Despite Distance, Club Members Stay Close

~Second in an occasional series~

Editor’s Note: Many Steeps members who have moved away from Frederick continue to stay in touch with us, and even travel back here for training, racing and socializing from time to time. We thought we’d reach out to learn more about our long-distance club members. This month, we are featuring SHAWN BURNS.

Shawn has been a member of the club for about eight years and started running when she turned 45. Previously, she had been placed on heart medication and a heart transplant list for a condition she developed during pregnancy at the age of 30.

“At 45, I was told I no longer needed the meds, and I asked my cardiologist if I could start running,” she recalls. “He said, yes, but take it easy and don’t do anything crazy!” Undaunted, Shawn went on to run her first marathon (Marine Corps) within that year. Since then, she’s completed over 30 full marathons and over 10 ultras. 

Although her husband’s job relocated them to Florida five years ago, Shawn initially kept her job in Baltimore and continued to come back to Frederick on a regular basis. Last month, she resigned from her position to accept another one closer to her new home. However, she says she will continue to come back for visits, as most of her family still lives in Maryland.

She also has no plans to give up her Steeps membership. “It’s a great club and for $20 a year, why not!” she says. “This is a great value and the Steeps are just good people. They care about each other and genuinely want to help and encourage all runners, both seasoned and new.”

Most recently, Shawn returned to the area to run the Summer Solstice 8K and the Frederick Half Marathon. Her favorite local event is the renowned “Run for the Pie.” She’s been unable to attend for the past few years, unfortunately, but hopes to make it happen in 2022.

As for her favorite race distance, Shawn says it’s “any” Ultra, adding, “I just love to go out for hours and hours and be with like-minded runners.” 

She has a simple message for new club members: “Keep showing up and you will meet or exceed your running goals.”

Thanks for the inspiration, Shawn! We hope to see you at a Steeps event again soon.

                                                                                                 –Caree Vander Linden