After receiving her Bachelors in Criminology from FSU, she was hired as the first female patrolman in the history of the Lebanon Police Department in New Hampshire (1985). After graduating 3rd in the academy and placing 2nd in firearms, she was recruited by the United States Secret Service and worked as a polygraph examiner, and later transferred to the Vice Presidential Protective Division. The remainder of her career included time with the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit at Fort Devens, Massachusetts as well as working with the Department of Defense in two different capacities.
Somewhere in the middle of all of this, Sue found a love for all things motorcycles! She bought her Harley Davidson Road King and began racing dirt bikes in the mid 90s! Racing primarily in the Women’s Class in Harescrambles (timed races through the woods with obstacles including rock gardens, mud, logs, steep hill, streams, etc.), she placed 2nd overall for the championship in 2000.
The season ended that November, and soon after, Sue had her first child. She didn’t race or ride again until it was announced that the 2005 WPFG would be held in Quebec! She had tried to make the 1997 games in Calgary and again the 2001 games in Indianapolis, but never quite seemed to get there. When the 2005 games were announced, Sue knew she had to make it happen and although she had never raced motocross, registered as a competitor.
In preparation for Quebec, Sue went to JUST one motocross track for practice and spent only 20 minutes practicing. She says “Essentially….I had no training with motocross and just relied on my previous race experience. I was happy to just fit into my riding gear…as I had two children by that time.” Sue dominated the field and not only was the sole female competitor, she won the Bronze Medal in the Master (over 125CC/25CC) Category
In November 2010, Sue was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing two surgeries and nearly three months of radiation treatment, Sue refused to let cancer win. She forced herself to return to playing in a women’s hockey league, and ran the Warrior Dash and Spartan Race in 2011, just months after finishing treatment. “Cancer is just another thing in life that you deal with, but it doesn’t have to devastate you.”
Soon after, Sue had her 50th birthday and celebrated, as you would if you were Sue – by running the 10 mile Tough Mudder Race up and back down Mt. Snow in Vermont! Since then, she has completed her second Warrior Dash and her third Spartan Race found her placing 22 out of 186 women in her age group.
Sue will be competing in both Motocross and Cross Country this summer and says she loves the Games, most especially the opportunity to meet so many public safety athletes from other countries. She fondly remembers being in the parking lot in Quebec and meeting the Vanek family from the Czech Republic, who – even with limited English – helped repair the brakes on her motorcycle before the race.
Santa Claus recently brought him a new dirtbike and after having a friend create a small track on her property, he rides every chance he can get.
When asked to define her definition of success, Sue said “It used to be bringing home the trophy. Now, the definition of “success” in racing has shifted.” As she has introduced her son to the sport, she realizes the lessons are not just about the win. “It’s important to “show up” and do your best. Regardless of how you place, you’re already a success for just being there and competing. It takes hard work and commitment. Some good things come simply as a result of hard work and being consistent. If my son can learn this in sports, I believe he can apply the same work ethic to every aspect of his life.”
Sue's most excited to: participate in the Opening Ceremonies (she missed that in Quebec, 2005), catch up with old friends from the Secret Service and make new friends as well!