Buccaneer Tri: You’ve recently completed Comrades marathon and have now just got a slot for Celtman in June next year it looks like you’re working your way through a bucket list, what put Celtman so far up the list?
Scott: My “bucket list” only ever had 3 athletic events on it – they were Comrades, Leadville 100-mile run and Challenge Roth. As I’ve had more years of chronic running injuries I’ve had to postpone getting to these events I’ve wanted to do for 30+ years. And frankly running very far is getting more unrealistic. One of my non-athletic “bucket-list” things to do is a distillery and golf tour of Scotland when I turn 60. And that’s still on the to-do list. When Celtman was announced it grabbed hold of me like no other event has in the past 20+ years and I knew I had to experience it. It’s the challenge of the course that appeals so much. After doing 40+ Ironmans in my life the memorable ones like the World’s Toughest Triathlon in Lake Tahoe in the 80’s and Embrunman in the 90’s are the ones that I most fondly remember. Plus it’s a chance to do some recce for when I return to Scotland when I’m 60+.
BT: You’ll be coming out of the depths of the New Zealand winter to the middle of the Scottish summer so you’ll be perfectly acclimatised, what other challenges barring the unpredictable weather do you foresee?
Scott: I really don’t like cold water swimming but can actually cope with it when pressed. The main thing will be to not make any wrong turns. I tend to wander a bit when out on foreign trails.
BT: With Norseman and now Swissman on the calendar was it the golf and whisky that swung this event over those other two?
Scott: It’s Scotland that’s the draw. I’ve never been there and being on the other side of the planet from New Zealand is the main draw. It just looks magnificent. The Scotch we can get here! But the thought if being there drinking it in the land where it’s made and with the people who make it does sound fantastic.
BT: In your Epic Camp prologue here you mentioned the proliferation of ultra-triathlons around the world. What do you think drives this desire for this extra level of suffering?
Scott: It’s all about the challenge. Many people don’t see a life of ease as a desirable thing. Some of us want a life full of challenge, beauty and intrigue. Testing ourselves with things where we’re unsure how we’ll cope has an allure that’s hard to articulate. I guess we want to see what we’re made of. We want to know we can rise to the challenge many of these Ultra’s present. It gives our lives inspiration.
BT: Anything else on the bucket list that you fancy ticking off soon?
Scott: I was hoping to run Comrades in order to prove to myself that I could take on Leadville 100-mile trail run but I crumbled in South Africa. So along with getting through Celtman successfully and having a good summer of running in our hills here I’d also like to get through another 80100km Ultra to prove to myself I can enter Leadville with a realistic chance of finishing. Time is running out on these ol’ bones!
BT: Anything happening soon?
Scott: Erin and I are plodding through the first annual Queenstown marathon this weekend. It looks like a fabulous course, mostly off-road on a bunch of shingle bike paths they’ve built up in the area. After that I’ve got to decide how much I want to prepare for Challenge Wanaka on Feb 22nd.