Meet Eric Hutterer

If you think climbing 60-foot hydro poles for a living sounds dangerous, wait until you hear what Eric Hutterer does in his spare time.

photo of Eric Hutterer on the top of a distribution pole

In 2018, the 26-year-old line maintainer at our Newmarket Operations Centre competed in his second Death Race, a test of extreme physical and psychological stamina that takes place on the grueling terrain of Vermont’s Green Mountains.

photo of Eric Hutterer

“Reaching the finish line last year was probably the happiest moment of my life,” says Eric, who broke a Guinness World Record in 2018 after crawling under barbed wire for more than 12 kilometres over the course of 12 hours.

The ultra-marathoner credits his role at Hydro One for helping him prepare for the competition.

photo of an electric charging station

“In these races, rain usually makes people drop like flies," laughs Eric. "But I’m used to working outside in the middle of the night in terrible weather conditions.”
While a job as a line maintainer certainly isn’t for everyone, the endurance athlete stresses how much he enjoys his current position.
“I love the thrill of being 60 feet up in the air, and I love working as part of a team to get power back on for our customers,” he says. “Nothing is more satisfying than helping other people like that.”

Considering he willingly signs a waiver in order to compete in the Death Race, many might expect the native of Alliston, Ontario to be a daredevil type who throws caution to the wind. But Eric stresses the importance of safety in everything he does.
“I strive to be as safe as I can so that I can do the things I love. I get to go to work with my best friends every day. We have each other’s backs. I trust them and they trust me,” explains Eric.

photo of Eric Hutterer
photo of Eric Hutterer

“If there’s a situation where I don’t feel comfortable, I’m with someone who is experienced and can help me to safely do the job. Pencils have erasers and that means no one’s perfect. We build off each other’s strengths and make each other perfect in that sense. It’s nice to rely on one another and make it to the end of each day.”
So, what motivates Eric to get to the finish line in these grueling situations?
“My driving purpose is to prove people wrong. That motivates me to train and be the best that I can be,” says Eric.

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