“I consider myself athletically challenged. Anyone who has run with me knows I can fall standing still.

I am a late bloomer in my running journey, I did not start until I was 40.


Unbelievable to me, I won a hula hoop contest at my son’s elementary school, then won a jump rope contest. Afterwards, a mom named Shelly approached me and said that she and some other moms were putting together a relay team for the Frederick Full Marathon, and asked if I would I be on the team.

I told her I was not a runner. She, then, volunteered to train me – her mistake – but I became one of the Myersville Sole Sisters and Shelly was a trooper.

We tried jogging and, within a few feet, I swore I was going to throw up or pass out and she told me if I was talking, I was fine to keep moving.

When I finally was able to run the entire eighth-of-a-mile loop on the elementary school track, I think all of Myersville could hear me celebrating!


My performance at the marathon was not remarkable but I continued running 5Ks, which is how I met Mark Lawrence who told me about the Monday/ Wednesday running groups that I eventually started joining.

I am so thankful for Malcolm Senior, who would run back and check on me and Megan Paige, Christine Mosher, and my friend, Carly Fisher, who all ran with me when I first started.

Carly gave me the gift of Steeplechasers membership as a Christmas gift. I mentioned that I wanted to run a half marathon before I turned 50, so Carly, who was 18 years old, volunteered to train with me. Together, we completed three half marathons before I turned 50! Be careful what you say to others!

My father became ill and my running suffered as a result. When I was able to join the group again, everyone was faster and I was very slow.

I became discouraged, until Joanne Hawelka asked me to join the Women’s Distance Training group, where I met many wonderful people.


Again, I said something silly to Casii Dodd about, maybe, one day running a full marathon. Casii encouraged me to sign up for one out-of-state and it rained the whole time!

Then, I mentioned the one marathon I wanted to run was Marine Corps Marathon, so Casii said, let’s enter the lottery, what are the odds? Let me tell you, they were good, and it was very hot that day.

Finally, on the cusp of joining another decade, I have run two full marathons, many half marathons, and including other races that my friend, Maxann Davis, suggests on the spur of the moment.

The Steeplechasers are a wonderful group and I have been blessed with the people who have come into my life through this group, too many to mention.


We are fortunate to have the wonderful training programs and the coaches who support them.”

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.