People Who Kick Buts: Patti Sue Plummer
Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.
- Born on April 27, 1962 in California.
- a retired American long-distance runner who ran twice in the Summer Olympics. She ran first in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea where she finished 13th in the now defunct 3000 metres. In 1992 in Barcelona, Spain she ran in two events, the 1500 metres, finishing 10th and the 3000 metres finishing 5th.
- On July 3, 1989 she set the American record in the 5,000 metres at 14:59.99 at DN Galan in Stockholm, Sweden, the first woman to beat one of Mary Decker’s sweep of all distance running American records during the 1980s. She won the 1990 Fifth Avenue Mile, setting a course record which remains unbeaten.
- After spending her youth in Newport Beach, California she moved with her father to Ridgeway, Colorado during junior high school. Her senior year, she took third place in both the mile (5:10A) and the 2 mile (11:20A) at the Colorado State Meet while running for Montrose High School. Next she went to Stanford University, where she won the 1984 NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship at 5000 meters and the NCAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships at two-miles in 1983.
- Her successes were interspersed with injuries and setbacks, including a broken leg after being hit by a taxi in Yokohama, Japan, several bouts with pneumonia, food poisoning at the Seoul Olympics, pregnancy and a dog bite at the 1991 World Championships in Athletics. She won the inaugural edition of the Carlsbad 5000 in 1986.
- She received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Stanford Law School, she worked as a lawyer for several years and now coaches cross-country and track at Los Altos High School (Los Altos, California) in Northern California.