Award Winners – 2014

Grand Prix Qualifiers

  • Brenda Jacobs
  • Susan Wood
  • Mary Kay Morgan
  • Bruce Attavian
  • Rich Potter
  • Chris Beers Arthur

GRAND PRIX AGE-GROUP WINNERS

WOMEN

13 & Under

  1. Sola Beers-Arthur

14-29

  1. Kelly Schultz

30-39

  1. Janadel Harris
  2. Katy Warehime
  3. Kristin McPherson-Pratt
  4. Allison Bierly

40-49

  1. Crista Horn
  2. Keary Johnston
  3. Joanne Capoccia
  4. Pamela Geernaert
  5. Susan Errickson

50-59

  1. Lorraine Sullivan
  2. Beverly Black
  3. Robin McConaughey
  4. Michelle Mitchell

60-69

  1. Loretta Fahy
  2. Margo Smith

MEN

13 & Under

none

14-29

none

30-39

  1. Andrew Spangenberg

40-49

  1. Michael Geisler
  2. Billy Clem
  3. John Way
  4. Scott Meredith, Jason Judd

50-59

  1. Ron Black
  2. George Corbi

60-69

  1. Malcolm Senior
  2. Tim O’Keefe
  3. Tim Morgan
  4. Mike O’Grady
  5. Herman Smith

70+

  1. Art Gregory

GRAND PRIX WINNERS OVERALL

Women

  1. Sage Norton
  2. Katelin Peropat
  3. Jennifer Donoghue
  4. Lori Cooper
  5. Ruth Taylor

Men

  1. Josh Henson
  2. Javier Montenegro
  3. Joe Basford
  4. Steve Dobson
  5. Robert Zaal

Equalizer Series

Women

  1. Ruth Taylor – 28,947 (72.36% avg)
  2. Katelin Peropat – 28,827 (72.06% avg)
  3. Lorraine Sullivan – 27,409 (68.52% avg)

Men

  1. Malcolm Senior – 31,946 (79.86% avg)
  2. Tim Morgan – 31,610 (79.02% avg)
  3. Josh Henson – 30,608 (76.52% avg)

MD Grand Prix Series

Would also like to recognize Steeplechasers who placed in the MD State Grand Prix Series.

Please stand and be recognized as I call your name.

1st Place overall – Ruth Taylor

1st place overall – Karsten Brown

3rd place overall – Ted Poulos

1st Place 45-49 – John Way

1st Place 60-64 – Malcolm Senior

2nd Place 60-64 – James Moreland

1st Place 70+ – Art Gregory

Major Awards

Runner of the Year – Women (Katelin Peropat)

The winner of the female Runner of the Year for 2014 is Katelin Peropat. Katelin is new to the area and new to the club in 2014. She comes to us from our neighbors to the north, PA. Mark Lawrence first spotted her at a 5k at Bechtel in April and he quickly recruited her to the Steeps. She started making a splash at the Summer Decathlon, where she would wait for the last heat to run against the fastest runners. She put up some very competitive times on the track, peaking with a 5:35 Mile, good enough for a 75% AG. It looks like she liked the Steeps enough to keep coming back and raced Grand Prix races and trained with the Fall marathon and half marathon training programs. Before taking on her first half marathon, she lowered her 2014 mile time at Market Street Mile to 5:30. At Freedom’s Run, Katelin ran a very strong first half of the race and got through the Antietam Battlefields before hitting the proverbial wall – yet still clocked an impressive 1:37:01 in her half marathon debut. She’s rounded out her year by strong showings at the Spook Hill 4 miler (1st female Steep, 6:40 pace), CMES Roaring Lion 5k (18:47 PR, 78.8% AG, 1st overall female) and the Emmitsburg Wattle Waddle 5 miler (31:54, 75.9% AG). With a nearly perfect score, she finished 2nd in the Grand Prix and placed 2nd in the Equalizer series (as a 24 year old!), and finished 4th in the Summer Decathlon among some very stiff competition. We look forward to Katelin’s growth as a runner in 2015 as she continues to represent the Steeplechasers at a high level.

