GREENWICH – Susannah’s Run celebrated its 15th anniversary Sunday, and the Greenwich race remains as popular as ever for families and runners.
“This day is probably the best day of the year for our family,” said Julie Chase, Susannah’s mother.
Susannah, a Greenwich native and former Stamford resident, was murdered in Boulder, Colo., in 1997 when she was a 23-year-old student at the University of Colorado. Diego Olmos Alcalde was convicted of Susannah's murder in June 2009 and sentenced to life in prison.
The race helps recall the spirit of Chase, who had a passion for sports and the outdoors. Many members from different generations of the Chase family ran in Sunday's race, which is sponsored by Threads ‘n’ Treads of Greenwich.
“One of our granddaughters was just saying, ‘I love the fall because that’s when we have Susannah’s Run, Halloween and my birthday,’ ” Julie Chase said of her granddaughter Delaney Chase, who celebrates her 12th birthday Oct. 21.
Race proceeds go to a college scholarship fund for Greenwich High School girls who share Susannah’s passion for sports and the outdoors.
Susannah’s Run always takes place this time of the year because it is around the time of Susannah’s birthday – Oct. 10.
“I think of Susannah’s Run as a holiday,” Julie Chase said. “It really is a family day for us. It really is an exciting day for us. It’s so nice. The thing I love about it is seeing the different people here every year. Some of them I haven’t seen in 10 to 15 years. This is just a wonderful way to remember her.”
John Mass of Old Greenwich won the men’s division, and Wilton’s Mary Zengo, who coaches Delaney, won the women’s division.
Zengo has won many races, but few awards were as special to her as the sunflowers she received after the Chase victory. “There’s something very special about these. Look at these sunflowers. You look at them and it’s almost like Susannah’s smiling at you,” Zengo said. “The Chases are just great, salt-of-the-earth people. They really, really are. They do this and they celebrate her life. I’ve lost a brother, so I get it.”