We really do have the most diverse and amazing members! I would love to share your stories, accomplishments or anything else you would like to share. Please send them to barb.meely@staging.steeplechasers.org.

This week’s amazing member spotlight is on Casii Dodd.

“Growing up, I was not an athlete AT ALL. I was considered to be a nerdy bookworm. We moved around quite a lot, so retreating into books was more comfortable for this introvert than putting myself out there every couple of years. Thus I’m a late onset runner! Who’s with me?

Post-40, I started pondering the idea of a bucket list and got the wild notion to run a 5k. I ran the first local Candy Cane Dash and the following summer, joined the inaugural Women’s Distance Training spearheaded by Pam Geernaert & Luanne Houck, which was my introduction into the Steeplechasers and group running.

I broke my A-goal for that August Women’s Distance Festival race, made wonderful friends and was hooked. Each summer, I plug back into that Women’s Distance Training as participant, pacer and now a fellow coach among a team of strong pacers & coaches.

My happiest Steeplechasers moments are seeing the smiles of accomplishment and increased confidence of our groups. Since then, I’ve run countless races of all distances from 1 miler through an Ultra. Each new training cycle brings happy reunions with running buddies and introductions to new friends. It’s stretched me outside of my comfort zone both physically, mentally and emotionally. Learning to set training goals has also motivated me to set goals in other areas of my life, leading me to go places and complete difficult challenges I might not have previously considered.

My extended family continues to express disbelief that I’m a runner. I EMBRACE being a nerdy bookworm RUNNER with a regular body. Do you have a body? Do you have running shoes? Do you run? Then you’re a runner, enough said. I run for me, my children and now my grandchildren. I’ve raced with all my children and this past Thanksgiving, the twin grandbabies had their inaugural 5K with us at the Turkey Trot, seeing Steeps at each turn; getting pics, getting hugs, getting introduced to the family traditions.

You’ll often also see me at races, working the finish line, an ultra aid station or whatever job I’m assigned. This club has given me so much and I enjoy giving back to our local running community. Another way I hope I’m contributing is serving as your current Vice President. After gaining so much from the leadership of pacers, coaches, race directors and finally club officers, this is one small way I can be a link in the strong chain of our community.

The backbone of the Steeplechasers are the volunteers and I’m continuously blown away by how quickly a crew can pull together for races and projects both big & small. You guys kind of rock and I hope you know that.”

We would love to share your stories, accomplishments or anything else you would like to share! If you would like to be featured here, please send your story to barb.meely@staging.steeplechasers.org.