Runner of the Year – Men (Eamon Connelly)

A year ago, Tim Snyder mentioned in his Rising Star presentation, “I find it incredible to think how well he will run in years to come…even next year at this time.”  Well, here is what happened in the last year…

That 61:47 10-mile time from 2013 …is now down to 59:39.  That  5K split of 17:30…is now down to 16:47.  Every 5K he ran with the exception of one was 17:36 or faster, including a sub-17:00 5K split in a 10K race.

The 2013 Rising Star was the second Steeplechaser to cross the finish line at the Frederick Half-Marathon, barely missing the 1 hour and 22 minute mark.  He was the first Steeplechaser to cross the finish line at the Market Street Mile with an improved time of 4:44, good for 4th place overall. In an Army 10 Miler field of over 26,000 runners, he finished 209th overall, which is in the top 1% of runners in one of the largest and most competitive races in the country.

Last year, Tim mentioned that the Rising Star’s notable attribute was his growth mindset.  He continues to lead by example, distinguishing himself from the everyday runner.  He is not afraid of challenges, setbacks, or obstacles.  Even if someone is faster than him, he still shows up on race day and embraces the competition.  Moreover, he has the drive and vision to reach his utmost potential on any given day.  He is an inspiration for everyone in this city, club, and sport.

A year later, we again find it incredible to think how well he will run in years to come…even next year at this time.  The 2014 Runner of the Year… Eamon Connelly.

Master Runner of the Year – Women (Harriet Langlois)

Our Women’s Masters Runner of the Year is fast at any distance, but really excels when she’s running on the track. She ran all 10 of the decathlon races this past year, and broke 70% age grade on 6 of them, with her peaks in the 1600 and 1500 meters at 74.7 and 74.9% respectively (7:23 and 6:51 for those of you keeping score).

Not just a track runner, she had started the year with a 1:58 Rock N Roll USA Half marathon (just a hair under 70% age grade), then ran the Boston Marathon, breaking 70% with a 4:14. And then there was the Parkway Panda 5k where she ran a 25:50 giving her an age grade of 72%.

Unfortunately, the track series took a toll on her and she had to take most of September off. Her husband thought he might have a chance to catch up with her a bit on her marathon count, but she was hearing none of it. She finished the year with guts, running the Freedom’s Run Half and the Mount Desert Island Marathon in October, before finally deciding to take some needed time off to heal up.

Congratulations, Masters Runner of the Year, Harriet Langlois.

Master Runner of the Year – Men (Steve Dobson)

What a versatile and impressive runner this guy is!  He can run far and long as well as short and fast and does both extremely well.  And he is more than happy to help others reach their training goals too, especially on the trails.

This Ultra Runner’s major accomplishments for 2014 include ranking among the top 5 (4th) in the Grand Prix series, among the top 10 (8th) in the Decathlon series and finished 13th in his 8th (in a row) Catoctin 50k.  His biggest accomplishment was completing the 2014 Beast Series which includes; Holiday Lake 50k in February, Terrapin Mountain 50k in March, Promise Land 50k in April, Grindstone 100 miler in October, MMTR 50 miler in November, and Hellgate 100k in December, which all took place in the Mountains and National Forests of the Lynchburg, VA area.

Your 2014 Masters Runner of the Year, Steve Dobson

Grand Master Runner of the Year – Women (Dee Nelson)

Our next award winner is truly remarkable.  This Grand Master Runner of the Year consistently scores in the 80s and even up to the 90th percentile for age grade.  She’s racing nearly every weekend; sometimes multiple races in a weekend in anything from shorter track distances to 10 miles. Race highlights include the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in 87 minutes and 18 seconds (an 85.6% age grade), the Westminster Main Street Mile in 7:19 (an age grade of 91.5%), Market Street Mile in 90% AG 7:33, and the Women’s Distance Festival 5K in Reston, VA in 25:44 (an 86.5% age grade)

She rounded out the Summer Decathlon in 6th place overall.

In total, she ran 67 races in 2014… 67 RACES! She’s an inspiration to all of us, for sure.

Please join me in congratulating our Grand Master Runner of the Year – Dee Nelson.

