For most people, running a marathon would be an incredible achievement. However, for trainee teacher Scott Parry, 26 miles just isn’t enough of a challenge. As an ultramarathon runner, Scott regularly clocks up 100km – or 62 miles – and has raised thousands of pounds for charity. His dedication has now been rewarded with an Excellence Scholarship from Edge Hill University.
“I actually found out about ultras by accident,” said Scott, a first year Secondary Science (Chemistry) Education with QTS student. “A friend of mine had signed up for a 100km race across the Trans Pennine Way, from Manchester to Sheffield, and he suggested I have a look at it. I looked up the website as soon as I got home and immediately felt a pull. It’s not for everyone, but it certainly is for me.”
That first exhilarating experience got him hooked and Scott has since run a second ultramarathon from Eastbourne to Arundel, along the famous Beachy Head, as well as the Edinburgh and Loch Ness marathons and two half-marathons.
Scott has used his love of running to support a number of charities close to his heart, including Macmillan, Compassion UK and Hope for Justice. In 2016, he was in JustGiving’s top 5% of fundraisers, raising money for The Alzheimer’s Society after losing his granddad to the condition. He recently completed the 100km South Coast Challenge for Macmillan, in memory of his friend’s dad, finishing 37th out of 500 competitors.
“When I found out I had received the scholarship, I was over the moon! It will help massively with the costs associated with endurance running. As well as allowing me to get some great tech for running and paying my race entries for next summer’s events, it will also help towards my coaching sessions with one of the best ultra running coaches in the world. I am so grateful to Edge Hill for giving me a platform to be able to continue chasing my dreams.”
Scott has two confirmed 100km races next summer and hopes to gain enough points to qualify for the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc, a 166km footrace across the European Alps.
“I think when you conquer one of these events, it transfers across into other aspects of life,” said Scott. “Whenever I’m feeling like I’m not good enough or that I can’t do something, I look back at a photo of me finishing an ultra and I remember that I am capable of feats beyond my self-imposed limitations.”