Returning to the Trailhead: Week 1 with Scotty Sandow

Howdy! It’s been a long time.

I can’t express enough how happy I am to be back contributing to URP.

Before I get started, I first need to share my gratitude to Eric and rest of the URP clan – I simply love their dedication to this crazy sport.

Dedication. That’s a good starting point.

If you listened to my interview (If you haven’t – go here, now. We’ll wait.)

scotty sandow
I’m waiting…

Aaaand we’re back.

As I was saying – if you listened to my interview you know that I have fallen away from the ultra running / trail running scene and am dedicating the next nine months to training for and running my first hundo.

Most of you must be thinking, “Oh my God. Who the hell cares!” And you’d be right. I mean, who really cares what I’m up to, especially a band of people who’ve been there, done that? This stuff is child’s play – right?

I’m hoping this regular column will continue URP’s mission to inform and entertain – a nine month long “training log” experience. The column will cover my training, diet, race reports, gear reviews, trail encounters, tips, failures, life experiences and above all – an honest account of going from zero to 100.

So, that brings us to my rocket-sled ride to zero.


Since I left URP, years ago, I have lost my way from the trail running community. While I have competed at a few races from California’s East Bay to the Sierra, I haven’t been consistent.

Truth be told, leaving URP was more difficult that I thought it would be. Reading race reports or news stories about running were reminders of how much I loved being part of the URP experience. I left URP to get back to running for my mental and physical wellbeing – but my running potential was never fully realized.

Toss in a divorce, losing my best friend (my Dad) to cancer and switching new jobs – life’s priorities and hurdles began to change. Fitting running into my schedule didn’t come easy – at least that’s the excuse I started to believe.

In November of 2015 I got a hip bursitis which is still with me – running now seemed to be fading away even further. I haven’t run consistently for nine months.


On a personal note, things really could not be better. I met the love of my life. We are raising three beautiful children in a great community. Although I may be divorced, my ex and I could and should write a book about healthy co-parenting, and I landed the best-job-ever located about two miles from the Western States finish line.

My fitness level…sucks. My eating habits really went into self-destruct mode. Recently, I was having conversations with myself on accepting the fact that I was going to be a doughy-couch-potato. NO offense to having extra cushion. The fact is, having extra weight and being happy with your body image is totally sexy. My fitness level was subterranean and I saw no way of getting my mojo back.

And there is it. My mojo is gone. Running is an important component to making me, me.

If you listened to the interview you know my sources of inspiration to run the hundo
(Again, if you haven’t listened, get to it!)


With the help of Coach David Roche, URP, supportive family and the most excellent of friends, I am going after my first buckle at the Rio Del Lago 100.

The race is perfect for me. The start line is 4 miles from my house and I’ve run every mile of the course. I know I can get it done. Its just a matter of how long it will take me.

I have the right coach, right frame of mind and knowledge to get me to my goal. It is time to put all I have learned from URP episode one and beyond to the test and embrace the trail running community that I love so very much.

My days of being zero are numbered.

Follow me on Strava and be unimpressed, here.

Be impressed and check out my running coach, David Roche, here.

I love music and find a lot of motivation from a wide array of music. My hope is to add a new song to my playlist with every blog entry and have a kick-ass soundtrack for my buckle quest. Check-out my Returning to the Trail Head playlist on Spotify, here.

My song pick: Living by Bakermat

scotty sandow

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