Grand Master Runner of the Year – Men (Tim Morgan)

Our Grand Master Runner of the Year represents the club well in races all over the area. He is always at the top of his age group, consistently posting age graded times in the high 70%’s. He even eclipsed the 80% mark when he donned the Steeps singlet for the first time in the Club Challenge 10 miler, posting a time of 1:10:14. At 63 years old, he was the 23rd place runner in the over 50 class (3rd over 60).

His year was also highlighted by a 20:44 5k at the Parkway Panda grand prix series race and mile times of 5:56 at the Midsummer Night’s Mile in Rockville and 6:00 at our own Market Street Mile.

He finished 6th place in the decathlon series (I believe he was in a walking boot for part of that) and was the runner up in the Equalizer series.

Our 2014 Grand Masters Runner of the Year… Tim Morgan.

Rising Star – Women (Jenny Donoghue)

At 22 years old, our 2014 female rising star has been running races for a few years, but just got involved with the Steeps this past year. She may have had second thoughts about joining the club, as her first race was the cold and treacherous Lewis 10 Miler, which she completed in a respectable 1:22:57. But it paid off as a prep race, representing FSRC 3 weeks later in the club challenge, she posted a 10 mile PR of 1:15:57.

I believe what got her in the club was the spring marathon training program, but she had no intentions of running a spring marathon. She just wanted to come to the group runs and smile…and run. Eventually her arm was twisted and she was forced to sign up for the Gettysburg Marathon. I am pretty sure she posted a big PR, coming in at 3:43.

Just one week later, she set a new PR by about 10 minutes in the Frederick Half, finishing in a blazing 1:34:48 (1st female Steep).

Her year was also highlighted by a Parkway Panda 5k, where she broke the 70% age grade, with a 20:42 and a 3rd place finish in the Grand Prix Series.

With her energy and positive attitude, look for more big things in the future, in races and within the FSRC organization, from our 2014 Rising Star…Jenny Donoghue

Rising Star – Men (Andrew Spangenberg)

In June of 2014, our Rising Star sent a message to a fellow Steeplechaser.  The opening paragraph went something like, “Hey, you don’t know me, but I follow your training.  I want to get more competitive and I was hoping you could provide me with some tips.  I understand if you don’t want to respond, but I thought I’d check anyway.”  Minutes later, Eamon Connelly and Tim Snyder  took him on board.

This runner mentioned that he could run “19-something” for the 5K at his very best.  He ran over 70 minutes at the RRCA Club Challenge last February and had a mile PR of 5:38 as of this past June.  Just six weeks into training, he lowered that 5:38 to 5:13 at the summer decathlon mile.  That 5K dropped to 18:47 in a month and again to 18:14 in just two months.  At the Market Street Mile, he ran an unbelievable 4:52, good for 3rd place as a Steeplechaser and 7th place overall.

Unfortunately, this runner experienced an injury in late-September, keeping him from peak performances in October.  I know the times he was capable of running, and he will prove it in the next training cycle.  Altogether, his breakthrough in the spring and summer is unparalleled.  What will 2015 bring for this runner?

Join us in congratulating Andrew Spangenberg as the 2014 Men’s Most Improved runner.

Most Improved – Women (Joanne Capoccia)

Throughout 2014, your Most Improved Female Runner has shown remarkable improvement in all aspects of her running. Prior to 2014, she ran one marathon, a few half marathons and several ten milers while focusing primarily on shorter distances. She started the year off with a bang by running two ten milers, the Lewis Memorial and the Club Challenge in 1:29 and 1:23 respectively. This past April, in only her second marathon ever, she ran Gettysburg in 4:13, bettering her previous marathon time by almost 7 minutes.

She then made her way to the ‘Dark Side’ and started running amongst the Shed Heads. Quickly developing a love for the trails and, with less than eight weeks of  training, she lined up at the start of her first ultra, the grueling Catoctin 50K. Crossing the finish line in under her goal time of 8 hours, covered in some dirt and a little blood and, as we found out later, suffering from a broken finger resulting from a fall she took early in the race but still giving the thumbs up while flashing her trademark smile.

