Scott MacPherson, or “Scotty Mac” as his friends call, him is no doubt one of the most accomplished runners ever to live and train in Austin. A University of Arkansas track and cross-country standout, MacPherson went on to win the Statesman Capitol 10,000 in 29:58 (2011) before moving up to the marathon. His slew of PRs are quite impressive: 28:47 for the 10,000; 48:46 for 10 miles; 1:02:56 for the half-marathon and 2:14:17 for the marathon, which he posted in 2016. Along the way, he won the 2010 San Antonio Half Marathon; was a 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier; and won the 2013 PF Changs Arizona Half Marathon in 2013.
Talented though he is, like many post-collegiate athletes, MacPherson eventually found himself at a crossroads: continue to train extremely hard in the hopes of rising to the pinnacle of the sport and getting sponsorships, or pursue a non-competitive career.
MacPherson choose the latter, but he was very fortunate in that he has been able to build his new career around running.
After leaving Austin for Columbia, Missouri, where his wife Casey Jo is the Assistant gymnastics coach at University of Missouri, MacPherson became a sales rep for OOFOS, a footwear company which specializes in “recovery footwear” for sports-minded people.
“Columbia was a great training area,” said MacPherson. “The issue was that I fell out of love with training. I still loved racing and the sport and the community, but no longer enjoyed the grind. I was doing the majority of my training alone. It’s supposed to be something you enjoy. I want to enjoy whatever I do.”
That was the deciding factor when MacPherson decided to hang up his competitive running shoes three years ago.
“I’m pretty positive I had a lot more PRs I could have done. But I wasn’t going to enjoy the journey. I had 17 really good quality years, putting in the hard work. But I have other skills I can offer the world. I’ve met some amazing people during my journey. That’s how I connected with OOFOS. Former Longhorn runner Darren Brown—who is the head of marketing at OOFOS—reached out to me. I had already been wearing them when I wasn’t running and loved the product. It’s been the best thing that’s happened to me.”
MacPherson started with OOFOS about two years ago and was covering the middle section of the United States. As a sales rep he began meeting some off the best folks in the athletic community.
Today, MacPherson is moving to Hawai’i and will be the OOFOS sales rep for the Islands—Maui to be exact!
“I like to joke that I trained for 17 years but now I’m in the ‘recovery’ portion of my career,” said MacPherson, now 32. “OOFOS is a recovery product. The foam used in OOFOS reduces impact when you walk around and allows you to heal from running while you’re walking around. It’s great for your arches and so forth. We started in the running community but now you see flight attendants, nurses and other folks using them.
“My position is great because it’s so fun to go to some of the bigger shows and expos and see friends and former elite runners. My best advice for those in the running community looking for future careers is to not burn any bridges. Who knows what potential opportunities might come? Because I was able to build such great relationships, I was able to make a smooth transition. I can bring my elite athlete attitude into the real world.
“I was so burnt out when I retired from running, that I didn’t run for a long time,” added MacPherson. “I took a year off. The last few years before retiring I averaged between 100 and 130 miles a week. It was all-consuming—stretching, massage, physical therapy. Now, I mountain bike, do a bit of trail running. I enjoy working out and challenging myself, and I expect to take advantage of this Islands with surfing, paddle boarding. My mind set has totally changed!”
MacPherson’s wife, Casey Jo is still assistant gymnastics coach at University of Missouri, so MacPherson will be flying back as often as possible, and she will be visiting him in his new location in Maui when possible.
“Casey actually has family in Maui, so I’ll be staying with them for a while,” said MacPherson. “We both knew that this was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up, so we said, ‘let’s give it a go.’ We’ll see where things are at in a year or so. It’s a great time in our lives to give it a shot!”
Upcoming Races: Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 a.m., the Thumpin’ 5K Run at 2953 North Magnolia Ave. in Luling. Thursday, July 4 at 8:00 a.m., the Firecracker 5K at Heather Park, 2401 Piedra Drive in Lago Vista.