bug, Erica wanted to do more marathons and half marathons. Since New York in 2002, Erica has run 21 Marathons including all 6 World Major Marathons (New York/Boston/London/Berlin/Chicago/Tokyo), plus many half marathons and shorter races with the running group.
It was at the San Francisco marathon expo in 2007 that Erica came across an American clothing company called – yes you guessed it – Running Divas.
Fast forward nine years and here we are! An incredible 124,000 women have found one another because of running. The friendship, camaraderie, support, advice and encouragement shown by this group is incredible.
We want all women to have this same opportunity to share the love of running, regardless of their age, body shape or life experiences. Anyone can achieve amazing things and Running Divas is here to support women on their journey to change their lives, one run at a time.
ERICA KING – QUALIFICATIONS
B.Comm (pysch); B.HRM; B.T&D; Grad Dip Psych
Registered Fitness Professional; Run Coach; Nutritional Coach; Passionate Marathon Runner; Blogger
A SNAPSHOT OF ERICA’S RUNNING EXPERIENCE TO DATE
• Completed all World Major Marathons – New York, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, Tokyo
• Completed a total of 21 marathons so far
• Erica celebrated her 50th birthday in 2014 by running 12 Marathons in 12 Months
Find Our More About Erica King
Sit back relax and enjoy this amazing conversation!
Interviewed by: Catherine Plano