Happy November & Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend! 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 member spotlight is on the wonderful FSRC Coach, Andrea Thompson.

“I started running in February 2011, when I decided it was time to get healthy and back into shape.

At first, I could only walk for 10 minutes before I got shin splints. I invested in a good pair of running shoes and decided to follow the Galloway walk/run method. I ran my first 5-K in May 2011 and have run many races since then, including my first marathon in 2016.

Until then I had trained on my own and ran by myself. While training for the MCM in 2016, my son would help me by running six-eight miles at a time with me and my husband would leave fuel and drinks along my routes.

My dad had run the MCM three times and I’ll never forget running that final hill with him and how proud I was of his accomplishment. I was determined to run that final hill and did while my dad and family cheered me on.

After the race I told my family, I would never do that again, and then promptly signed up to run the MCM the next year -ha!

A friend of mine was an active member of the Steeplechasers for years and encouraged me to join the club, so I did in December 2016.

The following year, I participated in the marathon training group for my 2nd MCM and what an AMAZING difference it made to run with other people, and talk to other runners who loved running as much as I did. I learned so much that fall from my coaches and fellow runners and have now run a total of five marathons.

In May 2019 I volunteered to coach the marathon training group and had a lot of encouragement and support along the way. I am currently coaching the group for a second time. I became a certified running coach in July 2020!

I have tried to share my experiences, knowledge, and love of running with the training group the way the Steeplechasers have supported me.

I have volunteered at a few of the Steeplechasers’ signature races and recently have begun to “add products” to our store with the help of some great mentors.

Running has taught me that I am strong – both mentally and physically, and pushed me to try things outside of my comfort zone.

I consider the Steeplechasers an important part of my life – it provided me with the opportunities to give back, make lifelong friendships, and find new running partners.

I am forever grateful to the Steeplechasers and am looking forward to running many more races and trying new things in the future!”