Erin Teschuk is a Canadian track and field athlete specializing in the 3,000m steeplechase. The 2016 Olympian was one of the earliest professional athletes to team up with ArtiKen. At the 2016 Abbott Dash to the Finish 5k in New York City, ArtiKen Founder, Christopher Hough, met Erin at the athlete hospitality section. Upon her interest, he had sent her some bracelets, and she has been following the company ever since. On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, we had the opportunity to catch up with Erin and talk about all things running and Canada.
Erin winning the Abbott Dash 5K hours before meeting her favorite bracelet company.
Erin had a rather traditional introduction to running, starting when she began high school. Erin was originally a middle distance runner through high school and her first two years at North Dakota State University. During her third year at NDSU, she got a new coach and together they decided she would try the steeplechase. That summer, she qualified for the World Championship team representing Team Canada in the steeple. The next summer, Erin qualified for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Making a World Championship team AND an Olympic team within two years of trying a new event is pretty crazy.
Erin competing at the 2016 Olympics
Out of college, Erin began training with Furman Elite in Greenville, South Carolina. After spending some time there she moved to the Vic City Elite in Victoria, British Columbia. Erin said that her new team is a great fit, and that after going for a visit with the team, she never left. Vic City Elite is a fun group of athletes, embodied by the coffee cup logo that is plastered on their racing kits. When we asked Erin about the origin of this logo, she said,
“The coffee cup is just fun. We’re all massive coffee drinkers so it made sense to us!”
Next, we discussed Erin’s plans for the next couple years with the World Championships and Olympics coming up. Erin said,
“Competing for Canada is always the ultimate goal. It means a ton to represent my country. It’s the reason I do all this [training], to be the best I can on the world stage.
Erin has been battling some injuries over the last couple months, but she hopes to be ready to bring the heat for Canadian nationals at the end of July. Erin’s biggest competition will be Genevieve Lalonde, the Canadian national record holder in the steeplechase at 9:29. Erin’s personal best is 9:40 though, so she isn’t too far off… There is currently a large group of women in Canada who are pushing for the 2020 Olympic standard (9:30) and Erin hopes to be chasing that mark with them at the championships.
Moving beyond the steeplechase, Erin has run some pretty fast 1500s and 5ks, and she holds personal bests of 4:14 and 15:41 in those events. Some non-steeplers that Erin looks up to are Nicole Sifuentes and Melissa Bishop, both of whom are very successful Canadian runners.
Changing gears a bit, the Toronto Raptors recently won the NBA title. Although Erin is from Winnipeg and trains in Victoria (neither are very close to Toronto), we had to ask what seeing the first Canadian team win the NBA title was like for her. Erin said,
“To be honest, I didn’t watch the Finals. I’m not much of a basketball fan, but it was exciting to see all of Canada rally behind one team.”
It turns out Erin is not a hockey fan either (just running, who could have guessed?) so we dove into what parts of Canadian culture she is passionate about. When asked to pick between Drake and Justin Bieber, Erin declined to comment due to the fact that she thinks her answer would be so unpopular that she might be shunned from Canada...take that as you will.
In terms of Canadian food, Erin had another hot take for us. Tim Hortons? Overrated. However, Erin is a fan of ketchup chips and all-dressed chips. While those are not the easiest to find in the United States, they definitely sound interesting. Erin does not have any special pre-race meals that she likes to eat, but she always has coffee before her races. Usually around three to four shots of espresso, which is almost enough to make a non-coffee drinker explode.
Our last question for Erin was,
“What do you see yourself doing once your running career is over?
Erin responded that she would definitely like to stay involved in running in some fashion. That may be through coaching, or possibly as a sports psychologist - a field in which Erin could use her college degree. Chatting with Erin was a ton of fun, and we wish her the best this season and beyond!
All images sourced from Erin’s Instagram: @erin.teschuk