Featured Runner “Susan Schenberg” November 2018

Susan Schenberg (in her own words): I credit my son for the “Ultra Bug”… when he was nine years old, he asked me to take him to the High School Track so he could practice running a timed mile as part of the Presidential Physical Fitness Award. As I watched him run around and around, I wondered if I could finish a mile nonstop… so I gave it a try and low and behold, not only did I finish, I felt like I could run forever. And so the story goes, an ultrarunner (in the making) was born that day. Long story short, I raced every distance from 5k’s to Marathons, but something was missing… I longed to run farther… and a new journey into ultrarunning began.

I craved knowledge, so when I wasn’t running, I was reading.  I literally read every book about ultrarunning on the shelf at Barnes and Noble; I watched and re-watched ultra documentaries… my favorite being  “Running On The Sun”,  the journey following competitors through the Badwater 135 Mile Race across Death Valley; I joined Facebook to connect with other ultrarunners who I could follow, share and learn from. Locally, I joined the “St. Louis Ultrarunners Group” (SLUGS) and became an Officer/ Board Member of the BEST Ultra Group on EARTH!! Okay, I may be just a bit biased. 

Race-wise, I have been fortunate to Podium and earn several Age Group wins; including the “Eastern Missouri Ultra Series Award” First Place – Senior Female of the Year with consecutive wins for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. As I gained success in the sport, I became an Athlete Ambassador for “Headsweats”, the maker of cutting edge Performance Headwear which ROCKS!!  All in all, the best part of ultrarunning is truly the friendships I have made. It’s crazy good to have friends all over the world who are bound together by the love of all things Ultra.

THE BASICS

Date of Birth: 05/17/1962

Place of Birth: Chicago, Illinois.

Currently Residing: St. Louis, Missouri.

Places You’ve Lived: Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, St. Louis .   

Marital Status: Married to Gene since 1998.

Job(s): Former Corporate Sales Trainer in the Professional Hair Care Industry.

Since 2002, I have worked as a volunteer with the “Junior League of St. Louis” serving as a Vice President, Board Member and State Legislative Issues Committee Chair. Our mission is to improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Since 2014, I have worked as a volunteer Board Member and Officer of the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group (SLUGS). We are passionate about Ultrarunning and promote the sport through hosting both Trail and Timed Ultra races in and around the St. Louis area.

Since 2016, I have been an Athlete Ambassador for Headsweats, the industry leader in performance headwear.  I am super proud to be a part of the “Team Headsweats” family!

Children: Our son, Alex, (born in 2000) is the light of our life…and keeps us young. ☺

Height: 5’9.5”

Weight: 118 pounds.

Shoe Size: 8.5 daily shoes/9.5 running shoes.

Religion: Lutheran

Political Affiliation: Conservative

Educational Background: Capital University Law School – Paralegal.

Webster University – Business.

LaPlante School of Cosmetology – Hairdressing.

FAVORITES

Favorite Book: “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss.

Favorite Movie:  “After Hours” directed by Martin Scorsese.

Favorite TV Show: “Mad Men”

Favorite Music: I’m a music fanatic and enjoy several genres including Standards, Bossa Nova, Contemporary Jazz, Electronic Dance Music (EDM), and ‘80’s New Wave.

Favorite Musical Performer: Right now, I am kind of obsessed with “The Chainsmokers”.

Favorite Artist: Having spent years working in the Professional Hair Care Industry, I view hair as an art form. Vidal Sassoon was a creative genius and to this day remains a huge inspiration in my life.

Favorite Subject in School: English.  Fun fact… I met my husband in (Junior High School) Honors English Class.

Favorite Game: Ping Pong…happy to see it is making a comeback.

Favorite Vacation Destination: Tokyo, Japan…my family has a love affair with this city and its rich culture steeped in tradition.

Favorite Time of Day: Morning…when the streets are awakening and the coffee is brewing.

Favorite Non-Running Leisure Activity: Meeting friends for coffee.

Favorite Running Shoe: Skechers Performance – Go Run Ultra Road 2.

Favorite Item of Running Clothing: That’s a no brainer, my collection of Headsweats Hats. They are perfection…comfort, style and performance.

Favorite Food/Drink Before An Ultra: A light meal consisting mainly of carbs.

