Placing first in the team division, Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt and professors William Heyborne and Johnny Oh conquered the Grand to Grand Ultra Marathon in September 2018. Over the course of six stages, the SUU for Hope team traveled a total of 170 miles and more than 400,000 steps, with runners from 22 countries.
Recently interviewed about his adventure, President Scott L Wyatt sat down and discussed running the Grand to Grand in detail and why he is already planning his next Ultra race.
“Even running the last day, as we were just completely exhausted moving up the steep trail to the finish line, I was thinking, ‘I must do this again! This is so great and I feel fantastic!’ I was tired, hungry, and sore, but regardless of everything, I loved it, and I know I have to do it again.”
Starting at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the marathon included seven days of traveling through the high desert, slot canyons, national forests and some of the most remote country in the United States.
“The week prior to going, my expectations were starting to drop. I had massive blisters from training. I hurt my knee and had to stop running the last month and a half or so before the race, and then I was feeling sick that entire final week. I was just thinking about how I hoped I could finish.”
Preparing for a long distance race can be difficult, especially self-supported race. Overnight camps were built along the way, but each racer was responsible to carry all equipment, clothing, and food necessary for the seven days.
“It’s important for us to find opportunities to push ourselves, whether it be a race like this, learning a language, or developing a talent. We all have to find something, and hopefully, it’s something that pushes us mentally, physically, and emotionally, so we can continue to develop our whole person.”
“As they say, it’s 80% in your mind and the rest is in your head. We weren’t built to live a life of ease, and nobody becomes strong by living a life of ease. Push yourself. Most people don’t know the capacity that they have because they don’t push themselves hard enough to reach their boundaries and then go beyond them.”
Scott L Wyatt is Southern Utah University’s 16th president. He is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit his profile.
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William Heyborne Associate Professor of Biology
Specializing in reptile and amphibian natural history, biological pedagogy, and animal venoms