In the weeks leading up to the ING New York City Marathon on November 4, NYRR News Service will be taking a closer look at the stories of eight pro athletes. Today, Beyond the Stats visits Scott Bauhs, who will be making his debut at the distance in New York.
Scott Bauhs was getting the hang of the whole professional running gig last year. The three-time NCAA Division II champ from Chico State had adjusted to training runs with world-class performers like Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall, and Alistair Cragg in Mammoth, CA.
He was getting into the rhythm of two runs plus a gym session on most days under the program of coach Terrence Mahon. His insecurities at the starting lines of big races on the roads or track had disappeared. He finished third in the 10,000 meters at the USA Track & Field Championships, made his first national team, and took 14th at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Then, bam, he got another dose of reality as a pro. His shoe sponsor dropped him, declining to renew his two-year contract even though he had made it to the World Championships. He went from a professional high to a low in about three months.
“It was definitely disappointing,” says Bauhs, 26. “It caught me and my agent off guard. I guess if we were more prepared to be dropped, maybe we would have had a better chance of being picked up by another company…it was definitely a tough situation.”
Bauhs still doesn’t have a shoe sponsor as he prepares for his 26.2-mile debut at the ING New York City Marathon, to be run on November 4. His income, at the moment, consists of his appearance fee for the marathon.
“I definitely have to run something special—not crazy special, but something good—probably at the marathon this year,” says Bauhs about securing a new shoe company contract, which is a staple for pro runners. “I think after the marathon we’ll reassess and see what’s out there. Hopefully I’ll run well enough to make something happen with that.”
Bauhs had hoped to make a splash at the USA Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene, OR, this past June by making the London Olympic team at 10,000 meters. Unfortunately, a hamstring problem disrupted his training and he dropped out of the 10,000 after one of his shoes came undone during a rainy portion of the race. He then entered the 5000 meters and finished ninth in 13:31.69, about three seconds slower than his personal best.
Now he’s healthy again as he begins his buildup to New York, hoping to get in some weeks of 120 miles or more—about 10-15 miles more than his usual for heavy weeks. He’s optimistic about his chances, based in part on a third-place finish in 1:01:30 at the Aramco Houston Half-Marathon in January.
“Just looking at how I stack up against the history of U.S. runners, I’ve got a half- marathon as good as or better than people who have run phenomenal marathons,” Bauhs says. “Of course there are people who have run really good half-marathons and have never put it together for the marathon.
“So there’s a little bit of worry there. With the way I’m built [he’s 6’ 0”, 140 pounds], the coach I chose to work with, and the results I’ve had, I think it’ll work out pretty well.”
As Bauhs increases his mileage, he is also thinking about entering an MBA program at San Diego State University and will continue his interest in following politics, business, and sports, especially the San Francisco Giants, in the New York Times and The Atlantic magazine, his favorite publications.
He’s paying attention to the presidential election, finding himself leaning toward President Obama so far. “It can be pretty frustrating to read a lot of the trash they’re slinging at one another,” Bauhs said of the Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns. “I try to sift through that and get to some real stuff. Sometimes there’s not a lot of real stuff out there.
“I like the competitive nature of politics. It kind of reminds me of running, but it’s obviously way different as well. I can’t imagine raising a billion dollars to get yourself the job you want.”
Candidate Bauhs, whose advisory team includes Mahon plus Olympic medalists and major marathon winners Keflezighi and Deena Kastor in his training group, would settle for a decent shoe contract. But for New York, he plans to concentrate on the process, not on the time or a potential shoe contract.
“I’m going to try to ignore all that and just try to conquer 26.2 miles,” he says.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg