10 Questions: Meet Pacific Beach resident Eric Marenburg

Eric Marenburg at the Santa Run in Pacific Beach last month.
(Chadd Cady/3PIXstudios)

Ten Questions is a new series in PB Monthly that shines a spotlight on notable locals we wish we knew more about. This month we feature Eric Marenburg, Discover Pacific Beach president and Pacific Beach-based San Diego Running Co.’s chief running officer and co-founder.

I was born and raised in Peabody, Massachusetts, a suburb outside of Boston. In high school, I fell in love with cross country and track & field and, ever since, running has stayed an integral part of my life.

I went to the University of Maryland majoring in finance and continued to compete collegiately in cross country and track & field. Following college, I worked in the consulting and technology industry for Accenture and later for Active Network in San Diego.

In 2007, I moved to San Diego for “a year” to enjoy a break from East Coast winters. That was 15 years ago and I haven’t looked back! I like to think I was an influence on my family as since then, my sister (and only sibling) moved from Boston to Salt Lake City with her husband and two children. Additionally my parents moved five years ago to Los Angeles.

In 2013, I left “corporate America” to start San Diego Running Co. with my closest friend, Pete Hess. We were cross country teammates in college, have always had a passion for the running industry and decided to start a business to see if we could carve out a life that married our passion with work.

Eight years later, San Diego Running Co. continues to thrive, hosting over 20,000 participants annually in running races from 5K to half marathons while raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. COVID represented one of the hardest challenges of our careers as we navigated event closures and so many unknowns. But we are so excited to be able to deliver events to the community once again. Some of our most popular include the San Diego Santa Run in Pacific Beach, the Pacific Beachfest 5K and Balboa Park 8 Miler.

In my free time, I am a San Diego Track Club board member and president of Discover Pacific Beach. I like to stay active, whether running along the bay or hopping on my road bike along the water. My fiancée, Dani, and I own a condo in Crown Point along with our goldendoodle, Mila. We’re looking forward to getting married this April in Santa Barbara.

Q: What attracted you to Pacific Beach as a place to live?

A: I moved to San Diego from the Washington, D.C. metro area and I wanted to experience the whole San Diego lifestyle. Pacific Beach offered it all: hanging at the beach, running along the bay, easy to walk, great food and fun nightlife. I love it here and haven’t left!

Q: Where are your favorite places to go in Pacific Beach?

A: Sunsets walks at Sail Bay, fish tacos at PB Fish Shop, brunch at Second Nature, dinner at Cafe Europa or Costa Brava and shopping at the PB Farmers Market.

Q: If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add to improve Pacific Beach?

A: Removing cars from a portion of Garnet Avenue so it’s completely open for walking, running, bicycles and skateboards. The Garnet Vision has been a long time goal for the community and I think it’ll be amazing for PB when it hopefully happens.

Q: Who or what inspires you?

A: I’m most inspired by what others do and what it takes to make it happen. Whether it’s hiking the Grand Canyon, starting a charity or running a business, people’s success comes from the endless hours of hard work and preparation. That period of time when someone is working hard but hasn’t reached their point of success, I find it the most inspirational because that’s the hardest point to stay motivated. We always celebrate the victory or the result. But the real inspiration to me is when people stay motivated before the accolades or achievements. That’s incredible. A few of my favorite quotes tied to this are, “I’m an overnight success 20 years in the making,” and “Don’t compare your middle to someone else’s end.”

Q: If you hosted a dinner party for five, who (living or deceased) would you invite?

A: While going to dinner with The Rock and Tom Brady would be a blast, I’d love to meet some of my ancestors so I can hear stories from my great-great-great grandparents (or older) from Europe in the 1700s and 1800s.

Q: Tell us about what you are currently reading or watching on TV.

A: I’m notoriously bad at both of those (as in they rarely happen). But one of the few shows I’ve recently binged is “Peaky Blinders.” I can’t wait for season 6 next year!

Q: What would be your dream vacation?

A: I’m lucky that I may take it this spring with my fiancée for our honeymoon to Mo’orea and Bora Bora. We both have a habit of packing WAY too much into a vacation, trying to see as many countries as possible, etc. By the time we come home, we’re about ready for another vacation to rest. So we both cannot wait to just relax and unplug in our beach bungalow on the water for over a week!

Q: What are your five favorite movies of all time?

A: My all-time favorites are probably “The Shawshank Redemption,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Forrest Gump,” “Gladiator” and “Without Limits.”

Q: What is your most prized possession?

A: I’m not much for specific possessions but it would be my baseball/basketball cards that I’ve owned since being a kid.

Q: What is your motto or philosophy of life?

A: Stay curious and don’t stress about the things you cannot control. You’ll figure out the way when you get there.

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