The Race to Richmond: An Interview with Steve Scott - Part 2
On October 20th, Cobb Service Technician Steve Scott will run from Danville to Richmond — a distance of 168 miles — in five days.
Even for Steve, a veteran of the legendary 7 x 7 x 7, undertaking a journey of this proportion is a monumental task. But, as Steve says in our Race to Richmond video, the hard part isn’t the running. As Steve so eloquently puts it, “The hard thing is getting you involved.”
What will this 168-mile run accomplish? Raising charitable funds for Imprint, Cobb’s charitable arm. In order to raise money in a socially-distanced, responsible manner, Imprint had to postpone our annual golf tournament — and with the pandemic continuing into autumn, Imprint’s backup fundraising plans were forced to halt. To learn more about how Imprint is functioning throughout the pandemic, read our blog, What Imprint Does and How You Can Help.
But then came Steve Scott. A native of Danville, Steve decided he needed to do something to help raise money for children who face food insecurity, or those who require extra attention in their education.
And so, Steve came up with the idea to run from his hometown of Danville, to Cobb’s headquarters in Glen Allen, a total of 168 miles. Join us for this two part interview as we sit down to talk with Steve about his preparations for his upcoming epic run, The Race to Richmond.
This is Part 2 our our interview with Steve. To catch up on part one, click here.
You’re going to be doing the route in a car — what’s the difference between driving a route and running a route?
What I’ve learned by doing things like that, where the normal person that doesn’t run wouldn’t notice it, but now when I ride something out, I notice every little hill. Where when if you’re not a runner, you’re not thinking about it. You might say, “Oh, it’s flat between South Boston and Richmond,” but the reality is if you kind of look at it and examine everything going through it, it’s not flat. Same thing from Greensboro to Danville — everybody’s thinking it’s flat, but after I ran it, people started noticing the inclines and all the hills. Yeah, it was crazy. That was a tough run, from Greensboro to Danville.
It gets hilly out there.
Yeah, and I did the one from Martinsville to Danville, which was 58 [miles], and that’s going to be like me running from Danville to South Boston.
When was that run?
I did that back in September of last year, for the YMCA. It was called Anti-Bullying Day. And I was running to bring awareness to kids who get bullied and things like that in schools. I ran from the Martinsville YMCA to the Danville YMCA. It was pretty cool, that was fun.
What is your average distance per day that you’re shooting for?
Probably between 30 and 40 [miles].
So, will this be the most milage you’ve ever ran in five days?
In five days, yeah. Because I did 184 in the 7 x 7 x 7. This will be the most I’ve ever ran in five days, yup.
What challenges are you expecting?
I won’t expect too many challenges probably until probably Thursday. The first two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, I think I’ll be able to kind of get through it. But I think when I get to Thursday and Friday, I think that’s when the mental part will start kicking in more. And then Saturday, you know, the adrenaline that will kick in just from getting there and finishing, I’ll get on with it, you know?
And hopefully we’ll be having some people there, and hollering and cheering as we come in. Things like that kind of help, You know, when I’m running, I’ll go through spells of thinking, “I can’t wait to get to the finish line, there’s going to be people there hollering, and it’s for a great thing,”
That’s worth a million dollars. You know, it really is.
So again, Saturday won’t be too bad, because I know what’s coming, but that Thursday and Friday is pretty much like hump-day. You’ve got to get over that hump. Push on through it, you know?
So, is just knowing that you’re going to be finishing and that there are going to be all these people waiting, cheering you on, is that your main driver on those hump-days?
Well, that, and plus thinking about the kids. You know, remembering what it is for. Determination, getting it done for them. That’s when you got to tell yourself why you’re out there. I’m out there to help Imprint and the kids in Richmond and the surrounding areas. That will come into play at times. I think about different things.
You know, I think about my mom, because I lost her in May of last year, and things like that, just determination of the things she’s taught me, it’s the determination of a lot of stuff in life that I’ve learned to fight through the battles and the walls that you have to go through as a runner.
Other than those motivational things, when you’re not thinking about what drives you, are you the kind of runner who just kind of meditates, or do you think about things?
