This week’s East Nasty of the Week is a self-described Trail Donkey, has run more miles in one day than most of us run in a week or even a month including his most recent finish at the Bryce 50 miler, and is a part of the Ginger brotherhood. As someone who looks to this guy for advice and inspiration, it’s my extreme honor to introduce your newest ENOW, Scott Bell!
Scott grew up in the booming metropolis of Murfreesboro, TN so he’s a native Middle Tennessean. Though it’s hard to believe it now, he says he wasn’t a big hit with the ladies in his middle school years. He had a red fro, braces with Orlando Magic colored rubber bands on the brackets, and weighed 90 pounds (apparently, think Scott Farkus from “A Christmas Story”). He swam for his local country club and was decent in AAU basketball & soccer. He played freshman basketball at Riverdale High (third string point guard) and was a mean 5’8, 105 lbs. As he began to (sort of) grow out of his awkward phase, he stopped playing sports and discovered his new found love for having crushes on girls who were too cool for him and reciting movie quotes at bonfire parties.
After high school, Scott attended MTSU (Middle TN State University). Most of his closest friends planned to stay local for college, and he figured his options were fairly limited being that he wasn’t exactly valedictorian of his HS. His college years were pretty typical of the traditional college experience of parties, class (most of the time), not much direction, lifting weights, etc. He graduated in December of ’04 with a B.B.A in Marketing. Scott has been in outside sales for the last 9 years. One thing he’s always been able to do fairly well is relate to folks of all different shapes, sizes, colors, etc. He’s definitely not an 8-5 office “worker guy”, and sales allows him to be out and about doing what he does best (as Drew Jones says)…talking trash. Currently, he is the Southeast Territory Mgr for The Genesis Agency. They specialize in working with specialty running shops to provide top notch apparel and nutrition. Scott says it’s awesome to be able to work in an area for which he’s so passionate. Being a rep in the running industry is new to him (coming from a corporate sales background), but he plans to stay in the industry for the long haul!
Speaking of running, Scott started the sport in July 2011. He moved to East Nash in 2009 and always saw the East Nasty stickers but had no clue it was a running club. He was a gym guy (beefy with horrible endurance). Drew Jones is a buddy of Scott’s and always tried to get Scott and their friend Joel Meredith to come out for a Wednesday night run. Finally, one Wednesday, Joel said, “come out there with me…it’s only 3 miles dude. Surely you can run 3 miles”. It was the Little Hollywood Route, and Joel was wrong. One mile in with a pair of basketball shorts on, Scott was literally kicking rocks with his heart beating in his throat. It was a true lesson in humility and totally humbled Scott.
Scott has come a long, looooong way from that first East Nasty run. His greatest running accomplishment is finishing the Pine to Palm 100 mile Endurance Run (trail/mountain) in Ashland, OR which contains 24,000 ft of cumulative gain, 24,000 ft of cumulative elevation gain, 48,000 ft of change. NBD, right?
Scott loves the community aspect of East Nasty and owes a lot to it. The (free) training programs helped him get his start in running. The 2012 Country Music 1/2 was the first race he ever really trained for with EN. Miller and all the runners were like his new posse. Without East Nasty, Drew Jones, and Joel Meredith, Scott says he simply would not be where he is today. Ninety percent of his running is on trail now, and basically 100% of his races are trail/mountain ultras, but he still tries his best to come out to run with his EN posse on Wednesday nights. It’s always a great time!
So what’s his most memorable East Nasty experience? One night when it was about 20 degrees out, Will “The Thrill” Arnold was running alongside Scott in a pair of khaki pants and suspenders with no shirt. Will started randomly asking him questions as they approached hills. When he got Scott to the point where he could barely breathe, Will smiled and said, “you see what I’m doing? I’m making you better”. Scott still remembers little things like this. That’s when he knew he had found “[his] people”. Eclectic, wild, & just good folks.
Those of you who know Drew Jones know that he’s kind of shy and you can barely pull a word out of him. However, he did have a lot to say about his buddy and fellow Ginger: “I have known Scott for about 10 years and he is a great guy. What you see is what you get with Scott – he is always the same. Always happy, always friendly, and always positive. You would think that with all Scott has accomplished in running that he has been running forever but that is not the case. He has only been running for 4 years, and in that time, he has put in tons of miles and dedication to the sport of running. Scott used to be a big fan of hitting the gym and the weights. He has shed lots of pounds and plenty of muscle since becoming a runner, but he says he has never felt better. Scott is a great ambassador for running and the positive things it can bring to your life. Since his very first run with East Nasty back in the summer of 2011, Scott has been all in on running. He has run 5k’s , ½ marathons, marathons, 50 k’s, 50 milers and a 100 miler … all in four years. It was probably destiny that Scott and I would become friends one day as we certainly look alike. On more than one occasion, we have been asked if we are brothers and the response is always the same “ we are Ginger twins “. Scott’s greatest strength when it comes to running is his dedication. Running in ultra-marathons requires a lot of time and consistency, and Scott has learned that over the years from other ultra-running buddies like Joel Meredith and Jobie Williams. Scott is a perfect example of what running should be: enjoyable and fun. He is one of my closest friends, and he always makes my runs more fun when I join him for an East Nasty Wednesday or a run on the trails at Percy Warner. Outside of running Scott is a big family guy. He talks about his wife Nicki and his 3 boys all the time. It is very easy to see when you are around Scott that his family is what brings him the most happiness. I’m glad running found Scott Bell and I know many others that would agree.”
Aside from running for hours in the mountains, Scott has a “red hot smokin’ wife” named Nicki, who is a fellow EN and three boys (Calvin, Johnny, & Jack) ages 13, 10, & 3. He hangs with them, rides his longboard, and can throw down on a grill!
Congratulations, Scott! You’re proof of just how far East Nasty can take us! And thank you for taking time out of your pool time in Zion for answering my questions!