Saturday, January 15, 2022

The Road to Houston -- A Look Back: Volte's Susan Rouse Gets Ready for CHM #37 on Sunday!

Quality over quantity.

That's a saying we're sure you've heard a lot, but really it's true.

There's a lot to crow about when you're talking numbers, but nothing counts more than experience.

Volte's been blessed - taking nothing away from anybody else - to have coaches with the depth of years of experience like Bill Dwyer and Rich Cooper.

They're both "veterans" as defined by the Chevron Houston Marathon for their lengthy years of finishing the events, covering parts of five decades from 1987 to Rich's half marathon finish in 2020.

But what happens when the woman with the second most number of marathon finishes by a female at the Chevron Houston Marathon - count 'em, 36 - reaches out for a little help.  (Hint:  You help her!)

If you haven't met Susan Rouse yet, you need to.

Inspiration is a word that gets tossed around all too frequently, but what Susan has done - without a lot of fanfare and with a huge dose of humility - should be an encouragement to you.

Four Ironman finishes.

Comrades in 2010.

A marathon finish in all 50 states.

Her count of marathons and ultramarathons are well over 100.  (And those aren't "just" finishes.)

And the 2022 Houston Marathon will be her 37th Chevron Houston Marathon, with her first one coming in 1986.

That, folks, is a Houston Marathon finish in five different decades!  She's been running longer than some in our group have been on the Earth!

"I was asked earlier this year to coach a good friend, Susan Rouse, for the 2022 Chevron Houston Marathon." said Volte founder Bill Dwyer.  "So after the shock of someone who - in my opinion - knows the sport as well as anyone, I said, "Yes."  Training has gone well and Sunday is setting up nicely for a quality finish.

When someone all of us admire, like Dwyer, admires somebody, it's really a big deal.

"I have run many of the same events as Susan back in the 80's & 90's," he said.  "The Sunmart Trail Run sticks out in my memory as Susan seemed to always collect one of what we called "ponies" -- the Sunmart age group award, a statue of a running horse.

"It's an honor for me to be involved with such a class athlete."

Susan is all smiles coming into the the finish of the 2015 Houston Marathon!
(Photo courtesy of Bill Dwyer)

Even though she ran sub-3:30 - 3:28:02 - at the age of 51 in 2010, Susan says her best marathons in Houston were in 1994 and 1995 when she ran them two seconds apart -- 3:23:51 and 3:23:53.  How's that for consistency?!

We asked her what her most memorable Houston's were.

"The year of the freeze (1997), twice as pace group leader, 3:30 & 3:40 and my 20th - 2003 - when I started splurging on staying downtown in a hotel," she said.

Therefore, she's been overstimulating the Houston economy for nearly 20 years now.

With the exception of 2004, she ran sub-4 all the way through and including the 2015 race, where things have gotten a bit more challenging, she says.

"The later ones with health and aging issues and -- hanging in when it's gotten tough!" Susan said.

As a five-decade runner at the Houston Marathon, she can testify that while there's been a lot of change it has grown and developed into one of running's jewels.

"The numbers started growing after the half was added (in 2000) and when Ryan Hall set the half record (2006), and generally because it’s a wonderful world class event," she said.  "My goodness I’ve been privileged to run so many amazing marathons, triathlons, and ultras but I’ve always thought Houston was the best!! That’s not changed! The crowds (hoopla), the GRB, seeing friends I know, great course, Expo & post race party."

While we're pulling for all 40 or our runners in either the marathon or half marathon, this is the first one that we'll be able to cheer Susan on - and her husband Dan Jordan - as a teammate.

Susan's History at Houston
36-year Legacy Runner

1986 - 3:48:58
1987 - 3:30:04
1988 - 3:47:24
1989 - 3:25:05
1990 - 3:31:34
1991 - 3:30:00
1992 - 3:27:47
1993 - 3:37:37
1994 - 3:23:36
1995 - 3:23:51
1996 - 3:23:53
1997 - 3:40:04
1998 - 3:31:02
1999 - 3:30:46
2000 - 3:31:32
2001 - 3:30:56
2002 - 3:34:43
2003 - 3:36:48
2004 - 4:15:20
2005 - 3:35:38
2006 - 3:24:48
2007 - 3:39:59
2008 - 3:43:28
2009 - 3:27:18
2010 - 3:28:02
2011 - 3:42:01
2012 - 3:35:05
2013 - 3:53:13
2014 - 3:44:13
2015 - 3:49:41
2016 - 4:02:10
2017 - 4:27:14
2018 - 4:25:31
2019 - 4:28:51
2020 - 4:43:44
2021 - 5:15:11  Covid Virtual Year

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