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Exclusive Athlete Interview with Michele Yates (Suszek)

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Michele Finishes 4th at One of Her Favorite CO Races: Pikes Peak Marathon 2012 (First American Female)
Michele Finishes 4th at One of Her Favorite CO Races: Pikes Peak Marathon 2012 (First American Female)

Running aficionados will see a new name among the top ranks of distance runners these days, as elite speedster Michele (formerly Suszek) Yates recently tied the knot.  Her familiar face and top finishes, however, will stay the same.

Upon initial review of Michele’s recent accomplishments (2012 USA 50 Mile Trail Champion, 2013 USA 100K Trail Champion, 2011 USA Mountain Trail Teammate, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier, to name a few), it was clear that this dominating road, trail and ultra runner had something up her sleeve.

That something, after further review of Michele’s interview, was a clear list of goals set out.  While her motivation clearly comes from her faith and a fire within, Michele sets out each day with an image of where she wants to go, and chases her dreams with hard work and determination.

Quick Stats

Name: Michele Yates (Suszek)

Age: 30

Hometown & Current:  Alpena Michigan, current: Littleton Colorado

Professional & Educational background:  Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiological Sciences, concentration in Fitness Management

Sports participated in: Distance Running- Road Marathon/Trail/ Ultra’s

Years in current sport: 17 years

Racing Team:  Dream Live Run

Sponsors/Affiliations:  Icespike, GU Energy, The Simply Bar, Body Armor Super Drink

The Long Run

What are some of the biggest highlights in your racing career ?

One of the biggest highlights in my racing career was coaching myself to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials in the road marathon…and then again for 2012 (although by 2012 I did have 6 months of coaching in 2009 that I learned a lot from and experience ).  My proudest moment was earning a spot on the USA Mountain Trail team in 2011 to compete at the world championships in Tirana, Albania.  The most surprising highlight would have been winning the 50 mile USA trail championships last year as well as the USA 100k Trail Championships this year.  The 50 mile was just a challenge I wanted to take on for myself and it sounded like a fun road trip with my best friend Erin.  I tried to race smart (obviously never racing this distance before), but I was confident in my trail abilities.  The course was 3 loops and for the first two I stuck with Melanie Fryer (an elite ultra runner). I decided that if I felt good I would just hammer down on the last loop (with Melanie or not).  I felt good :).  

2011 Team USA
2011 Team USA Mountain  Trail Team

The 100k training did not go as planned (due to illness). I was hesitant and even at one point decided on not going.  However, with great support from people who hardly even knew me, (but I guess believed in my abilities)…I was on the long car ride down to Bandera Texas with my new buddy Dan Vega.  After discussing my ra