We really do have the most diverse and amazing members! I would love to share your stories, accomplishments or anything else you would like to share. Please send them to barb.meely@steeplechasers.org.

This week’s incredible member spotlight is on Erica McCann.

“I am Erica: a mom of 4 who works full time, while juggling running and training.

Running is part of who I am. Running just happens, I don’t love it, sometimes I don’t like it, but I continue to do it because I don’t know how to quit. I’ve never regretted a run and I love the feeling of self satisfaction. I am grateful to be a STEEP. I enjoy volunteering, inspiring others and challenging myself. I run to compete; to be the best that I can be. I enjoy helping others accomplish their goals in running and in life. 

Running has always been something I have done from the young age of 6 through my now age of 40. I started out running with the Hershey Track and Field program and then was the Washington County Cross Country Champion in 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. In middle school I kept running, but not as much competing as I then joined the volleyball team. In high school I was a sprinter/jumper/hurdler which landed me a few school records and a Gold medal at the State Championship in May of 1998 for the 100m Hurdles. This win was huge, as I had laparoscopic knee surgery in March of 1998. I graduated high school and attended HCC where I ran cross country, outdoor track and played volleyball. Volleyball landed me a full ride to Division 1 High Point University, however after seeing how much time and commitment that level of play required, I transferred to Salisbury University where I no longer played sports but instead focused on my studies which landed me a degree in Exercise Science in 2003.

After college, I continued running, but never really training, until 2010 when I signed up with two friends to run the Frederick Half Marathon. I thought, “How is this sprinter going to run 13.1 miles and with a decent goal?” I had no idea what I was capable of. I winged the training and finished in 2:10:00. Ten years later my PR sits at 1:36:00. 

In 2013, I signed up for my first marathon – Baltimore! I had just delivered twins in 2012 and wanted a challenge one year later. Because I was such a novice, I decided to run a practice marathon one month prior to Baltimore. I ran the Lehigh Marathon (now known as Via) in 4:06:00. This gave me the goal for Baltimore. I needed to break 4 hours and I did with a 3:59:00. My PR now sits at 3:32:00. From 2013 to 2016 I took time off from marathons (running three in 3 months wasn’t smart for my body). In 2014 and 2015, I battled an injury and was diagnosed with a torn labrum in my hip. I continued running and added in more strength work to get healthy. In 2016, I decided to hop back on the marathon train and set a goal of qualifying for Boston. I had been to Boston as a spectator but I wanted my chance to RUN the Boston Marathon.

In 2016, I suffered a fibula stress fracture which gave me 8 weeks in a boot. Too much, too fast, too soon. After that injury, I learned of the Steeplechasers from a friend and he mentioned how great the people were, and the events they put on. Best $20 I ever spent. I ran their low-key races, while meeting some incredible people and runners. I also volunteered at multiple local events. It’s an all-around great club.

In 2017, I ran the Outer Banks marathon and earned a BQ [Boston Qualifier]. However, that qualifying time didn’t earn me a spot in the 2019 Boston Marathon, as I was shy of the cut off by seconds. Boston then changed the qualifying standards by 5 minutes meaning I needed to run even faster to get my BQ. Challenge accepted: I ran the Richmond Marathon in 2018 to earn my BQ for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Registration was accepted, training started…race postponed. I was excited for Boston to then be a fall marathon until COVID-19 destroyed those plans. All that hard work for a race that isn’t happening for the first time in history. 2020: a year of craziness.”

We would love to share your stories, accomplishments or anything else you would like to share! If you would like to be featured here, please send your story to barb.meely@steeplechasers.org.