Renaissance Man Is Runner Extraordinaire

July 31, 2017

Andrew 2Meet Andrew Suozzo

By John Lockhart

 Andrew Suozzo taught French language, literature, and culture over a 44-year university career, thirty-three of which were at DePaul University in Chicago, where he set a record of achievement and recognition that included guest lecturer turns at several U.S. universities. Simultaneously, he was a trailblazer in advocating what are known today as LGBT Studies programs that bestow undergraduate and graduate degrees. In his spare time, as it were, he founded an LGBT faculty association at DePaul. Summing up, Andrew says he enjoyed teaching and interacting with students, faculty and university colleagues. 

The recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Andrew treasures the Academic Palms Award from the French Ministry of Education for “Services to French Culture,” presented in 2012 by the French Consul in Chicago. 

A prolific writer, Andrew has authored books, articles, reports and research papers dealing with academic, civic, and community issues. His book, “The Chicago Marathon,” University of Illinois Press in 2006, is a landmark work describing how members of the LGBT community contributed to upgrading the already successful Chicago Marathon that showcased Chicago as an international city of inclusion, culture, commerce and sport.

 To the Run Born, describes Andrew’s running in Chicago, the U.S. and Europe. His reparatory counts scores of 5 and 10K races, about 30 half marathons and 13 full marathons. The Jenny Spangler Trustmark Marathon (formerly known as the Lake County marathon), a rural Illinois course, is where Andrew marked his PR in 1999; he clocked 2:57:36.  He’s run the Chicago Marathon several times, the Boston Marathon twice, and in Europe, the Paris and Berlin marathons. 

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Andrew recalls the 1998 Gay Games Half Marathon in Amsterdam as, “hot and steamy,” with blazing sun reflected alongside the Amstel River; ‘no Dutch Summer, this,’ while winning the division Gold.  Andrew was inducted into the Chicago Area Runners Hall of Fame in 2015.   

 A longtime member of Frontrunners/Frontwalkers Chicago, merging into San Diego was a natural for Andrew in 2015.  Saturday runs from Sixth and Laurel and club breakfasts at Big City Bagels in Hillcrest are regular happenings. Local race faves include the “Triple Crown” half marathons—Carlsbad, La Jolla, and AFC, where he has taken gold or silver in all 3.  In 2015 and 2016 he took the Gold in our very own FRWSD Pride 5K Runs.

 Yes, Andrew is headed for the Paris Gay Games in 2018. Right now he’s saying—

 “Maybe” to the Half Marathon.