Friday, December 7, 2018

2018 Inspiring People of the Year Eric Duncan

Running for Life

"I was a teenager trying to figure out who I was like every teenager goes through in their lives. I didn't know who I was going to be. I stopped going to class in high school to hang out with the wrong crowd and joined a gang in Atlanta. I was doing the wrong things until I was incarcerated. I had to reflect on what I was going to do in my life because I couldn't live like that and see my future go down the drain. I went back to school and graduated with a 1.5 grade point average. I couldn't get along with my family so I moved out and went from couch to couch until I was homeless for 9 months. I had a job as a dishwasher working at a local restaurant making $3.35 an hour but my home was sleeping under a table in a pavilion at a neighborhood park taking showers at a gym. I couldn't live like this and told myself I needed to make a change so I join the U.S. Navy. I served in the Navy for 20 years and 21 days and retired from the service.

Running saved my life. When I retired from the U.S. Navy I picked up poor eating habits and ballooned up to 350lbs. One morning I was going to L.A Fitness in College Park and I met an active member of Black Men Run. He had just finished running outside and told me about Black Men Run and that their group runs were every Monday at Grant Park. Well, I met the founders and have never stopped running with the group. Since that time, I have finished 12 half marathons and countless 5 and 10ks. I have also lost 90lbs, feel better than even and I was selected as co-captain of the local chapter. I have retired from road racing and picked up a new obsession which is run streaking. What happened was I would usually run about 5 days a week. Accidentally in November of 2016 I started to go for a run before Veterans Day but it landed on my rest day so I kept running and 7 days became 10, 30, 50, 100. Now I have run 2 to 5 miles every day since November 18th. Today I am still running to continue my streak which is 753 days straight.

I was attending a church in Atlanta and they had a bread ministry. The primary mission of the bread ministry is to give to the homeless, needy and less fortunate through the church. I took it upon myself to take over the bread ministry and going out into the streets of Atlanta giving to the homeless men, women and children. I go to different missions throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas and give free food and clothes to anyone who is down on their luck and homeless. I give to the homeless because I was once in that place of not having a home and I understand what they are going through".


  1. Good for you Eric. Running or exercising daily as a lifestyle choice is just as powerful, if not moreso, than competition. Your help with the needy is commendable. Thanks for your service in the US Navy.

  2. You are awesome Eric #streakon my friend.