The Steeplechasers are made up of 100% volunteers. This week’s incredible member spotlight is on new fabulous volunteer Aidan Callery:
I began running in Ireland, where I grew up, about 20 years ago. Wow that makes me feel old! Any running prior to that was mandated by the various educational institutions I attended as part of physical education. My first running event was a 10k in The Phoenix Park in Dublin in 2004. After finishing that exhausted and sore, I promised myself to never run again. Once I was able to lick my running wounds and recover, I slowly dragged myself back to running and ran that 10k event 4 more times. I also enjoyed mountain running in Ireland, it was fun to race up and down mountains with friends and other thrill seekers.
I moved to Mount Airy in the United States in 2009 to get married to Kari. When I first arrived, I didn’t have a work permit – so I decided to spend my free time doing something productive and signed up for the Marine Core Marathon. I was able to train unimpeded by a regular job and any children at that time, which was very beneficial to my training plan. I trained largely on my own for about 6 months, mainly because I didn’t know about the great Steeps just yet. Perhaps I should have just Googled “running clubs near me”. My first marathon experience was great. I kept a steady pace of about 8:30 minute miles to finish in 3:48, but was delighted to just finish.
I joined the Steeplechasers in 2011 and signed up for the Full Marathon Training program that year. My goal race was the 2011 Baltimore Marathon. The training program was very supportive and provided me with a good structure to maintain a dedicated training plan. My target time for Baltimore was to break 3:40, but I fell a little short coming in at around 3:41.
January 2012 brought our first baby, a girl Áine. Needless to say, I didn’t do much long-distance running that year. The tragic events at the 2013 Boston Marathon and a desire to break 3:40 inspired me to run one more full marathon and I signed up for Harrisburg. With the help and support of the Full Marathon Training group, I finally achieved my sub-3:40 time, coming in at 3:39:20. Since then, I’ve been regularly running about 2 Half Marathons a year, sprinkling in Frederick, Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg, Rock N’ Roll, Saint Michaels, and Freedoms – all with the help of the Steeps training programs.
I am very grateful to the Steeps for the great support over the years and the many friendships I’ve made through the club. Lou King also inspired me to begin brewing while out on a 10-mile training run about 5 years ago! I decided to give something back by recently volunteering to help with the bi-weekly e- Newsletter. It provides a helpful update on the many, many great events and programs that the Steeps offer. I also volunteer as a coach with Girls on the Run at Mount Airy Elementary School.