Summer is here and things are starting to return to normal as in-person racing has returned. We kicked off our Signature Races on Saturday, June 26, with the Summer Solstice 8K. A huge thank you to Race Director extraordinaire, Harriet Langlois, and all the wonderful volunteers for making this event a big success. Fortunately, the storms didn’t materialize, and the rain during the race cooled off the runners but didn’t dampen the after party. While we don’t have final numbers on how much the race brought in for Blessings in a Backpack, we had 358 registered participants for the race. After months of not participating in live races, everyone is excited to get together to race and raise money for local organizations.

Registration is open for the rest of the Signature RacesThe Women’s Distance 5K takes place on Saturday, August 7. Market Street Mile will be on Saturday, September 11. Rick’s Run 5.22 Mile Race and Ultra Challenge will be on Sunday, October 10. Not only are these races part of our Signature Races, but they are also part of the Grand Prix Series. What’s this you might ask? The Grand Prix Series includes various races around the area. Awards are given for participating in a minimum of four events and for those who like to compete, awards are given for the top five overall female and male participants, as well as the top five female and male participants in each age group. Awards are given at the Annual Running Celebration and Banquet which is held in January.

The first of our Low-Key Races took place on Saturday, July 3, at the Indy 5000. The 97 runners showed up on a cool July morning to run a 5K on the paved path at Riverside Park. A huge thank you to Race Director, Victor Cretella, and all the volunteers for putting together a fun event.

The next Low-Key Race takes place on Saturday, July 24. The Run for the Pie 10k is hosted by Race Director, Mark Lawrence. This hilly run takes place at the entrance to the Frederick Watershed. While it is free to members, all participants are asked to bring a pie. After the top female and male select their pies, pies are then selected in order of finishing time. Will you get one of the coveted homemade pies or a store-bought pie? This year we will have access to the cabin near the start line to gather before and after the race. 

Our Decathlon Series looked a little different this year, as the series started off at local parks and not on the track. Due to the schedules at the local high school tracks, we were unable to use the tracks until July. Race Director, Tim O’Keefe, didn’t let this stop him and got creative by holding the first five events at local parks. Participants really enjoyed the change in format, as well as getting to explore new places to run. The last five events took place on the track, starting with everyone’s favorite, the 800m. Not only is this a Grand Prix event, but it is also the Ice Cream Social. A huge thank you to John Leonardis and Charm City Run for providing the ice cream. Awards for the Decathlon Series will be presented on Saturday, August 21, at the Summer Picnic.

Our training programs are in full swing, and we are so thankful for our amazing coaches who are leading these groups. The Women’s 5K Training Group and Marathon Training Group started last month. The Half Marathon Training Group starts this month, and the 10K Group starts in August. Remember, these training programs are FREE for members.

A huge thank you to our Membership Chair, Barb Meely, for hosting the New Member Meet and Greet last month. Barb invited several club leaders to come talk about different aspects of the club. While we couldn’t have a run after the meeting, we look forward to seeing our new members at future races, training runs, and social events. Speaking of new members, do you know someone in the area who’s a runner and isn’t a member of the club? If so, let them know about the club and all we have to offer. 

As you may or may not know, our club is 100% run by volunteers. From our coaches of the training programs to the Executive Board, everyone is doing their part because of their love for the club. With things returning to normal, we are looking for volunteers for different events. Our wonderful Volunteer Chair, Crystal Tressler, put together a survey to gather information on member talents and interests for volunteer opportunities. Thanks to everyone who has completed this survey, as well as to everyone who volunteers for the club. We couldn’t do it without you.

Did you know that we have a Store where you can buy Steeplechasers swag? Our new Store managers, Christine Stafford and Carolyn DiMaria, are working on bringing in some new items for the fall. Look for more information on our Facebook Page and the bi-monthly eNewsletter about new products as well as any specials.

While we love running, we also love getting together to socialize just as much. With COVID-19 restrictions changing, we have been able to have more social events. Thanks to Billy Clem and Farrah Douglas for bringing back the weekly Pub Runs. These events are posted on the FSRC Group Runs group on Facebook. Our Summer Picnic will be held on Saturday, August 21 at Utica Park from 12:30 to 5:00 pm. Thanks to our Social Committee, Gwyn Whieldon and Jason Scaroni, for organizing this fun event. Look for more information below. We are also making plans for the Membership Meeting in November, as well as the Annual Running Celebration and Banquet in January. It is so nice to be able to get together to socialize and celebrate. 

I hope that your summer is off to a great start and look forward to seeing you out on the roads or trails, or even at a race or at one of our club events.

~ Heidi Novak

FSRC President