Breaking away from the pack
October 23, 2009
For Cory Scott ’10, competition is his life. Confident, talented and an avid cyclist, placing 19th in a world championship duathlon was a goal Scott thought he could not only accomplish but also surpass. This past month, the International Triathlon Union World Duathlon Championships took place in Concord, N.C. Approximately 600 people competed in the 10k run-40k bike-5k run event for $25,000 in prize money. The top 15 for men and women who placed received prize money, and for Scott, coming so close to winning was not enough.
“I have to admit it was depressing to have a World medal in easy grasp, and then watch it float away as people pass you,” he said. “Had I not cramped, I would have finished in the top 10.”
Since high school, Scott’s athleticism and competitive drive have been exemplified by his love for racing. He ran cross country and track and is currently the president of the cycling and triathlon clubs at the College of William and Mary. Adam Harris ’11, a member of the cycling club, describes Scott’s strong leadership skills and passion for cycling.
“Cory has a very competitive spirit and can push through many levels of pain in order to win,” Harris said. “He has a true love of sport and a genuine interest combined with an easy-going demeanor and outgoing personality to give younger riders a strong, confident leader to look up to.”
Scott’s event at the ITU World Duathlon Championship marked his first time competing on an international level. In July 2007, he competed in the ITU Long Course Duathlon World Championships qualifier that took place in Cambridge, Md. He placed fourth overall and earned a slot in the World Championships in October with Team USA. At the World Championships, he placed fourth overall and second on the American team, and won a gold medal for his age group, 20 to 24.
“In total, 500 athletes from 25 countries participated,” Scott said. “I figured I had a little bit of talent so I would keep at it.”
This time around, Scott decided to participate in the short course duathlon, which consists of running nine miles and then biking 25. The event is significantly less strenuous than the 13 miles of running and 40-plus miles of cycling of the long course duathlon. After focusing on his cycling throughout the summer, Scott injured his knee when he began to run again at the end of the summer.
“If I take a step back and look at my summer training as a whole, I probably only trained for World Championships in three weeks,” Scott said. “After a week, I injured my knee and wasn’t able to run for weeks. My biking wasn’t affected though, so I was still able to work out.”
With the moral support of his mother — whom he says is his biggest fan — and the confidence needed to finish the race, Scott became one of the youngest competitors to place within the top 20. For Scott, however this was just a starting place.
“I think I just like winning so much, that every time I lose, I work harder,” Scott said. “I’m never satisfied in a race unless I am the best, and even then I am not completely satisfied. There is always something inside, telling me I can go faster, and it seems to be a never-ending battle with myself, which I guess, keeps me going.”
Scott wants to continue with his success in cycling and possibly become a professional cyclist.
“I’m trying to work out my life right now and decide if I want to make a shot at going pro in cycling, or continue down the multisport road — or triathlon or duathlon — and get my pro card in those,” he said.