I started running as a freshman in high school in Carroll County, after deciding that my passion for the sport of soccer had faded.
I ran track and cross country all four years and managed to make all-county my senior year (alongside current Steeps, Arthur Leathers and Jessie Henderson). Running provided a wonderful outlet for competition, exercise, and led me to making friends that pushed me to do my best in every race.
After high school, my running interests took a ten-year hiatus as I worked through college and the beginning of my engineering career.
In 2014, I started looking into local 5K races to see if this was a hobby I still found interesting. In that decade of not running, I had continued to be an active outdoorsy person but something was missing and I found myself constantly anxious and looking for outlets for that energy. I signed up for and ran the grueling Thundering Hooves 5K in 24:59, a far 8 minutes off my high school PR, but I felt accomplished and excited to give running another try!
From 2015 to 2020, I ran on average three to four 5K races a year without seeing any improvement in my times. I still hadn’t made running an integral part of my life and the results showed.
In that span of time, I also ran the Frederick Half Marathon, my first half marathon, in 1:45, with a few weeks of training. I realized running was something I could excel in if I dedicated the time and energy but running exclusively alone usually meant I’d give it up again after a few weeks of effort.
In the early summer of 2021, after a major low point in life, after breaking my arm in a horse riding accident, I realized, I needed to make a change for myself. I had heard of the Steeplechasers through a mutual friend, Anne Shubert, and all the crazy trail running distances she had completed. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that, but the social aspect of a running club did appeal to me.
I showed up to my first Wednesday Pub Run, hosted by our wonderful Billy Clem, and immediately meshed with a fun group of likeminded social runners with similar goals and a drive to improve. I was once again hooked on running and the Steeplechasers gave me the diverse group of people to meet and interact with.
The club’s huge variety of races, competitions, and social events were exactly what I had been searching for! Over the span of the second half of 2021, I set and achieved a handful of goals I had long thought impossible, including a sub-20 minute 5K at the Frederick Turkey Trot and a 5 minute mile in the Market Street Mile.
My goals for this year are to run 1000 miles in 2022, complete the CAT 25K, and finish my first marathon in Baltimore in October. I also plan to run as many of the club Grand Prix races as possible. The Steeplechasers running programs are worth their weight in gold in providing motivation and a guided schedule each week to work towards and achieve our goals!
I am still on the fence about taking the dive into the wild and exciting world of trail and ultra-running, however, the people are what make the experience worthwhile, and I hope to push myself to reach new and interesting running goals each year.