Happy Holidays to all of our Steeplechasers across the nation.  While we are a Frederick based organization, we now have members across the country in states including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, West Virginia, and even South Dakota.  It’s truly a testament of our club that members who move out of the area continue to renew their memberships to support and interact with all of us locals.

This morning I was running one of my favorite trails south of us in Montgomery County, the Black Hills loop.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, with great temperatures for this time of year. On my run, I realized I had more in common with Santa Claus than I thought.  We are both old, fat, and have bellies that shake like jelly. I can really sympathize with that guy.  

This time of year has proven to be the hardest for me to keep consistent, with the abundance of sweet treats and cold temps making the warm bed feel much more enticing.  Getting out is much easier, however, with the constant encouragement of our Steeplechaser members on Facebook suggesting runs and gathering groups together to embrace the cold temps.  It’s great seeing this happen and all the pictures to follow each time. Thanks to all of you who post these invites to keep us moving!

The FSRC Fall/early Winter season was a great one.  We had many successful events go off without a hitch.

October 5th had our inaugural 10k training group running their goal race of Freedoms Run in beautiful Shepherdstown, WV.  Many participants of the group completed their first 10k, and the Steeps had a great showing in all distances, from Marathon to 5k.  Casii Dodd, Marti Grib-Kachman, and Syble Roane did a spectacular job in supporting the group achieve their goals.  Speaking of the 10k group, many of the participants have been holding their own regularly occurring group runs every week since the training!  Hoping to see them on the roads on the next level of training with our Spring half marathon group.

October 6th had our 50k trail training group running their goal race of Blues Cruise near Reading, PA.  This was a first completion of this distance for many of the group, including myself! The day was great and fun was had by all on the “rolling hills” that PA has to offer.  Many thanks to Nicole Davis for her plan and support.

The Grand Prix race series had another year of success, with the last several races of the year run with many Steeplechasers in tow.  October was held down by the always exciting Spook Hill 4 Mile race in Burkettsville. November had the Stone Mill 50 Mile, and the ever so popular Turkey Trot.  December had the brisk Goodloe Byron 10 Miler running through the hills of gorgeous Emmitsburg.  

Winter is tough, but FSRC has things to keep you moving! 

Breakfast?  Did someone mention food??  Yes, our winter tradition of breakfast runs is scheduled and on track to start on January 5th.  These awesome runs are hosted by various families who open their homes for us to join them in runs and a shared breakfast afterward.  I certainly find these helpful to get my butt out of bed and keep myself accountable through the cold months.

Another staple of the Grand Prix series, the Lewis 10 Mile run is scheduled for January 11th.  This is a challenging race which is unique in the fact that winners are all based on estimated timing of finish!  No watches or timing devices of any kind allowed.  

January 25th is the Annual FSRC Banquet and Awards Ceremony to celebrate the year of running.  This is a great opportunity to gather with all the Steeplechasers and meet familiar and new faces to share “war stories”.

The coveted Half Marathon Training group is scheduled to start back up in frosty February, so keep an eye out for the announcement as to the start dates and introduction meeting.  I’m looking forward to running many of these with new and old faces alike. 

Lastly, the RRCA Club Challenge is coming up on February 23, which is a super fun race amongst the running clubs of our region.  Registration for this will open up the first week of the year, I’m looking forward to running this again alongside my fellow Steeps.

The year 2020 is shaping up to be a great year for the running community with our competition committee scheduling many fun races for the year.  I feel that the Steeplechasers is truly my “second family” and you are all my brothers and sisters. Here’s to hoping we all experience many successes and personal records together on the roads and the trails.  

Josh Roane, FSRC President