Scotie - I grew up in the Green Mountains in Underhill Ctr. VT, a small town filled with single-track trails and logging roads at the base of Mount Mansfield. Some of my favorite moments from my childhood were running on the back roads with my dad. I was a very active kid- in highschool I played a lot of sports, but I always had the most fun and excelled at running track and XC. Running was my “happy place”. During my first season of XC at St. Michael's College I was over trained and became injured for the first time and unable to run. Watching my team improve and bond while I was in physical therapy rattled me and threw me into a downward spiral.
Every time I tried to get back to training I felt terrible and depression eventually led me to stop running altogether. The next decade or so of my life was filled with college parties, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, and touring with a heavy metal band. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn’t change what happened even if I could. The friendships forged and good times had are a special piece of my life. It was also during this time that I met my wife Torrey and moved to Ithaca, NY. Around 2003, Torrey and I were expecting our first child, and I wanted to clean up my act. Torrey had never known me as a runner, and encouraged me to put down the cigarettes and run a 5k with her. It felt good to be out there and my “happy place” was coming back. My wife was pretty bummed that she had been beaten by a “skinny fat guy”. Soon after that race we joined the Finger Lakes Runners Club and she started doing early morning track workouts, excited for the next time we would run a 5k together. After a few weeks of these secret workouts, she spilled the beans and asked me to join her. The people were great, and as I met various club members, Tuesday morning turned into many other mornings and evenings with new good friends.
At the time we were living in a small log cabin with the Finger Lakes Trail literally in our back yard high atop Connecticut Hill. After gaining some base fitness I re-immersed myself in what I once loved so much, hitting the trails. After a while I felt the urge to start racing again, so I started running some shorter trail races, and my wife signed me up for my 1st marathon as a valentines day gift – continuing to push me.
As the story goes for many ultra runners, a marathon just wasn't long enough so I ran my first ultra and could not have been more happy or content. Thanks to my family, friends and a lot of hard work I was back training and racing. While preparing for my first hundred miler injury struck again. The short story is that I severed my peroneal tendon and had to have it repaired with cadaver parts! At this point it was uncertain whether or not I would be able to run a 5k, let alone 100 miles. Fortunately I had learned from my past injury and bout w/ depression and I wasn’t going down that road again.
With two beautiful daughters looking up to me I needed to be strong and show them how to handle being injured, as they might grow up to be athletes. Thankfully I had an awesome surgeon, and an amazing mother in law to help me recover! Two years after my surgery I ran the Virgil Crest 100 and finished in the top ten. Over the last few years I have focused on trail ultras from 50k to 100 miles, taking in awesome landscapes and meeting amazing people. I could not be more excited to join the Mountain Peak Fitness/Red Newt Racing team, and look forward to being an ambassador for two companies dedicated to providing adventure athletes with the tools to attain their goals in challenging and beautiful locations!