Me and Scottie McC

August 12, 2011

My first firsthand exposure to ultrarunning came in 2001, when I paced William Emerson through 20 miles of the Cascade Crest 100. We spent most of our time walking and got slightly lost, and I tripped and fell a lot. I tentatively concluded that ultrarunners are crazy.

I helped William again at the 2002 White River 50, and it was totally different. Being a mere 50 miles, much more runnable, and exquisitely organized by Scott McCoubrey and his team, White River was a race I could imagine doing someday. Charlie Dresen’s video (part 2) includes some great snippets of winner Nate McDowell, who made a strong impression on me as he galloped into the Skookum Flats aid station at sub-6-minute pace, seemingly unperturbed by the 43-plus miles already covered.

By 2004-05, I had started to compete in ultramarathons. An account of those early months is included in a Northwest Runner article about the 2005 World Cup 100K. The article mentions Scott McCoubrey’s role in leading me (and many others) to explore trail and ultrarunning, but it’s hard to capture Scott in print (though Heidi Dietrich gave it a good shot in a 2008 article for Puget Sound Business Journal). You really need to talk with him in person to understand how engaging, inspiring, and friendly he is.

For this reason, I’ve spent the last year wanting to do a Scott video (the next-best thing to an in-person encounter). After shooting some footage at White River two weekends ago, adding some royalty-free music, and assembling everything in Microsoft Windows Movie Maker, I’m finally done. I hope the video and companion article convey what a special person Scott is and how much he has contributed to the running community here in Seattle and around the world.

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