Local Teacher Susanna Sullivan Wins Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

After a week of unpredictable conditions from pop-up hailstorms to tornados, Sunday morning delivered idyllic race conditions for the 2022 Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run. And despite an elite women’s field of top runners that included Olympians and sponsored professional athletes, the perfect weather (upper 40s, virtually no wind) also delivered a local winner for the first time in 40 years.

Susanna Sullivan, a 31-year-old fifth grade teacher from Reston, who is unsponsored, may not have been the pre-race favorite, but she had the advantages of running a route ingrained into her physical memory. She runs every weekend at East Potomac Park and Hains Point and knows every tangent of the roads that comprise the “runners’ right of spring.” All she needed was the perfect day.

“I knew that if the conditions were right—and they were—and if I had the motivation with a lot of fast women chasing me, that it could happen,” says Sullivan, who pulled away about halfway in and held off the field to win the women’s elite race. “I think this is the first time I really believed it could, so it’s exciting that it panned out.”

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