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. I constantly hear from members, I found my tribe, I found my people, and I have made the best friendships through running which is only one of the many reasons why the Steeplechasers is such a great club to belong to. This week’s amazing member spotlight is on Katie Malone.

“For most of my adult life, I tried to be a runner. It never went far!

I felt miserable doing it, and if I ran two or three times in a month that was a success!

My husband Brady was a regular runner who showed the patience of a saint by regularly inviting me to run with him (while pushing the kids in a double stroller!) and he managed to ignore my incessant whining about how awful running was. Despite his encouragement, I still needed two weeks to recover from a three-mile run.

In my mid-30s, I realized that I really needed to make some changes to my health. I have a strong family history of heart disease & Type 2 diabetes, and I recognized that if I wanted to remain in good health, then I needed to start making better choices.

Step 1 was convincing myself that I like to exercise!

Not an easy task. I read a lot, and found two keys to make running less of a miserable experience – run longer than 3 miles no matter how slow, and run with a group to keep accountability.

I reached out to some neighborhood moms who seemed like they might be interested, and together we spent a summer training for what is still one of my favorite races – FSRC’s Women’s Distance Festival.

Katie (far left), Meredith Crow, Kim Whalen, and Jamie Leinauer at the 2019 WDF.
Katie (far left), Meredith Crow, Kim Whalen, and Jamie Leinauer at the 2019 WDF.

After the race most of those moms stopped running, but one other neighborhood mom, Meredith Crow, and I kept running together.

Throughout that summer and into fall on our morning runs together, Meredith went from being some random lady I said hi to at the park to one of my closest friends. We had great talks getting to know each other and by October we were running up to 7 miles solely so we could keep chatting!

Brady joined the Steeplechasers first and loved participating in the group runs and training groups. While I was a member in name, it took me a little while to get up the courage to finally attend a run!

Mistakenly, I thought the Steeplechasers were only for serious, accomplished runners, and found them intimidating! Meeting fellow Steeps on a run quickly smashed that misconception.

All runners are runners regardless of pace of distance, and everyone was so encouraging. I had found my people!

Through the Steeplechasers I have made and deepened so many friendships.

Runner friends truly are the best friends.

I’m so grateful for time chatting about mundane small daily issues all the way up to deep philosophical discussions on runs with Brady, Meredith, Amanda, Kim, Megan, Ruth and so many others that I have the good fortune to meet at group runs.

Through the Steeplechasers I have also been encouraged to set speed and distance goals that I never would have otherwise. It’s a healthy level of competition that continually encourages me to become a better version of myself.

I regularly set goals for myself (that sound completely normal to fellow Steeps but get some weird looks from non-runners!) celebrate my progress, and then start the cycle again with a new goal.

While I started running for my physical health, I quickly learned that it’s also key to my mental health (and has given me a robust social life!)

I’m so grateful to be part of our amazing Steeplechasers running community.

Here’s to many more runs!”