Humans of Fleet Feet Montclair: Brian Scully

Brian Scully is a customer, training program participant and mentor, and most of all a wonderful friend of team Fleet Feet Montclair. Running and walking became a key part of Brian’s weight loss journey (about 5 years ago) and now is a pivotal part in his open heart surgery recovery. Bumps in the road aren’t holding him back. Life changing heart surgery only 7 months ago, and Brian still has his eyes set on the NYC Marathon!

What inspired you to start running? 

About five years ago, I was extremely overweight, well over 300 pounds. I started dieting, then walking. My diet was successful, and walking quickly grew into running, almost exclusively on a treadmill at the gym I had joined. I then tried some local 5Ks, and was surprisingly successful. I started challenging myself with increasingly longer distances.

How were you introduced to Fleet Feet Montclair?

Four years ago, I ran the Midland Mile, and blew away my expectations. I was hoping to run under 8 minutes, and I ran 6:47. I decided to reward myself with a purchase at Fleet Feet, and there I met Loren, who introduced me to the various Fleet Feet programs. Next thing I know, I'm running a Spartan Race!

How has running helped you feel more confident in life?

It took me decades to realize there is nothing I can't do. I've tried to share that with others, including those in Fleet Feet running programs when I was mentoring.

You are running the NYC Marathon and Philly Half - what do they mean to you this time around?

I had open heart surgery on April 22nd to replace my aortic valve. Not long before my surgery, I had the option to defer my NYC Marathon to 2022, but I chose not to. I knew that getting back to activity, with my doctors' permission, was key to my recovery, and I knew that I needed a goal to keep myself motivated. Of course, that didn't have to be a marathon, and when I began training I was not sure I could complete it. But training has exceeded any reasonable expectation, and I feel ready for November 7th!

What tips do you have for a new runner just getting started?

Patience! Don't go too far too quickly. Listen to your body, and understand that rest is just as important as running. Of course, these are all things I still struggle with myself.

What are your five marathon training tips?

  1. It's exponentially harder than any other distance, including a half marathon. Nothing can fully prepare you for that.
  2. Going slower in training means going faster on race day.
  3. Listen to your body. Rest as needed. See a doc if needed.
  4. Training with a group is always easier than training by yourself.
  5. The emotional ups and downs are as real as the physical ones.

What lessons has running taught you?

Running has taught me to never underestimate anyone, especially myself. To appreciate everything our running community accomplishes. That there is synergy in our community - we accomplish more as a group than we can as individuals.


What shoes are you training in right now? Saucony Ride 14

What is the mantra you tell yourself to keep going? ‘One more mile’. No matter how far I still have to go, one more mile. 

Next big goal? NYC Marathon 

What is your most used emoji? Don’t really have one ( I’m THAT old!)

What song is on your motivation playlist? Free Your Mind, by En Vogue

Where is one place you want to run? I think I’d like to do a trail half marathon in a national park

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