Not to be deterred by the injury, within a week she signed up for her first 50 miler, the Stone Mill 50. With a strong push in the final three miles, she finished the 50 in 11:42, well under the race cutoff.  While training throughout the summer, she set personnel best for weekly and monthly miles run; running 60 miles in a week and over two hundred miles in a single month. She ran the Thorpewood 10K, bettering her time from last year by nearly three minutes.

At the other end of the spectrum, she ran her fastest mile ever at the Market Street Mile in 6:50, breaking seven minutes for the first time.

Of the six Grand Prix events that she ran both last year and this year, she improved her time in five of them.

In addition to training and competing in her own races, she found the time to be a pacer for the last twenty plus miles of both the Grindstone 100 Mile Endurance run and the Hellgate 100K++. In addition to Most Improved Runner, she was selected If the Shoe Fits’ Runner of the Month for November.

Expect much more from her in 2015,  as she plans to dive deeper into the world of ultra racing.. Let me introduce to you your Most Improved Female Runner for 2014, Joanne Capoccia.

Most Improved – Men (Billy Clem)

You might not know it from talking to Billy after a race, but he rocked it this year.  In 2014 he ran a PR at just about every distance. The summer was kind to Billy as he ran PR’s in the half marathon at the Frederick Distance Festival, in the 5k at the Parkway Panda 5k, and in the 10 mile at the Baltimore 10 miler, all within a span of 6 weeks. If the summer was good, the fall was better! Billy lowered his marathon personal best time to 3:39:05 at the Marine Corps Marathon – that’s 27 minutes faster than his time on that same course just two years earlier!

While his accomplishments with the race clock are noteworthy, it isn’t the only place he’s made big gains this past year. Many Steeplechasers around Frederick have benefitted from his leadership within the marathon and half-marathon training programs. His encouraging words and positive attitude remind us that although he continues to improve, he wants nothing more than to see other runners accomplish their goals as well.

The winner of the most improved male runner for 2014 is Billy Clem.

Ironman – Men (Ryan Cooper)

If you’ve not been fortunate to join your 2014 Iron Man on our local trails you might not be aware of his passion for ultra running. Venture out on a long run with him in the Watershed and the miles will fly by with stories of mega training runs and countless races in the mountains. His Ultra Signup is a list of the world’s toughest and most prestigious ultra distance races: Hardrock, Western States, Leadville, UTMB, JFK, Wasatch Front, Rocky Racoon, the list goes on.

In 2014 he tried his hand at a few east coast races. He started the year finishing second in the Lewis Memorial 10 Miler, a warmup sprint, finishing in 1:06. He completed the 2014 Beast Series, six grueling races of distances between 50K and 100 miles, held in the Appalachian Mountains around Lynchburg, Virginia, culminating with the brutal midnight start Hellgate 100K where he finished in 14th place. He finished third in the Beast Series with an overall time of 62 hours, 55 minutes and 6 seconds.

His joy for running and his drive and determination when racing or during a tough training run are inspiring.

One word of caution, if you do find yourself on the trails with our Iron Man, don’t follow too closely – he’s been known to split his manpris on strenuous climbs.

Congratulations Ryan Cooper

Ironwoman – Women (Pam Geernaert) – Jan Harris Presenting

I am so excited to be here tonight.  This is one of my favorite Steeps events.  Tonight we get to celebrate the many achievements of our peers; those who will, or have already inspired us to take our own running to new levels and those who have been inspired to do so.  I am so excited to see how my friends have progressed over this past year.

As I announce the winner of this award, the Ironwoman award, I want take this opportunity to thank her for inspiring me to become the runner I am today.  It is because of her that I ran my first ultra; the Catoctin 50k.  And it is because of her that I ran 2 more 50ks.  It was with her help, motivation, encouragement, and support that I achieved my half and full marathon goals and PRs, and ran my first 50miler.  And she not only helped me… she helped and inspired so many other runners…

This runner has had an amazing past year.  She began her year with the Lynchburg series, completing three 50ks in Feb, March, and April… yes, three 50ks in just 3 months!  She followed up by completing the North Face 50k and the Vermont 100k (shaving 69mins off her previous 100k), both within a few weeks of each other!  But she didn’t stop there… in September, she ran the Labor Pains 12 hour run, completing over 40miles!  Even more impressive, she completed the Lynchburg series by running the Mountain Masochist 50miler in November… and then ran the Stone Mill 50miler the following week!

