When Marc Scott kicked it in to win the NCAA 10,000m Championships during his senior year at Tulsa University with a blistering last lap, it was just a glimpse into the sort of strength and speed combination that he possessed. After graduating he joined the Bowerman Track Club and improved steadily, representing Great Britain with regularity at global championships, most notably to win a bronze medal in the 3000m at 2022 World Indoors. With personal bests of 3:35/7:36/12:57/27:10/1:00:39, Scott has demonstrated the range and talent to compete with the very best.
Our Mac Fleet caught up with Marc during his training camp in Iten, Kenya to discuss his decision to join the NN Running Team.
What went into the decision to leave Bowerman?
I’ve been a bit over-competing on the track recently. I mean, I had a good run during indoors, but outdoors was terrible. I’m just kind of in that headspace where I wanted to try something new and go on to the roads. I’ve had a bit of success on the roads in the past, so I kind of wanted to explore that a little more.
At the same time, my visa has also expired for the US, which I could’ve renewed and probably will at some point just to have the opportunity in the future to come back and train. But one of the big reasons was I didn’t really want to move to Eugene, honestly.
I was happy with the setup in Portland. And I thought with Jerry [Schumacher] taking on the Oregon job that we wouldn’t quite get the attention that we previously were getting. Those are kind of the main reasons.
I don’t blame you for not wanting to live in Eugene. It was amazing for school, but once I graduated I wanted to get out of there. What were your proudest moments with the team?
This past year, it was definitely running 12:57 and in that same race Mo [Ahmed] went 12:56 and Grant [Fisher] went 12:53. That whole night was special too – I think all of the guys who ran the 5,000 in Boston that night all hit the world standard, which is pretty cool.
I know we got ripped for doing the intrasquad meets, but they were actually enjoyable and we ran some really good times. They were some of the most fun times I had with Bowerman. I just liked being around the guys. Training camps were really great. The camaraderie between everyone was fantastic.
It was just a super supportive group and team and I think that’s what really, really makes it special, and it gets results – thriving off one another and enjoying what we were doing.
How’d you get in touch with the NN team?
I would always tag on some road races to the end of my track seasons, just for a bit of appearance and prize money, that sort of thing. And, NN would always be at all these races I would do. So over time I kind of built a relationship with an agent there with Global Sports, who I’m now represented by.
I’ve always wanted to be part of a team environment and I knew just being a fan of the sport – with what Kipchoge and Kamworor and Bekele do, all representing team NN and doing some great things on the road – that’s why I looked at that group in order to be more successful. So I kind of just went on from there.
How much of the year are you planning on living in Kenya?
Probably for all the build-ups for the major races, I’ll be here. I’m planning on eight weeks, as of right now. I’m in Iten for four weeks just kind of adjusting and getting some good running in, then I’m going to transfer to Kaptagat for the last four weeks and train with Kipchoge’s group, and to be under the guidance of Patrick Sang.
Right now it’s mostly just finding my feet at altitude and getting used to it all a little bit. And then I’ll move into the camp and get fully, fully submerged in it all.
Iten is pretty open in the way you can be coached by who you want, and there’s no obligation to train in any location or environment. So that’s really nice. But I wanted to be fully committed while I test the waters to see if I fit in with the group.
Has anything stuck out to you during your first week there?
I haven’t really done anything high-intensity just yet, but yeah, literally, you just see hundreds of people rolling down dirt trails. It’s pretty spectacular to see – the videos and everything you see don’t really quite do it justice until you see it in person.
There’s like one flat field – what does surprise me is how hilly it is here! – where people do strides, or if they have a flat run, they run around and around and around. It’s crazy how much that field gets utilized. Hundreds of people at a time on it.
Well, you should be pretty used to that after training with BTC around the Nike Campus fields.
I wanted to get away from the turns every couple hundred meters! I swear we would feel really good at altitude camps just because we didn’t have to turn so much. Miles and miles around those fields, but it was flat and it was soft so it worked.
Alright, goals for 2023?
Hitting the Olympic standard for the marathon is my main goal. I’ll be debuting at some point. I’m not allowed to say exactly where, yet. But I am quite excited for it! And I guess if there’s a secondary goal, running under 60 for the half would be nice to get as well.
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