This is the first in a series where we hope to feature some of the wonderful and impressive things our employees are a part of outside of their work and this campus.
Sue Pope has been working for the University of Utah for 28 years in the Landscape Maintenance Department, 12 years as a greenhouse coordinator and 16 years as the Supervisor of Landscape Maintenance. She is a hard worker not just on campus but in her personal life as reflected in her Ironwoman status.
Sue Pope has been competing in triathlons since 2004. She started out with Sprint and Olympic distance triathlons which included 1 mile swimming, 24 miles biking and a 10K run. In 2008 she wanted another challenge and entered the Half or 70.3 Ironman distance which included 1.2 miles swimming, 56 miles biking and a 13.1 mile run. She has participated in the Boise, Idaho Half Ironman and placed 1st in her age group of 45-49. This qualified her for the world championship in Clear Water, Florida where she place 13th in her age group.
In 2009 Sue dropped down to the Olympic distance triathlons and competed in local and out of state races where she placed in the top 3. Due to an injury she was out most of the season in 2010 and competed in a few local Olympic triathlons towards the end of the season. 2011 found Sue competing in local Olympic distance races, Two Half Ironman races in Boise, Idaho and Oceanside, California. She placed 1st in Boise and 3rd in Oceanside, California for her age group. This qualified her for the World Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada where she placed 2nd for her age group.
Next, In 2012 Sue competed in the Oceanside, California ½ Ironman where she placed 4th in her age group. 2012 also found Sue playing in a National Volleyball master tournament for 2 weeks where she developed a stress fracture in her sacrum. The rest of the summer she biked and swam because of this injury. In November, she participated in the Florida Ironman where she placed 1st in her age group of 50-54. An Ironman triathlon is 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles biking and a 26.2 mile run. This has qualified her for the Kona, Hawaii Ironman in October of 2013 where she will be competing with some of the top athletes in the world.
Sue is currently training 12-15 hours a week which consists of working out 2-3 times a day with longer runs and bike rides on the weekend. She trains year round and focuses on her weak points in the off season. Her next race is May 5th in the 70.3 Ironman in St. George, Utah. She will spend some time in Kona, Hawaii to acclimate to the weather and heat for the Kona Ironman in October 2013.
Sue is a great asset to Facility Operations. We are supportive of her Ironman journey and wish her luck in her races this year.