5K Race Attracts 600 Female Runners
FREDERICK, Md. — In August, the 33rd annual Frederick Women’s Distance Festival, hosted by the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club, was back at Frederick Community College. 607 runners and walkers participated this year and the busy race-day expo drew area sponsor businesses and non-profit organizations. The run/walk is a favorite in Frederick, demonstrating support for women’s running, health, and fitness, and raising money for the Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County.
“The volunteers execute this race as a well-oiled machine and this year was no exception” race director Harriet Langlois said. “The uniquely supportive nature of this all-female event brings energy and empowerment to all participants”, she added.
The 2022 race raised $26,585 for the Giving Circle’s grant program, supporting local nonprofits that help women in the Frederick community. In addition to race registration fees, more than 200 businesses and individuals made donations or funded sponsorships to support the race and the Women’s Giving Circle. Since 2010, the event has generated over $207,000 for the Giving Circle.
“We are honored that the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club has again chosen the Giving Circle as the charitable beneficiary of the race”, said Bonnie Swanson, chair of the Women’s Giving Circle. “We are deeply grateful to everyone who makes this event so successful every year”, she added.
Lauren Cramer, of Hagerstown, won this year’s race in 19 minutes, 45 seconds. Claire Heasman, a member of the running club, finished fourth after starting behind all of the other runners. By passing all but three of the other participants, she raised an additional $860 for the Giving Circle in a unique sponsorship agreement with Orangetheory Fitness.
McLaughlin Family Chiropractic returned as the Premier Sponsor of the event this year. Dr. Mimi McLaughlin is a member of the Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County and competed in the race.
In 1979, the Road Runners Club of America started the Women’s Distance Festival in response to the lack of distance running events in the Olympic Games for women. While women’s participation in distance running currently matches or surpasses that of men, the Women’s Distance Festival continues to serve as a celebration of the determination and dedication of women runners across the country.
The Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club has been supporting the local running community since 1975. The four Signature Races hosted by the Steeplechasers typically raise over $60,000 for the wider Frederick community, reflecting the club’s commitment to making Frederick a better place for all its residents. See steeplechasers.org for more information about the Steeplechasers and frederickwdf.com for details of the race, which will be held next year on August 5, 2023.