Susannah Scaroni’s Bloomsday times have improved each of the nine years she has competed in the women’s open wheelchair race.
Scaroni, 21, reached her peak Sunday when she became the first Spokane-area woman to win the event.
Scaroni, who attends the University of Illinois, has lived in Tekoa, Wash., since she was 2. She has competed at every Bloomsday since she was 12, placing second last year.
“It feels incredible because this is the only race I’d done before going to Illinois, really,” Scaroni said. “My community in Tekoa, they’re a huge part of why I’m here.”
Scaroni warmed up for Bloomsday by winning a half-marathon in Indianapolis on Saturday. She also won the Los Angeles Marathon in March.
“I love this race,” Scaroni said. “The crowds are so wonderful and it’s good to be home.”
Scaroni had been installed as the prerace favorite over fellow Illini Jill Moore.
“There’s a lot of chance in every race, I think,” Scaroni said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”
Favorite Scott Parson, 53, repeated as men’s champion, holding off Laurens Molina at the finish.