EmKay Sullivan

Mountain, Trail, & Road Runner

“I started running in junior high to help with swimming, but ended up enjoying running more and being a lot better at it."


Originally from Arkansas, I began running in junior high school. I was recruited to the University of Nevada where I ran for five years and earned Division I All-American Honors in the 3,000m steeplechase. Post-collegiately, I shifted my focus to the longer events both on the roads and on the trails. I qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials Marathon in my debut marathon and was 4th in my ultramarathon debut at the Way Too Cool 50K in 2019. Since then, I have finished 2nd at the Broken Arrow Skyrace, 1st in the Way Too Cool 50k, 9th at Marathon du Mont Blanc and have earned a spot to compete for the USA at the Mountain Ultra Trail World Championships in Austria this summer.


Way Too Cool 50k

1st Overall: 2019

Golden Trail World Series

2x Top 10: 2022

World Championships Short Trail Team

Qualifier: 2023

Favorite Strava Segment

EmKay's Top Picks


Goal(s) for 2023:

Top 10 at World Championships and OCC.

Who is your favorite author and what is their best work?

That’s a hard one because I love to read... My most recent “favorite” book is probably
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr.

What’s the best training advice you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?

"SLOW DOWN" - My coach Rick Floyd on easy running.

How did you get started in your sport?

I started running in junior high to help with swimming, but ended up enjoying running more
and being a lot better at it.

If you had to be shipwrecked on a deserted island, but all your human needs—such as
food and water—were taken care of, what two items would you want to have with you?

My husband Tommy and my dog (do they count as items? Haha.)

If you could have one superpower, which would you choose and why?

Transporting - it would be so nice to not have to sit on planes for hours!!

What’s your favorite website?


When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a doctor, until I broke my arm and realized I didn’t like blood and bones at

Describe your first bike.
My brother and I had matching Trek mountain bikes that we would ride around our
neighborhood barefoot on for hours.

What's your favorite movie and why?

Inglorious Bastards - I love Quentin Tarantino and this one is serious, hilarious and gripping
the entire time.

If you were starring in a movie, what would your theme song be?

Arabella by the Arctic Monkeys.

What is your proudest sporting moment?

My second place at Broken Arrow in 2021 - it was such a hard fought race and was my big
breakout in trail running.

Guilty pleasure food item?

I LOVE candy - pretty much any kind but especially sweettarts and sour candy.

Guilty pleasure song?

Goodbye Earl by the Chicks.

Where is your “happy” place?

Running in the Sierras with my husband Tommy and my dog Murphy.

What is your most memorable meal?

My husband and I went to this restaurant called Lux Stockholm the week that we got
engaged and the food was incredible farm to table, we were having a great week after
getting engaged and it was our last day of vacation.

What is something that you learned from a parent or grandparent that has guided you in life?

My parents always encouraged me to have fun with whatever sport I was playing before
worrying about the competitiveness of it. That has been my guiding principle with running since the beginning.

Tell us about your pet(s).

I have a German short-haired pointer whose name is Murphy. He loves to run with me and
is my training partner most days. The furthest Murphy has run is 26 miles on the trails.

Who is your favorite band or artist and their best album?

The National - Sleep Well Beast

What’s your favorite sound?


What’s your favorite smell?

Garlic sautéing in a pan.

What’s your “kryptonite”?

I don’t like to stretch or do strength training.

Finish this sentence: “The world would be a better place if....”

... if social media didn’t exist

When I’m not riding/running or otherwise crushing it in my sport, you’ll find me:

Coaching, having a beer with friends or sitting on the couch with Murphy.