Imagine your standing feet from the finish line, cheering at the top of your lungs as this month’s featured NRCer comes bounding down the narrowing lane with literally seconds counting down to his Boston qualifying time and just when you think he’ll blow by you, he slows slightly throwing his water bottle to the pavement in a triumphal spray with overwhelming emotion on his face as he high fives you and your friends just before making his final strides to victory! Now rewind to seven years ago, this same guy who has never run a mile, much less a marathon, is relaxing in the break room at work with his buddies and one of them poses a challenge. “Let’s all train and run the Nashville Country Music Half. What d’ya say?” If the answer had been “Man, I can’t do that!” or “Are you crazy?!” things for runners in Nolensville and surrounding would be a lot different today, but little did Scott Alexanderknow just how much his decision that day would change not only his life, but so many others, as well.
That’s right! Our fearless leader and the friendliest guy in Nolensville is the latest NRCer of the Month. Born and raised in Nashville, TN, Scott was blessed to have met the love of his life, Kelli, early in life and the two have been inseparable since high school. With their two sons, Ryne and Matthew who are both studying at MTSU, they are an extremely close knit family who appreciate their time together attending sporting events, concerts or just taking it easy at home.
Surprisingly, traveling down the road of life did not entail running for Scott until that fateful day he agreed to train for the Country Music Half. He remembers going home that night, throwing on some shorts and t-shirt and heading out of his neighborhood towards Nolensville road. About a mile down the road, not far from the NRC breakfast hang – Mama’s Java, he had to stop. Not quite ready to give up, he ran some and walked some as he made his way home, but by the time he hit the door he saw Kelli and told her “I’m out!” Luckily, at work the next day he and the other guys all told their running stories and found they were all in the same boat and encouraged each other to keep going. So Scott kept training and got up to 2 miles, then 3 and so on. A few months into their training he decided to do his first 5K at the Tom King and came in with a time of about 27 or 28 minutes. He was beat, but when he crossed the finish line and got the medal – he was hooked! Scott says that race will always be sentimental to him and he continues to run it when he can. Soon, the Country Music Half day came and he ran it in 1:57 (under his goal of 2:00), and his co-workers all finished too.
Since then, he’s kept on running. He did his first full marathon in 2008 at the CMM and came in just over his goal at 4:09. This was the start of the marathon buzz for Scott and his goal became chipping away at his marathon time. He ran the CMM again and came in under 4:00 and then he traveled to Chicago and came in under 3:45. Now, that’s some determination! He also did the Vegas Half, but his favorite marathon was Carmel. While there may be some sentimental reasons, Scott really said it is due to the flat course, it being a small race and the fact that he had 30 of his best friends with him!
A big sports fan, another big hobby of his softball. In fact, he started the Nolensville co-ed adult Softball league about 6 years ago and watched it grow from 4 teams to 12-13 teams. He has now passed on his mitt to others to lead this group, as his passion and most of his time is with NRC. He and his son Matthew are HUGE Dave Matthews Band fans. Scott is not ashamed to say he will have seen them 28 times after the four shows that he will see this summer! In fact, one of the concerts will take him back to the Carmel area, where he plans to run the Carmel half course for fun. Often joked with about being the “Prince of Nolensville” (his father is mayor of Nolensville) he and his brothers are definitely big on humor. His older brother, Jimmy, while not a runner, supported Scott and his team as a driver during Ragnar keeping them laughing, and then there is his younger brother, Jason. An original founding member of NRC, Jason left the crew due to a hectic schedule, but not to be outdone, he started up NRC2 – a vigilante outfit that has pitted themselves against NRC.
Okay, this is controversial, but with no other running clubs nearby, Scott was running with East Nasty running club. However, seeing more and more runners on the streets of Nolensville, he started talking to Kelli about how there had to be enough runners to start a club here. In March of 2010, he put the word out through an ad in the Nolensville paper to meet at Martin’s. As it often is, the very first night was a slow start with only 4 people showing, including Scott and Kelli. Still they kept meeting regularly and as they say in the movies, “If you build it, they will come.” Thanks to word of mouth and other sources like Chuck Hargrove’s weekly running resource and Fleet Feet Nashville, NRC has grown to a regular crew of 40-50 members. Without Scott’s vision and dedicated leadership, this could not have been possible and while he does not do it for the recognition, it deserves to be said.
What’s next on the list? Boston, April 2013 of course! His plans are to do a few more half marathons between now and then and to start training in December-January for Boston. He has recently gotten the bug to take on a 50K trail run with the Fleet Feet Ultra Dirtbags (which will be good since anyone who knows him, knows he’s already got everything in Fleet Feet but the trail running gear!) Looking ahead though, ultimately Scott sees himself continuing to work to take down his marathon time. He is excited for Boston and has already decided with his fellow NRC qualifiers that they will not “race” this one and really enjoy the experience of it all.
Scott still sees his old friend, Mike Betts, who threw down the initial gauntlet and Scott always tells him, “If it wasn’t for you I would not be running.” Knowing our NRCers, I can confidently say that we are very grateful to have benefited from the “marathon-of-a-course” that has brought Scott from mile 1 to fearless leader of NRC. Scott will admit that when he started running he could only dream of running a marathon in the time it would take to qualify for Boston. Still, ever the encourager, Mike told him early on that if he ever made it to Boston, he would be there. Who would have guessed that 7 years later Scott would be taking him up on it (true to his word, Mike will be making the trip) and seeing his dream come true? Yeah, me too. J
I cannot think of a better ambassador for running than Scott Alexander. He has never met a stranger, is determined in his training and is always thinking of new ways to make NRC better. When you see Scott be sure to tell him congratulations on being NRC member of the month and take a minute to thank him for all his work to make NRC such a great running crew!