Get to Know Pro - Drew Scott

by: Matt Borowski

PPF:  Let’s start with your college days.  You’ve been around triathlon your whole life but spent 10 years cross country ski racing.  Was this a conscious decision to try your hand at a sport other than triathlon?  In 2011 you came back to triathlon in a big way with three 1st place finishes and one 2nd place finish plus qualifying for and racing in Kona.  What was it that brought you back to the sport?

DS:  I initially got into nordic skiing when I was 10 years old after our neighbors suggested we join a local junior team. I continued through my first two years of college and really never even considered racing triathlons full time until 2011. It was never something my dad* pushed me towards when I was younger and I played a variety of sports growing up (soccer, basketball, track, cross country, swimming). I had jumped into a few kid’s triathlons when I was really young and then did a few during the summers while I was in high school. Towards the end of 2010, I was just getting a bit burnt out on ski racing and decided to transfer from Montana State University to the University of Colorado in 2011. I had some success but was really only swimming and biking for 3 or 4 months of the year before turning my focus back to skiing. I felt that I could make a jump if I committed to the sport year-round which is what I did in May of 2011. Winning the local Boulder Peak Triathlon (which was also my first olympic distance triathlon in 2008) that summer in 2011 was a big surprise for me and at that point I felt that I had probably made the right decision. (*Drew’s dad is the legendary Dave Scott).

PPF:  You had an even more impressive 2012 season and were named the USAT Amateur Athlete of the Year.  That must have felt like validation to pursue triathlon full-time.  

DS:  2012 was a great year for me and everything just seemed to click for me that year. I finally had the consistency of swimming, biking and running for a full year and that played a huge role for me. I was still so new to the sport at the time that I felt nearly every week I was getting better and making progress which of course motivated me even more. That season really gave me the confidence I think I needed in order to make the jump up to the professional ranks the following year.

PPF:  Even through 2014, you focused on Olympic and 70.3 distance races.  This year, though, you were on the start line for IRONMAN Nice and Arizona.  There are not as many pro purses in the Olympic distance races as before, how did that impact your decision to race long course?

DS:  It’s unfortunate that nearly all the Olympic distance races in the U.S. have been eliminated over the last few years. I really enjoy racing the shorter distances and would do more if they were out there. I did my first 70.3 when I was 18 and seemed to have pretty good success at this distance early on. As more Olympic distance races were cut I have gravitated towards 70.3s. My strength has always been the bike and I feel like the 70.3 distance allows me to utilize my strengths a bit more. I have yet to figure out the Ironman puzzle but will keep trying! I really struggled in the later stages of the race with stomach issues in both France and Arizona so am still trying to piece together my nutrition for these longer ones! I raced in Hawaii as an amateur in 2011 and that really sparked my interest to return to Hawaii at some point. Ironically, despite a broken hand and 2 flat tires, that is still my best IM! I was very naive going into that one and I think I got quite lucky to get thru it ok.

PPF:  Like Davide Giardini, you live and train in Boulder while Matt is based in San Francisco.  Walk us through your decision making process when deciding to work with Matt Dixon and purplepatch fitness.  

DS:  Yes! I’m now one of a few of Matt’s athletes that is based in Boulder. It will be nice to have a few people to join up with for training during the year. I knew at the end of this season that it was time to make a change and to try some new things after working with my dad for the last few years. 2015 was a long year for me with some bad luck and a few other stupid mistakes but I feel like I’ve got a fresh start for 2016 working with Matt. I had chatted with a number of athletes that worked with different coaches to get some insight from them and also talked with a few athletes that Matt has worked with as well. After chatting with Matt on the phone, it just felt like we had a good connection and he understood where I was at at this point in my racing career. It’s exciting to be taking a slightly different approach to my training and I’m really looking forward to this next year.

PPF:  The season seems to start earlier and earlier every year.  Where will we see you racing in 2016?

DS:  I’m planning to start my season in March either at 70.3 Buenos Aires or 70.3 Puerto Rico. I’ll be focusing on 70.3s for the first half of the year and then possibly look to do another Ironman towards the end of the season.

PPF:  Drew, it’s great to have you on board and we look forward to following your progress.  Best of luck.

Follow Drew at and on Twitter @drewscott_