“With 1200 acres worth of woods I can circle around the trails for over six miles without touching another trail. I see more animals, more deer, rabbits, foxes, squirrels than I do people,” says Brother Elias Eichorn.
Brother Elias is known around St. Joseph Abbey for his running, but this passion of his hasn’t always been part of his life. Actually, this Houma native struggled with his weight as a child.
“When I was 15 or so I was a little over 300lbs, and I started losing weight as part of a healthy thing for our family. After a couple years I lost about 50lbs and I came to the seminary, and after a couple more years I lost another 20 or 30lbs and eventually a friend of mine taught me to run.”
Today Brother Elias is happy, healthy, and he’s at his goal weight, down 130lbs from his heaviest. Plus, he’s getting ready to run his sixth marathon, but his biggest accomplishment is the Monk Run.
“It’s been in the making for about six years actually, but it’s actually been going on for about three years now,” says Brother Elias, “I really look forward to it because it’s a lot of fun and I love running and I love letting other people come out and run and enjoy the grounds here.”
It’s one of the only times of the year St. Joseph Abbey and its 1200 acres are open to the public.
“We have 1200 acres worth of pine forest and miles and miles worth of trails, and the trails are beautiful; not a single inch of paved road on the trails, so it’s nice.”
Brother Elias credits God for gracing him with the ability to just keep running and his faith with giving him the strength to lose weight. Now he’s an inspiration around town, at the Abbey and to all who meet him.
The Monk Run is this Saturday, April 13th. There’s a 5k race and a mile fun run.
Registration begins at 7am. The races start at 8am. It’s $15 for kids ages 16 and under and $25 for adults. For more information click here.