Suzanne Patton – PCVRC Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame induction:  1989

Suzanne was introduced to running at the time when women didn’t run, at least not officially. At a time in running history when K. Switzer was being forced off the roads at Boston, Suzanne was beginning a “love affair” with running that has lasted 25+ years! Encouraged by Philadelphia area runners, Suzanne began running at the back of the pack of all male races and she was awarded her first trophy in 1963 by winning a Middle Atlantic, AAU cross country race. During these formative years she once ‘came out of the stands’ to complete a field of three for an AAU 220 yard dash just to make the race official so the others could run and win medals (she placed third)

Suzanne’s accomplishments since then are considerable. She competed in New York’s Legg’s Mini Marathon when it was truly national caliber – finishing third behind running greats Miki Gorman and Jackie Hansen. She won a national cross country championship in New York’s famous Van Cortland Park. She won the Caesar Rodney in 1975. In 1976 she ran a 3:31.07 marathon in Philadelphia, which remains the state resident 40 – 44 age group record. She still ‘owns’ state resident 45 – 49 age group records in the 5 Mile, 10K, 15K and 10 Mile and continues to set standards in the 50 – 54 age group.

She epitomizes the essence of running as an art form. Suzanne never sticks to a fixed schedule preferring to run as she feels, listening to her body. When asked, she never knows how far or how fast, just that it felt good. This probably explains her longevity as illustrated by her 15 straight Turkey Trots.

Suzanne encourages all around her and has often found herself the barometer by which other runners judge their race times. Many runners, both male and female have come up to her after a race to announce that they finally beat her. She applauds all runners for their efforts and accomplishments.

Suzanne enjoys the associations with the running community and the many club functions. After years of the ‘loneliness of the long distance runner’ she finds it very rewarding to be part of such an enthusiastic group of fellow runners. This joy will keep her running for many more years.