About Us

The Balanced Athlete is a full-service running store in Renton, WA, and your one stop shop for running shoes, clothing, gear, and nutrition. We’re also a community of runners — a place to swap race stories, brag about a new PR or medal, or rave about the new trail you just discovered. Our experienced sales staff are avid runners themselves, and draw from their own experience as well as their extensive knowledge of footwear and other running equipment when working with customers. We pride ourselves in outshining the big box stores by providing personalized service to our customers, and fitting runners with the shoes that best meet their running needs.
Eric Sach

Eric Sach

Owner

Eric has been running for 38 years (he ran his first marathon at age 12!). In the past, he has been an instructor for skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and mountaineering. He has worked for 25 years in the footwear industry. Eric’s ability to motivate runners of all abilities is perhaps why he is best known in the local running community. His deep knowledge in shoe fitting, bio-mechanics, and foot health has drawn clients all around the Seattle area and beyond.

 

Sheila Hoeschen

Sheila Hoeschen

Staff

While running is her newest addition, Sheila is no stranger to the world of sports and athletics. After a childhood filled with various sports, she went on to play collegiate fastpitch softball and soccer. Her love of competition took her to boxing, taekwondo, and eventually, MMA. She is now a certified Les Mills BodyCombat and BodyPump instructor and has a huge heart to help inspire others to push their limits and live their passion.

AJ

AJ

Staff

AJ began running seriously as a sophomore in high school when his dad convinced him to give cross country a try rather than football. While still a well-rounded sports fan, he has been a runner ever since.  After moving to Seattle for college AJ was introduced to the steeplechase in track and field.  Following a 4-year running career at Seattle Pacific the mountains called, and AJ now spends much of his time outside of work hiking and trail running with his wife (also a former SPU runner) and friends.  When he’s not running, you can probably find AJ working with the distance runners at Franklin High School or at a coffee shop near his Rainier Beach home.

Marissa

Marissa

Staff

Marissa started off doing long hikes and 5k races with her family as a small child. She did competitive gymnastics until she found out about cross country in high school. Cross country is where she fell in love with running. She ran cross-country for 3 years, went to state her freshman year and districts all three years. After high school she started running longer races. She completed her first half marathon and her first marathon at the age of 19. Marissa loves to run on trails and is always on the lookout for a fun race. She enjoys the people she has meet through the running community and learning about how nutrition impacts training. She is currently a student at Seattle Pacific University in the Nutrition major. On days she isn’t in store you will likely find her out on walks with her rescue dog Milo or in a sunny spot reading.

Karina

Karina

Staff

On Karina’s first birthday her mom wrote, “Karina walks, and then she runs!” She has been running ever since, and started competing in organized events when she was 12 years old. Karina ran track and cross country in high school and college, where she was an 800/1500 meter specialist, but cross country was her favorite. When she isn’t with her son, or working in her other career as a mental health therapist, she can be found running all surfaces around King County or is in the mountains for full day trail journeys. Karina has raced sub-ultras and road/trail relays, is training to compete in future marathons, and is excited about employing smart training using heart rate technology. She considers running one of the loves of her life, and has lived and ran all over Washington State, Alaska, and California.

Katherine

Katherine

Katherine started running in her 50’s as a New Year’s resolution to run a half marathon. Her favorite part of running is finding new places to explore and enjoying the tranquility that can be found in the action of running.  As an older “new” runner she enjoy’s coaching and counseling adult runners getting started in the sport and commiserating about aches and pains that the youngsters haven’t experienced (yet).  With a keen interest in kinesiology and anatomy along with a background in ballet performance and teaching, she is always happy to share her knowledge in stretching, strengthening exercises and the physics of movement to help make running easier for runners of all ages. When not at the store she’s probably out on a running adventure with Rocket the Running Dog.

Shane Cannon

Shane Cannon

Staff

Shane is an avid lover of trail running. If he isn’t recommending some of the best trail running shoes out there he is out on a 20 to 30 mile adventure. What’s special about him is his ability to always be in good spirits, even when things aren’t going well. His attitude melds with his passion for the mountains and truly makes him a stand out guy. If you need a dose of inspiration, Shane is your man.