John: I am here as the publisher for both Model Citizens Magazine and the Long Island Journal with Scott Burman. Scott, you have been nominated by Model Citizen for everything that you do for philanthropy and the Long Island community. However, before we get there, I see that you are a competitive endurance athlete for over 20 years. How do you get into competitive endurance sports, and what do you focus on?
Scott: I was a swimmer starting from a young age. I swam through high school and college although I was not a particularly great swimmer. However, I trained high-volume which means my body got accustomed to a high-level training mode. I tried my first triathlon, just as a fitness goal, when I was still in college. It was a local triathlon that runs still to this day every Father’s Day called the Gold Coast Triathlon and is held in Port Washington. I must admit that I barely finished that first race.
John: Well, that is all that counts right?
Scott: Yes, I did it! Absolutely.
John: How long how long was that one?
Scott: It was a sprint race and I’ll just add this as an anecdote, I went back to that race and finished second overall. That was many years later but was my crowning achievement to go from a guy who could barely finish, to a guy who came close to winning the whole race.
John: My father went from smoking five packs of cigarettes a day to running 100-mile races in the desert and 50-mile races in zero degrees. So, if he could pull that off, I think anyone can do just about anything.
Scott: That’s very impressive! That is really what drove me for all these years, the mental aspect more than the physical. I got more into it over about 10 years and then progressed to a half Iron Man. At that point I realized that I was spending a lot of time training, was really into it and thought it may be time to get a coach and a team to see how far I could take this. My head was really in it, so I actually met a local guy named Jose Lopez. Jose became my very good friend and mentor and trained me from an eight-minute run to a sub-six runner in six months.