This week’s incredible member spotlight is on Kathleen Kempert:

My kids run with the Middletown Knight Striders XC and track teams and I became good friends with one of their coaches, Jenny. I would see Jenny post about her runs around the area, and some of her races and decided to start running myself. I ran in high school but was a sprinter and I hadn’t really run since I graduated over 20+ years ago. I started by using the Beachbody program “30 Day Breakaway“ and even though I hated it, I stuck with it. The program ends with a 5K, so I signed up for a real one and ran the Mermaid Run up in Aberdeen and was really proud of myself when I crossed the finish line.

Since then, I have run about a dozen 5Ks and have gotten faster, dropping my pace from a 9:12 at my first run to a 7:21 at a race I ran in March. Jenny had asked me to do the relay with her at the Frederick Running Festival, so I started running longer distances to prepare. In January, my friend Heather invited me to a Steeps breakfast run where we ran 9 miles, which was my longest at the time. I then joined her at the Saturday half marathon trainings, and met other members of the Steeps and finally joined myself. At the time I had no desire to run a half marathon, but as it got closer to race day, I started toying with the idea more. I finally decided to run the Maryland Half Marathon in Maple Lawn and Rob Prokop worked with me to come up with an abbreviated training plan. Jenny and my best friend, Sam (who also just recently joined the Steeps) ran with me and I hit my goal of running my first half and under two hours! I’m amazed at how far I’ve come in less than a year!