In addition to her own training and racing, this person has taken time out to help others by being a pacer.  She joined me and my training team for those last pesky 6miles of the Cat50, she paced Rudy Regner at both Massanutten Mtn 100 (completing 30miles) and at Grindstone 100 (completing 32miles), and she was an official pacer for the Maryland running series, pacing the Frederick ½, the Baltimore 10miler, and the Baltimore marathon.

So, it is with great honor, and emotion, that I present this award to my mentor, my coach, my sister, my BRB (best running bestie), Pamela Geernaert!  Congratulations!

Anderer Award – (Mark Lawrence)

This person embodies how our club has functioned and how important volunteerism is.

This person tirelessly gives to the club nearly every weekend.  Timing 30 racing events this year.  But in addition to timing  them is constantly recruiting and promoting the club.  Whether it’s taking aside the lead runners and asking them why they aren’t steeplechasers or promoting one of our training programs to all the runners.

This person also organizes the pie run and I think completely enjoying the masochism of timing (but not running) the Lewis Memorial brutal run.  And supplying the best, most arbitrary prizes Ollies has to offer.

This person has provided introductory Chi lessons at our Women’s Distance Festival, half marathon and marathon training program.

He also volunteers with the Parks and Rec department which keeps the Steeplechasers in the loop with changes to regulations of races etc.

His love of running is always apparent and he has always been not only an amazing ambassador of the running club, but a tired and true volunteer.

For these reasons Mark Lawrence is this year’s recipient of the Anderer award.

President’s Award (Luanne Houck)

Luanne Houck has been a foundation member of our club.  She has been a member of our club since 2004.  She has held leadership role in the club as executive Secretary and past chair of the Social Committee and has had board positions as membership committee chair and communications chair. Luanne was the first one to suggest the Delaplaine as a venue for our annual banquet.  As membership chair she has been responsible for first contact for each member who signed up with the club.  Initally this meant sending a personal email to each new member.  Aided now with a more efficient sign up technology, Luanne has now become more involved in keeping the club abreast of activities.  Luanne is the person behind our mailchimp program sending out messages regularly updating members about upcoming activities and promoting local races. When she first started this we had our club members emails to send promotions to, but now through promoting others races in return for their participants emails we now reach over 6000 runners to share information about our club and running opportunities in the area. She is also the person behind our FB page adding content and screening for inappropriate use of our site.

Luanne is the go to person for securing our table at the Frederick Half Marathon Expo and in making sure it is manned by volunteers to help promote the club.  She is also the one who worked on getting us the club discount for participating

Luanne was the brains and the brawn behind the Women’s Distance Festival 5 K training program 2 years ago.  And not only did she launch it, but she did it in such a way that the women felt comfortable and empowered.  After the first time she ran the program the women couldn’t get enough.  Many went on to run the Freedom’s 10K and the Frederick ½ marathon. Then came the sisterhood of the traveling ½ and the ladies went to Boston.  Luanne’s guidance and friendship were amazing and the participants got a wonderful look at Steeplechaser leadership .  A true leader lifts up those around them. The first year required a large number of volunteers for the program so we had a couple of experienced runners with each group.  But the program was so successful that many of the graduates of the first year program served as running mentors for the second year.  Showing that what these ladies are getting out of the program is more than running and they are paying it back… or maybe its forward

This year Luanne quickly jumped on board the idea of a Volunteer Appreciation program and worked with the chairs of each of the committees to gather the data of who volunteered. She created a spread sheet and did all the background work to make sure that our club thoughtfully expressed gratitude for the people who put in so much time to make the club work by volunteering in so many diverse ways .

As an athlete Luanne has been having a lot of fun working on completing a ½ marathon in every state.  She also completed a 310 mile tandem bike ride with Jon in the Ride Allegheny team to support wounded vets.

From her countless volunteer hours, to her constant bright ideas, to the tireless details, Luanne is amazing and a quiet beautiful asset to the club.  For these reasons I choose to give the President’s award to Luanne Houck.  Who could not be here tonight!