Many of you may know Scott Steele as a freshman composition and speech professor or as an advisor. Steele graduated from Maryville College in 1990 and returned to the college to begin teaching in 2000. Since that time, he has been a trusted advisor to many students and a friend to many professors.
Something that you might not know about Steele is that he is a two-time finisher of the Kiawah Island Marathon in Kiawah, South Carolina.
“It’s because Kiawah is nice and flat,” he said with a laugh when asked why he chose to run both of his marathons in Kiawah.
Steele began his journey to Kiawah long before the actual race, though. He first began thinking about running a marathon in 2013 while participating in Crossfit in Knoxville. He was a member of an endurance group within the Crossfit community and was inspired to take his first steps towards completing an entire marathon by running his first half-marathon. Steele continued training and eventually ran his first full marathon in 2015.
Marathons are 26.2 miles long, so as one can imagine, it requires an extensive amount of training to be ready to run such a distance in a single day. Although Steele tirelessly trained both solo and with his endurance group, he made a point to thank two Maryville College Alumni who helped him on his mission.
After working together with Steele in the MC Writing Center, Megan Burgess Buckner ’08, and Heather Grams Parker ’08, learned of their shared interest in long distance running and volunteered to help Steele during his first marathon in 2015. Parker was there providing him with food and water along the course.
Buckner actually met Steele during the race and ran the final 10 miles with him. He credits her words of encouragement with pushing him forward so that he was able to complete the race.
In his most recent marathon in 2017, Steele was supported yet again by Buckner and her husband, Steve Buckner ’08. Buckner was back again to run the final stretch with Steele, while her husband was there to provide necessary water and sustenance to Steele during the race.
Having former students by his side made completing the marathons more than just achieving a personal goal Steele had set for himself– it became a Maryville College experience.
As for what’s next for Steele, he does not have a particular marathon in mind, but he does know he is far from finished with his running career. His next endeavor will be returning the favor to Buckner by helping her prepare for her first full marathon in December of this year. He plans on running the last leg of her marathon with her and hopes that he can offer her the same support and encouragement that made such a difference in his marathon experiences.