Who am I? I am a 44-year-old Boundless coached endurance athlete, father, boyfriend, physician, Florida resident, and finisher of the Cocodona 250!
Growing up in Oregon, I always loved the outdoors and activity. I ran and swam, but had the self-awareness early to realize longer efforts suited me better. I didn’t even allow breaking my neck in a snowboarding accident shortly after graduating high school to derail my athletic endeavors. I ran a few marathons and ironman triathlons, including Kona, during my undergraduate days. I completed my first ultramarathon at 22 during a marathon build, and a 50-mile run on the Pacific Crest Trail that remains as one of my most memorable races to date, oh to be young and ignorant.
Medical training took me to New England for 11 years where I completed a couple more ironman triathlons and ran marathons off and on depending upon my time availability as I was balancing medical school, residency, 2 fellowships, and a young family.
My career/job led me to Florida, where I have resided for the last 7 years. Personal challenges and reflections in one area of life leads us to try new outlets, stretch, and explore one’s boundaries. With that, 4 years ago long distance running came to the forefront. Not just a marathon, Boston said I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t qualify by enough time, so I decided it was time to expand my running limits and go for something more. Finishing a 100 miler was on my mind. I had been aware of the distance for years and decided it was time. I finished my first 100 in November of 2019 at Tunnel Hill, a little under 20 hours. The feeling at the finish is omnipresent during training, competing, and life in general even to this day, truly a transformative experience.
Far from “home” I longed for the mountains, trails, and sweeping vistas. Running 100’s became my outlet for travel, “relaxation,” medication, and fulfillment. Exploring stunning scenery via foot was an adventure and the name of the game. There is the relentless allure with constant uncertainty of what the day will bring yet the guarantee of being taken to unimaginable lows with contrasting highs. The never ending “why” always echoed from coworkers, friends, and strangers alike. Because I can, to exemplify perseverance to my children, because others can’t, in memory of my late mom, to stay healthy, to see parts of the country many will not have the chance to, to be alone in my mind for hours, or even to push and punish for personal wrongs. There are so many whys, yet ultimately the challenge and opportunity to be outdoors with like-minded people continues to draw me in. After a year of 6 100 mile races varying from sky diving at the start of running through sugarcane fields, 33,000 feet of Georgia mountains to 10,000 feet base altitude for Leadville, I decided that the Cocodona 250 would be a great adventure. One race surely couldn’t be a full year so why not combine it with the Grand Slam of ultra running.
With such a lofty goal, I realized that it would be time to find some assistance in the form of a coach. I had been aware of Boundless coaching for several years and found it intriguing that several coaches were physicians. Ultimately at the end of 2022 I reached out to Boundless Coaching to have a discussion regarding goals, insight, and opportunities. I had a great conversation with Coach Jay Freidman. The rest is history… that is far from the truth, but to date there has been great progress. Coach Jay provides the plan and has given me additional tools. Preparation for technical trails, elevation, and altitude is nuanced coming from Florida but possible. The first 4 months of 2023 were all about laying the foundation for the year ahead. The first week in May was all about the Cocodona 250. Truly a race/adventure for the ages. Covering a point to point course over mountain ranges, through small historic small towns, with wide weather swings and scenery was memorable and remarkable. 40,000 feet of climbing, technical climbs, and rocky descents added to the difficulty in addition to the overall distance. Daily encouraging texts from Coach Jay made me believe that it was doable even through the expected highs, lows, and sleep deprived zombie “power hiking.” I wasn’t sure if I would be able to “run” beyond several days, but Coach Jay had me prepared as I could be with some nice “running” miles after over 100 hours near the finish in Flagstaff. Cocodona imprinted memories and lessons for a lifetime with sights and scenery not soon forgotten.
Ultimately the people you meet and the miles you share during an ultramarathon in combination with support from coaches, family, and friends create bonds and memories that result in an allure that keeps us coming back for more… It is onward and upward to the next adventure and goal with opportunities to find personal satisfaction, expand limits, and build enduring memories through BOUNDLESS vision, guidance, and coaching.
- Scott Davis