Please welcome the twenty third American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Trail Ambassador presented by CamelBak, and the eleventh in 2018. Scott Magee, age 43, is a trail runner, trail race director, trail steward and volunteer. Scott’s Twisted Branch Ultra is an American Trail Running Association member event.
Wrote nominator Laura Howard, “Scott’s love of trail is one we can all relate to. Trails, trees, soil and land are part of his being, as certain trails are for many of us. Scott has a deep connection with the landscape and through the Twisted Branch 100K Trail Run, an event he dreamed of and created, Scott has increased awareness, maintenance and usage of the Finger Lakes Trail. He believes that trail runners need to become trail builders and trail maintainers and be part of the process to learn about how these trails appear and become sustainable for generations of use to come. His passion ignites other people to share and expand their love for the FLT.”
Scott Magee has been married to his wife Patty for 17 years and the pair resides in Honeoye Falls, NY, with their daughters Ella and Molly. For the past 20 years, Magee has worked in the Telecommunications industry spending the last 4 years working for a software development company based out of Denver, CO.
He has been running, hiking and exploring in the woods since he was a kid. “I loved exploring and spending time outside,” said Magee. “As an 18-year-old senior in high school, I was ineligible to continue playing travel hockey, so I decided to join the cross country team instead. This was my first formal introduction into running, but it wasn’t until I was in my late 20s when I stumbled on a trail race in one of my favorite hiking spots.
“I love being on the trails in the woods,” explained Magee. “There is a quietness that comes over me. A stillness that is hard to find in the business of my day-to-day life and work. I now run almost entirely on trails, but I race only a few times a year. I love the Muddy Sneaker 20K, I think I have a 10- or 11-year streak going and I also run at least one ultra every year, but I’ve yet to tackle the 100-mile distance. Something I am considering for next year. I ran the Georgia Death Race this past year and I had a great time out on those trails.”
In 2015, Magee put on his first trail race – the Twisted Branch Ultra. In 2019, the event will celebrate its fifth running. It is a ~ 64 mile point-to-point trail race in the Finger Lakes region of New York run on the Bristol Hills Branch trail, which is part of the Finger Lakes Trail system. “We’ve seen amazing growth year over year,” said Magee. “While it takes me all year to pull this race off, I give credit to our amazing race volunteers and the friends at the Finger Lakes Trails Conference for the event’s success. I am not sure most volunteers realize the impact they have on a race or its participants. When it comes to a race like Twisted Branch, I think what most racers walk away with is the good-energy that all of our volunteers bring.”
In addition to race directing, Magee volunteers at events in his local community, something he’s done since he started running. He’s often seen crewing at aid stations, or running course sweep. As well, he’s involved in trail maintenance, primarily through the Finger Lakes Trails Conference. “The FLTC has nearly 1,000 miles of trail to maintain in New York State. Regional Coordinators work with section stewards to do the maintenance on the trail,” explained Magee. “While the Twisted Branch is a dedicated steward of roughly 7 miles of trail, our work often spans the entire 60-plus miles of trail and primarily involves clearing the trail corridor. We also look for areas that are damaged, need improving, rerouting or regrading and work closely with the FLTC and offer any help we can when larger work projects arise.”
One of the lessons Magee has learned from the sport is, “How to roll my ankle and keep on moving.” Although he’s done racing for the year, his goal is to maintain fitness and focus on strength and flexibility.
“There’s a decent chance I’ll be running in a late spring/early summer ultramarathon in 2019, so my focused training should start before the winter is over,” said Magee.
His advice to those considering running trails is to do what you love. “If you like hills, single track, large or small races, ultramarathons or 5ks, seek out an event and spend your time running and racing on trails that you love.”