Posted by: Joe English | January 15, 2008

Interview: Susan Loken, US Women’s Masters Marathon Champion

Ahead of Sunday’s PF Chang’s Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon, I had a chance to talk to Susan Loken, US Women’s Master’s Marathon Champion. She earned that title last October at the Twin Cities Marathon, which was held the same day as the Chicago Marathon. She told me that the Twin Cities race was hot, but not as hot as Chicago. Susan ran a 2:48:36 there, a time that reflected the heat. She ran two other marathons in 2007, both in times of 2:47. At PF Chang’s she hoped to better all three of those times.

Susan Loken at PF Chang’s Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

Coach Joe (CJ): What’s your lifetime Personal Best in the Marathon?

Susan Loken (SL): 2:41:00.

CJ: What kind of shape are you in now?

SL: I’m in really good shape. My training has been better than ever. I feel really strong and confident. The weather looks like it will cooperate. All you can do is hope that it’s your day.

CJ: You’re looking to run an A Standard Qualifying time (sub-2:39:00) here in Arizona. If you do that, what would that mean for you in the Trials?

SL: That would put me in the top 20 or so at the Trials. I placed 31st in the Trials in 2004 and this year my dream goal is to place in the top 20.

CJ: What’s your typical training week look like? How much time do you spend on the track versus on the road?

SL: I never run on the track. I do all of my speed work and my tempo work on the roads.

CJ: Why not run on the track?

SL: I prefer running on the road. There’s a loop near my house that is 2 ½ miles long and I do my speed work around that. I just feel that it really simulates the roads better. At one time, I had a hamstring injury on the track, which may still be on my mind. But I prefer running on the road and then doing my recovery runs on trails and on our local (unpaved) canal paths.

CJ: You’re local to Phoenix. Do you run with a local club or team?

SL: I actually work for a charity called Chances for Children and I coach for their Team Chances. We have 87 runners competing here this weekend at PF Chang’s. 70% of them are first time half or full marathon runners.

CJ: Tell me more about how it works?

SL: The runners are adults who are raising money for the kids that we supporting. We’re bringing 500 kids to the “Kids Rock” race on Saturday. And these kids have been logging miles since September, which is their marathon. They log 25 miles between September and December and then do the final mile here at the kids’ run tomorrow morning.

CJ: And how many years have you been doing this?

SL: This is our first year doing it, so we’re pretty excited about it!

CJ: Good luck out there Sunday Susan.

SL: Thanks!

Thank you to Susan for talking with us.

Editors note: Susan ran 2:44:26 in the 2008 PF Chang’s Rock N Roll Marathon this weekend, winning the master’s division and finishing seventh in the women’s race.

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News (



  1. Great interview, Coach!

  2. […] Women’s Olympic Trials the day before. Two local runners Suzy Schumacher (a good friend) and Susan Loken (with whom I am acquainted) are running, and I plan to be there to cheer them […]

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