Scott Sugimoto


Featured Runner – April

Scott Sugimoto

Age: 59
Hobbies: Running
Job: Assistant Manager Big Box Retail

Mantra: Success isn’t final and failure isn’t fatal.
Favourite Race: Arrowhead & Potowatomi

Meet Scott!

Scott is an accomplished runner and has been running for almost a decade. He started at the age of 49 when he stepped on the scale and didn’t like what he saw. He immediately went out and purchased the required new clothing and shoes and started running the next day. He set the timer for 10 minutes and headed out and didn’t really look back.

The aspect that fascinated scott the most about running was pushing your preconceived limits of what was humanly possible. It makes sense then that it didn’t take him long to find his way in the ultra-marathon world. His resume is an impressive one, but if you think he’s your average run of the mill Ultra runner, you’re wrong. He’s even crazier than the people who tackle those distances normally. He tackles them in WINTER.

This past year Scott found himself exploring the world of winter ultras, more specifically it found him chasing down the Order of the Hrimthurs. Unfamiliar with that?  Not surprising, In order to qualify for the order one must finish THREE winter ultras in ONE season; Arrowhead 135 in Minnesota, Tuscobia  80 or 169 mile event in Northern Wisconsin and the local Actif Epica (125 or 162km).

Scott missed out on completing all three when frostbite caused him to remove himself from one of the earlier races. Unfortunate to say the least but Scott being the Athlete he is found a way to make is DNF work for him. He learned from it and moved forward and had success at the very next race BECAUSE of it.

When asked what draws him to winter racing his answer was seemingly simple. The challenge. Its about you vs nature, because these races are generally self-supported and requires racers to haul their gear on a sled behind them. While running in general is a mental sport, winter endurance racing brings that even more to the forefront. As long as you’re mentally in the game you can still get it done. The second that you check out, you give up, you allow the self-doubt in and you’re done. Just like in road racing.

Scott is well respected in the running community, not because of his age or his accomplishments but because of his heart. In spite of having tackled some of the most difficult challenges out there in the running world you won’t ever hear him brag about it. He’s completely humble and selfless. He will literally give you the shirt off his back if it will help you on race day. Scratch that, never mind the shirt, while working an aid station at the Spruce Woods Ultra, a runner came in struggling badly. Upon finding out it was the runner’s knee giving him issues Scott without even thinking ripped off his own knee brace and put it on the runner. An action that undoubtedly put him in pain and discomfort for the rest of the day.

When asked who inspires him in life his answer was not an easy one for him, but the answer in short is everyone. We can guarantee you that if Scott knows you, you’ve inspired him. No, this isn’t just a line because he was too afraid to leave someone out, it’s the truth.  Scott genuinely finds the good in everyone he meets and draws inspiration from them.

When asked what scares him, his answer was succinct, to break mentally. To sit back and know that you’ve given up, taken the easy way out. This does NOT mean a DNF; no one should fear a DNF as they are what help you grow, help you learn. A DNF is not a failure; if you see it as such you’ll never go back to the challenge again.

Scott is a family man and loves his job. The friendships he’s made through running have been ride or die friendships that will stand the test of time. Not unlike most that are drawn to running, in the end it’s the people that help solidify the love of the sport. He knows there’s a shelf life on triple digits distances for him, but don’t count on seeing those expire anytime soon. In fact keep your eyes peeled for great things from Scott over the next year.

We asked Scott what piece of advice would he give someone looking at getting into trail running; Believe in yourself and be willing to persevere. Self-belief is so critical, be willing to hang on. The hills and valleys will always be there, you HAVE to be willing to push through them and come out on the other side.

Sound advice that applies to everyone, whether you’re running 1 mile or 100.