Athlete Bios

Eric Vazquez-Olivas

Men's Marathon

Qualifying Time: 2:17:04
Qualifying Race: 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Eric Vazquez-Olivas
Date of Birth


Age on Race Day


Current Residence

Bonmer Springs, KS


Great Bend, KS

High School

Great Bend High School

Current Affiliation

Second City Track Club


Mathematics PhD Student

Marathon PB


Social Media
First Trials qualification


Number of attempts to qualify



University of Saint Mary (Kansas)

Career Highlights
2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, debut at the distance, in 2:17:04; Winner of a Chicago Tracksmith 5K; 4-time NAIA All-American; Running the 1,200m leg on Indoor National Champion DMR; part of a runner-up team at 2021 NAIA Cross Country Championships.
I am supported by my girlfriend, Emily. My mother, Maria, will also be in Orlando supporting me on race day!
Greatest Accomplishment
I am a first-generation student, with my family coming from Mexico. My parents valued an education above all else for me. So, my running grew from a sport to a way to get to college. Running evolved into a way to keep me motivated for school. In 2021, I became the first member in my family to receive a bachelor's degree with both a B.S. in Chemistry and B.S. in Mathematics. This was evidence that my family’s struggles were not in vain. I have since continued to the University of Kansas, where I am working on my PhD in Mathematics. Having this opportunity to continue my education while achieving my running goals is a privilege and I plan on making the most of it.
Interesting Story
When I first finished my collegiate career, I had no intention of running competitively and definitely wanted to stay away from the marathon for about another 10 years. After all, I was a self-proclaimed 800/1,500m runner in college. I moved to Chicago in the summer of 2022. There was a series of 5K track races hosted by Tracksmith. I decided to run it for fun. I thought I could run mid-15s. Leading up to the event I did a few workouts but nothing impressive. I surprised myself and won the race in a PR of 14:36. That race convinced me I still had some “room” on the track left in me. So I joined the Second City Track Club with firm intentions of only running 1,500m-5K. I was encouraged by my teammates and coach to try a half marathon. I told my coach I'd do it for fun, but that I wouldn’t do anything longer. I was injured leading into my half-marathon debut, barely running the weeks leading up to the race, but I still had fun and finished in 1:08:02. After the race I walked up my coach, Michael, and told him I’d run the Chicago Marathon. I don’t think he was expecting that because he was dead silent for a few moments. Once he gathered his wits he put on his coaching hat and agreed! I was just expecting to break 2:30 and have fun with it. Over the summer, I ran everything I was told to do and stayed mostly healthy. I decided to go with the OTQ pack and had an absolute blast finishing in 2:17:04. I was shocked. I confused and pleasantly surprised a lot of my friends. I went from the 800/1,500m guy that hated running more than 70 miles per week to a OTQ in the marathon. Not what we expected but we’re all happy! Goes to show you can do anything as long you love it and are having fun!
Favorite Book

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Favorite Movie

Good Will Hunting

Favorite TV Show/Series


Favorite Song

Want Want by Maggie Rogers

Favorite Post-race Indulgence

High IBU beers with my friends

Favorite Breakfast

Chicken and Waffles

Favorite Motivational Quote
“The moment you give up is the moment you let someone else win.” - Kobe Bryant
Favorite Running Memory
I will always remember the trips I’ve taken with running and my friends. I have loved every joke, comment, screaming, cheering and run with my teammates and friends. I may not always remember each moment of it, but I will never forget how it’s made me feel and how positive an impact it’s had on me.