GRANITE CITY - Scott Singleton wants everyone to know that it’s never too late to change your life.
Singleton is a staff sergeant with the U.S. Air Force. He joined the military in 2016 at the age of 33, not long after he started long-distance running and completed his first marathon.
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“A lot of discipline goes into both of them,” Singleton said. “Of course, in the military, doing what you’re told, following through to finish the mission. And running, without that discipline…you’re not going to make it to the finish line. You might, but it’s going to really hurt. You got to lace your shoes up and get out the door. You can’t make excuses. You got to push forward.”
The 2001 Granite City High School (GCHS) grad recently came home for the Granite City Cross Country Alumni Challenge. He also spoke with current GCHS students about his four years on the track team, where he went to state in the 300-meter hurdles as a junior, and the single-season he spent on the cross country team.
It wasn’t until Singleton’s son was born that he decided to embrace the challenge of long-distance running as a hobby. Today, Singleton has run multiple marathons and even completed the Moab 240-Mile Endurance Run in 2021, a feat that impressed students.
“It’s really important to me to come back and run with some of these guys and gals just to show them that after high school, that’s not it,” Singleton said. “I didn’t run that much distance in high school. I didn’t really start until I was in my mid-20s…and I just got back into it. I had a couple of guys on the course telling me I was inspiring them because I was beating them.”
Joining the Air Force was another decision that Singleton made later in his adult life, and he’s happy he did. He currently works as a cyber systems operations specialist in the Missouri Air National Guard 157th Air Operations Group. He will begin training to become an officer in the next year.
“It was something I always wanted to do,” Singleton said about joining the Air Force. “When I had kids, I just decided the time was right, for whatever reason. I was 33. I just always had that calling, so it was better late than never.”
When he’s not working or training for another marathon, he runs with his 13-year-old son. Singleton joked that the Moab 240 was just 107 hours of running “240 miles for a little belt buckle,” but it was worth it because his son was proud of him. He plans to run the Moab 240 again in 2024 and hopes his son will be able to join him for a few of the shorter stretches.
“He really looks up to me when I finish races,” Singleton said. “He tells all his friends he’s pretty proud of it, so that’s one of the main reasons I keep doing it. I want to be able to run when he’s my age. I want to be able to go out and run with him.”
To learn more about Singleton, watch this video by Granite City Community Unit School District 9.
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