“I started running in 2011, when my best friend encouraged me to try the treadmill by just ‘running the straights’. I soon discovered I was better suited to run outside and ran my first 5K that same year. It was the Way Station Turkey Trot and I ran it in just under 30 minutes. A fluke, as it turned out, I’d spend years chasing.

I ran my first half marathon, Frederick Half, in 2013, and it is still one of my proudest moments.

I was a solo runner, intimidated by other runners and very self-conscious of my pace and struggle with breathing.

In 2016, I found the courage to join the Frederick Steeplechasers and, wow, am I glad I did!


Those early days I ran with Pam and Sophie Hinegardner and Jolene and her crew. Everyone was incredibly welcoming and supportive.

I moved on to Half Marathon training with Billy and Heidi and discovered the love of running buddies, like Jen and Stacy.

Not a natural runner, I’ve had my share of struggles, as we all do, including illness, injuries, and battles with asthma. I am grateful every time I’m able to go out and run, fully knowing the struggle when I can’t.

Over the years, I have completed lots of Steeps’ training programs and all sorts of races. Most recently, I’ve run our very own Steeps Spring Half Marathon.

I try and foster that spirit in my granddaughter and get her out running and walking with me. We’ve done several 5K races together.


My next adventures include more trail and my first stab at a full marathon; I signed up for Virtual Boston and am looking forward to marathon training.”

If you know of someone that you think we should hear more about, please reach out to Barb Meely at barb.meely@staging.steeplechasers.org.