Favorite Food/Drink During An Ultra: Skratch Hydration and real food for 100 milers.

Favorite Food/Drink After An Ultra: Two Tacos for $1.09 at “Jack in the Box”…it’s my post 100 race tradition.

Favorite Crew/Pacer Person(s): “Team Susan”- Gene & Alex.

Susan with her son, Alex, and husband, Gene.

Favorite Course to Run: I must be part Hamster as I LOVE Timed Races, which are run around a looped course.

Favorite Type of Running Surface: Asphalt/Cement.

Favorite Famous Quote: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –Winnie the Pooh.

ULTRA STUFF

Number of Years Running Ultras: Six years.

Number of Ultras Finished: 18

Best Ultra Performance(s): 2018 Flatlanders – 3rd Overall/1st Age Group – a perfectly executed race. This was my sixth year running Flatlanders 12 Hour Race and my fourth Age Group Win. The conditions are pretty much the same every year… brutal humidity and heat. I think what made a positive difference for me this year were the lessons I learned about managing heat from crewing/pacing at Badwater 135. Gene (Crew Chief) was proactive with ice from the first lap forward. Happily, we were able to keep my body temperature comfortable throughout the race which made a huge difference from previous years.

Most Memorable Ultra:  100+ milers all the way. It’s “Sophie’s Choice” to try and pick a “most memorable”.

Typical Training Week(s) Before A Major Race: As I lower my mileage, I increase the time spent working on mental toughness. Your mind has to be 100% “All IN”.

Injuries: None. I work with a Sports Chiropractor. Just like a car, I get “tune ups” utilizing techniques such as  Active Release Therapy (ART) and Graston Technique, which are wonderful tools that keep me running injury free.

Ultrarunning Idol: I have to give credit to Dean Karnazes… reading “Ultramarathon Man” was the catalyst that moved me into the Ultra world.

Why Do You Run Ultras: To work through and overcome obstacles is a big part of the “why” for me.

Advice For Other Ultrarunners: Practice power walking in your training. A fast walk can be your best friend on the uphills and in the later miles of an ultra.

ACHIEVEMENTS / GOALS / MEMORIES

Personal Hero: My parents. They gave me the gift of a wonderful childhood and I am forever grateful for their love and support.

Personal Running Philosophy: I believe that if you are consistent with your training, the most important component to Ultra success is your mind. The mind tells the body what to do. I have a ridiculous amount of brain grit with a whole lot of stubborn thrown in… quitting is just not an option. Remember, the pain of regret lasts longer than any pain you are feeling during an ultra.

Most Prized Possession: 100 Mile Belt Buckles… I do wear my buckles as they bring me right back to race day.  Besides, nothing says “BADAZZ” like a 100 mile buckle on a “Hello Kitty” belt!

Most Proud Achievement: Every 100+ mile race I’ve completed is life changing… it never gets old.

Happiest Memory: Traveling adventures with Gene & Alex… I cherish these family memories and look forward to our upcoming travels.

Greatest Running Adventure:  Two amazing adventures took place over the summer:

I had the wonderful opportunity to crew/pace for Bob Hearn (TEAM BOB) at Badwater 135, the “World’s Toughest Footrace”.  To be a part of “Team Bob” and fully experience Badwater 135 was truly an amazing adventure!

Badwater Bliss!

I had a long weekend exploring Auburn, CA with 14 Time Western States 100 Winner & Ultrarunning Legend, Ann Trason. In addition to meeting and hanging out with Ann’s local friends, we spent an afternoon hiking a section of the Western States course. We had a blast and so many great memories were made.

Susan with ultrarunning legend, Ann Trason.

SPARE TIME

Hobbies:  I’m a political junkie! Happily, I’m married to someone who is equally as engaged in the political process. Personally, I refrain from posting about political issues on social media as I believe discussing politics face to face to be far more interesting, engaging and productive. More often than not, I find there to be a lot of common ground amongst all of us.

Collections: I love fashion and collect vintage accessories and unique pieces.

What’s Next: Snowdrop 55 Hour Race in Houston, TX.

One Response to “Featured Runner “Susan Schenberg” November 2018”

  1. Ken Michal

    So awesome!! Huge fan of Susan and glad to read about her! Go get em at Snowdrop 55!!!

    All Day!
    ~Ken

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