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Today’s spotlight is from longtime Steep Brent Ayer with a little Steeplechasers history and some running advice.
“So, the club was formally established in 1975. I believe the initial organizing meeting may have taken place in 1974. The reason I say that is, like all things running in this region in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the club had its origin with Jack Griffin.
In 1974, Mr. Griffin was coaching at Frederick Community College (among other places), a position he left in early 1975. He put together an organizational meeting, to establish a running club based in Frederick. This meeting was held at the office of a local surgeon, Frank Damazo. I am not sure if Frank ever ran. He did have a convenient location, one block from the hospital, and was known to Mr. Griffin. Frank was very active in the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which was taking a leadership role in local fitness activities.
I was a student-athlete at FCC. Mr. Griffin told me to be there. Also, there was a training partner of mine, Mark Smith. Mark was a very good middle distance runner for Frederick High School. The meeting probably took place over the summer or during a break because Mark was competing for Duke University. I recall that Dr. Damazo’s brother, Herb, was there as well as some others I don’t recall.
The Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club emerged from that meeting.I am currently training coaches for the Road Runners Club of America. And, as much as I would prefer conducting the training in person, it is still happening over Zoom. The Steeplechasers are hosting a fully subscribed session in July.
So, as a long-time coach, here is my advice for runners: As difficult as this is for so many members of our community, there is also some opportunity. Now is the time to heal or rehab from injury. For those of us who have been rushing from race to race, now is the time to build the aerobic base that is so important to improved performance. That strength work you always wanted to do but never had the time? Now, is that time to do so.
Best of luck to you!”
– Brent Ayer
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