Happy Monday! 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 member is powerhouse and a great guy. This week’s member spotlight is on the incredible Chris Bailey.

“Well, I didn’t run a step until I was 39 years old. I bought a $20.00 pair of high-quality running shoes at Walmart and then suffered through numerous bouts of shin splints. I honestly don’t remember what made me want to give it a try. I never participated in any sports throughout middle and high school. I was more concerned about smoking cigarettes in the bathroom without getting caught and listening to heavy metal music!

“I smoked about a pack a day until I was 33 years old.”

Looking back, I think I would have been pretty good if I had picked a sport.

I had no idea how much I enjoyed pushing the limits of myself until I got into running over 20 years later! I’m now 46 and have a few running accomplishments under my belt that I’m proud of. The year I turned 40, I completed the King Crab Challenge (Frederick Half Marathon, Baltimore 10 Miler & Baltimore Marathon).

Since then, I’ve run 1:26 at Frederick Half Marathon and 3:11 at the Baltimore Marathon, which was a 4-minute cushion for a BQ [Boston Qualifier time] but that was 2 years ago, when so many fast people qualified, I missed out by 46 seconds. That actually was a blessing in disguise because, at this point, I was getting deeper into trail and ultra-running.

I live in Keedysville so I have the AT [Appalachian Trail] and Antietam Battlefield right out of my front door, so I’m pretty spoiled with quality trails I can run on at any time!

I was lucky enough to win a spot into the Dam Yeti-100 which I was much more excited about than Boston. I ran the 100-miler in 2019 and ran the Dam Yeti 50K this year, which was my first win ever! I’ve done a few local ultras, CAT50K, Stone Mill 50-Miler, Greenbrier Midnight Madness 50 and, my proudest accomplishment to date, was just earlier this month, when Elaine Griesbach and I completed the CAT-100!

Until this past year or so I’ve always run by myself but over the past few years I have slowly been meeting Steeps and doing “Strava stalking”. That’s how I met Billy Clem [a member of the FSRC], who, I’m sure most of you have never heard of, is very private and doesn’t ever talk to anyone! 😳 😂

He started inviting me to group runs here and there, which was awkward for me at first, but it turned out to be this one helluva good group of people! I felt welcomed pretty quick.

The camaraderie of this running community is great!

I made it official and became a Steep last year and, although I don’t get a chance to participate in a lot of the group stuff, when I do, it’s a blast! I could not have made it through the CAT-100 this past weekend [Oct 10, 2020] without the selfless support and crewing of so many Steeps!! I look forward to many miles, many feet of vert, and meeting many new faces in the years to come! Cheers y’all! 🍻 🍺

“One more shoutout I can’t forget, thanks to my wife, Heather, and my daughter, Samantha, for putting up with this craziness I’ve gotten myself into!”

Chris and Samantha Bailey
Chris Bailey and daughter, Samantha, during Chris’s CAT-100 Challenge, Oct 10, 2020.