Q&A with Scott Sternthal: Montreal Osteopath and norda001 tester
Scott lives in Montreal and works as an Osteopath. He's been trail running most of his adult life. When his family bought a house in Stowe, VT in the early 90’s, he fell in love with the mountains and trails there. He has an impressive scorecard: he started racing in 2010 when entered a 50k race called the Vermont 50. He placed 3rd. From then on he was hooked. Since then, he's done a bunch of trail races, including 2nd place at the 2015 Bromont Ultra 80k, 5th place at the 2016 UTHC 125k and 1st place at the 2018 North Face Endurance Challenge 42K at Bear Mountain. When we were developing the norda001, we called on Scott to put the first prototypes to the test. His experience as a seasoned trail runner and Osteopath is invaluable to the development of the 001.
norda: Ok you got our attention now. So... what's your favourite place to trail run?
Scott: I miss the Long Trail in VT so much! I haven’t been able to run there since Covid. I’ve spent so much of my life on those trails. Lately, I’ve been discovering the trail networks in the Laurentians, QC. around St. Adolphe d’Howard and Val-Morin, which has been super cool. Few areas compare to the big mountains of New England, though.
norda: What do you run for?
Scott: Running is my daily meditation. The continuous movement allows me to process life better. I feel more focused when I’m running every day. Luckily, however, and after so many years, I can now manage to take a few months off each year and really chill without much running at all. I guess my life has become more balanced that way. In terms of competition, the races provide concrete goals which help guide my running and help keep me motivated, so I’m grateful to still be able to race at a high enough level to keep this exciting.
norda: Tell us about your favourite trail running shoe. How would you describe it?
Scott:The norda 001 has emerged as my all-time favourite trail shoe. Nothing I have used to date compares. The fit, the rebound, the grip. All of it. It has energised my technical trail running to the point where I’m running better than ever- I think!
norda: Do you have running rituals?
Scott: Generally, I have never enjoyed running with music even though I love music and listen to music all day long! Distracting myself from my run is not something I crave. The silence is primordially important to the experience, the sound of my breathing, the wind, the trees, my steps, all help me gauge my energy and exertion levels. Also, I’ve learned over the years to truly listen to my body, especially in terms of pacing and effort. My easy days are way easier than they were when I began running, for example, and I believe this has paid off for me both from a performance and injury-prevention perspective. Also, I’ve recently re-discovered cycling, which has made me a stronger, more powerful, trail runner.
norda: Tell us about FKT’S
Scott: This summer I attempted two FKT’s. The first was the Aerobic Corridor in Morin Heights, QC, a 58K multi-use trail that goes to Amherst. I ran in the reverse direction. Besides a few tummy issues along the way, it was a smooth day, and I succeeded in getting it in 5 hrs and change. The second FKT attempt was a week later on the Boucle du Diable in Tremblant, QC., a 50ish k relatively fast loop in the Secteur du Diable section of the National Park. I thought I had it with about 15k to go, but ultimately cratered over the last 5k and missed it by 12-13 minutes. It was still a very enjoyable experience. Running for an FKT is so pure because there are no other distractions or competitors. It’s you against the elements and the clock. I have another project for next summer in the Laurentians which i’ll keep secret for now!
norda: Any tips for beginners?
Scott: Do 10 minutes of warmup exercise including stretching and strength work BEFORE each run, don’t add mileage or intensity too quickly, and if something hurts, take three days off running. Everything else you’ll learn along the way!