WARRINGTON Athletics Club life member Suzanne Rigg is enjoying success as a coach in America.

The 53-year-old competed for the club over long distances in the 1990s, the highlight being selection to represent Great Britain in the marathon at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996 on the back of her 2hrs 34mins 19secs time over 26.2 miles in Berlin.

At the time the American-born runner, who had married another international Warrington runner, John Rigg, lived in Thelwall and had been employed at Warrington Guardian.

Now, she is living in Indiana where she is the head coach for girls for both cross country and track and field athletics at Zionsville High School.

And she has a son and daughter who are making their mark in running too.

Prior to Suzanne’s appointment in 2013, Zionsville had never had a team at the state cross country finals but since then they have been to the showdowns every edition.



A ninth-placed finish has been surpassed each time since, capped by taking the gold medals and title for the first time this year.

Warrington Guardian:

Suzanne with the Sate Championship trophy winning team she coaches at Zionsville High School

They were led home by Suzanne’s daughter Sophia, who was seventh and has run in the team for the past four years and improved her own finishing position in each running of the finals.

Warrington Guardian:

Sophia Rigg at the State Championships

Suzanne said: “What an amazing day! Words cannot express the emotions of standing on the podium accepting our State Championship Trophy! It is a milestone event that we will cherish and remember forever!”


Suzanne’s son Oliver used to run for the school and is now at Alabama University, where he competes in cross country as well as on the track in the 800m, 1500m and 4x400metres – the event in which his father John won gold alongside Roger Black, Ade Mafe and Mark Tyler at the European Junior Championships in East Germany in 1985.

It was not only in the Olympic Games that Suzanne shone after moving to Warrington in 1989.

She competed in the World Cross Country Championships four times GB and came fourth in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m for England in Canada in 1994.

Suzanne said: “We were back in Warrington this past summer. It was so much fun to catch up with old friends and family because Oliver and Sophia hadn’t been back for about six years!”


She looks back with affection on her time living in Warrington too.

"I have such fond memories of training with Warrington Athletics Club from 1989 to 1996," said Suzanne.

"Some of my favourite memories are training at Broomfields on Mondays, doing hill repeats up Red Lane in Stockton Heath, and track sessions at the club twice a week.

"Almost every tough workout I did through the years was supported by the fellow Warrington Athletics Club members.

"Training with men may sound intimidating but in reality they were all great training partners as we all pushed ourselves to improve.

"After running at Iowa State with John, we got married and moved to England.

"I truly believe that training at the club with other equally committed athletes was the key to my improvement from a good collegiate runner in America to a Commonwealth and Olympic level athlete."

The greatest honour for any athlete though is competing in the Olympics.

Warrington Guardian:

Suzanne Rigg at Warrington Athletics Club's Victoria Park base in 1996, all set for the Olympics

"It was such an honour to represent Great Britain in Atlanta - and also a bit surreal," she said.

"Being originally from Iowa, I had the best of both worlds with support from family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic.

"It was an honour to represent WAC and all the members who either trained with me or gave moral support and also a great honour to represent Warrington which was my adopted home town in England.

"My most treasured memory about the Olympics is not about the race itself, but the true feeling of unity among the athletes.

"It was so amazing to walk through the Olympic village and see athletes from all around the world in their country's Olympic kit.

"No matter what country they represented or what event they were competing in, we all had a huge amount of respect for the years of training and sacrifice they made to get to Atlanta.

"The world was unified by sport in the Olympic village and I wish everyone could experience that once in their lifetime. It was a memory I will treasure forever."