I go in spells I guess. I listen to music, and I have a variety of music that I listen to — with certain situations with my running, I’ll put a certain type of music on. Like when I start out Tuesday I’ll have more of a relaxing type music on, kind of slow music, you know — things like that. But yeah, when I do this, there will be times where you’ll talk to me, and I won’t even know you’re talking to me. I get that involved in my running and my focusing. Again, when you get into that stride while running, mentally, and your body is glad to be where it is, you gotta stay on it.
Yeah, I’ve had people, Steve laughs, say, “Hey, I saw you on the road running and I beeped the horn at you,” and I’ll be — Steve looks around with a bemused expression on his face, throwing his hands up — it’s like they weren’t there. I never saw them.
It’s just that world that you get into with running where you get to that comfortable running condition, and you just kind of, throw everything out, and just kind of go with it.
It’s where your mind is at.
Do you have any tips for runners who are trying to build their endurance?
It’s hitting walls — when you get to the point where you’re hitting walls like that, I just tell myself, with experience, it doesn’t last forever. You get through a certain point with your running, and you know you’ll come out of it. And that just comes through experience that I’ve gained with my running. When you feel like you’ve got to quit, you don’t quit. There’s nothing in your vocabulary when it comes to running that says “quit.”
You press forward, you know? One step at a time, and you finish the race. It doesn’t matter your time, it doesn’t matter how fast you are, slow you are, it’s completing what you started. I deal with people and speed all the time. When I run with people, they’ll say, “Hey, I’m so slow,” and I’ll say, “You’re an individual, you are who you are.”
I’ll say, “I wish I was as fast as such-and-such, but the reality is, I’m not there,” you know? I’m who I am, and I do the best I can do. I set goals for myself with running, and I go after them. I try to explain that to people with running, everybody’s different.
Speaking about other people running, are you going to be the only person running the Race to Richmond? Is anyone else running with you?
No, I’ll be the only one actually running. I’m going to contact some runners in Richmond, and see if they’ll come out for the finish. Now, some people from Cobb actually reached out to me and said they’d like to ride their bikes with me while I’m coming into the finish line. So, at this point, Steve laughs, I don’t know.
You know, I don’t know what everybody’s going to do, but I get to a point where I’m preparing for this, and if anybody wants to come out and run with me, walk with me, whatever they want to do, I don’t care. Ride a bike with me, he laughs again, I don’t care — but after a certain point, and I don’t say this in a bad way, but I don’t worry about other people.
Because I’ve got to stay focused on what I’ve got to do, and actually can’t get to the point where at the last minute I’m saying, “Okay, are you going to ride a bike, are you going to ride a bike?”
I’ve talked to some people today, and I said they could come out and ride their bike with me the last so-many miles, or you can come out and ride with me the whole time. Steve laughs. I don’t care. Anybody out there that wants to come out an do anything, they’re welcome to come out there and get in there with me, because the more people, the better it is.
Believe it or not, it’s easier on me when there’s a lot of people involved.
You’ve ran from Greensboro to Danville, from Martinsville to Danville — what’s it like running on a busy road, with cars going by, and people that don’t know what you’re doing, but you’ve got a police escort behind you?
Well, it’s pretty exciting. But really what gets exciting is the longer we get in the mileage, you’ll see people start beeping the horn. You’ll see people hollering at you. Things like that. I’ve had people actually make u-turns and come back, just to see what I’m doing.
We’re going to have banners made up, and one will be on the back of the RV, and hopefully the message will come across. So when people see that, hopefully people will come by and beep the horn, because when people beep the horn and holler and wave, it just gives you another two miles, you know? Steve smiles. It really does. It helps. People don’t realize how much that’s important.
If there was one thing that you could make people aware of with this run, what would it be?
That even at my age, which is 59 — started running about six years ago — you can set goals for yourself, and still go out and hit them. My run from here to Richmond is all about raising awareness for Imprint. If there’s anything I can do out there to help other organizations anywhere else with my running, or whatever we can do to help people, that’s what I want to come out of it.
It’s never too late to help people.
I guess that would be a good thing to say. You can never get too old I guess.