Heidi Novak

President’s Message

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Summer is flying by, and we have all been busy with training, racing, and trying to stay cool. It’s been a busy few months, and things will be getting even busier as we return to school in a few weeks. For those of you who don’t know this, in addition to being the president of the club, I am also a Primary Montessori teacher in Arlington, VA. Yes, you heard me correctly, I work in Arlington, but live in Frederick. This summer, I cut back on my hours at my summer job, which has allowed me more time to rest, relax, and of course, run. After running my first 50-miler last year at JFK 50, I signed up again and can’t wait to see all of the Steeplechasers on November 19 at the Mile-19 Aid Station.

Our Races

Heidi Novak
Heidi ringing the PR bell at the end of the Summer Solstice 8K Race in June.

Our Signature Races kicked off in June with our nighttime race, the Summer Solstice 8K. The weather was perfect that night and many runners, including myself, rang the PR bell after the race. It was a perfect evening to listen to The Few and enjoy some delicious BBQ and Flying Dog beer. A huge thank you to everyone’s favorite race director, Harriet Langlois, and assistant race director, Michelle Edwards, as well as to all of the wonderful volunteers for making this event a huge success.

A great perk about being a member of the Steeplechasers is our low-key races, which are FREE to members. The Lewis Memorial 10-Miler, which typically takes place in January, was held in April this year. In addition to a different date, race director, Mark Lawrence, made a few tweaks to the course to ensure that runners and volunteers were safe. The Independence 5000 took place on Saturday, July 2, and thanks to co-race director, Caren Clark’s help, race director, Victor Cretella, was able to run the race. On Saturday, July 23, we ventured up into the mountains for the Run for the Pie 10K. It was a morning of hills, heat, and humidity, however, race director, Mark Lawrence, and his volunteers made it a great time. Oh, and let’s not forget the pie.

The second Signature Race, the Women’s Distance 5K, took place on Saturday, August 6. Harriet Langlois is back as race director, always making this event memorable. The Women’s Distance Festival is the goal race for the Women’s 5K Training Group. This year’s group was coached by first-time coaches Sue Searcy, Michelle Carlin, and Heather Kopf. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the training program. 

Our Coaches

Speaking of new coaches, the Fall Marathon Training Group is being led this year by three new coaches. While new to coaching, they aren’t new to the training programs. Thank you to Ainsley Cain, John Duffy, and Marie Burnett for leading this group as they train for fall marathons. The Half Marathon Training Group got started in August and is led by Michelle Newton, Andrea Thompson, Amanda Berry, and Robert Kelley. In an effort to beat the heat, they are mixing things up with Tuesday runs and will be having morning runs during the month of August. Both groups are targeting the Freedom Run Races (Half Marathon and Marathon). In addition to being on the Grand Prix schedule, there is a discount code for members. All discounts are included in the bi-monthly newsletter.

Our Grand Prix Series

Things are heating up with the Grand Prix Race Series. This year, there are 19 races on the schedule and after the Women’s Distance 5K on August 6, there are still six races left. In order to be eligible for a participation award, you must run at least four races. For competition purposes, the best five races count towards scoring. If you are curious to learn more about the Grand Prix Series, as well as see the current standings, here’s a link: https://steeplechasers.org/competition/club-competition/grand-prix/. Grand Prix awards are given out at the Annual Running Celebration and Banquet in January.

The Decathlon Series, hosted by Tim O’Keefe, ended on Wednesday, August 3. This year, we were fortunate to hold all of the events on the track at Frederick High School and only one event was canceled due to the weather. Rather than extending the series, the canceled race (1500m) was added to the schedule for the following week. If you are interested in learning more about this series, as well as the current standings, here’s a link: https://steeplechasers.org/competition/club-competition/decathlon/ Decathlon awards are presented at the FSRC Summer Picnic. 

Our Annual Summer Picnic

The Annual FSRC Summer Picnic will be held on Saturday, August 20, from 12:30-5:00 p.m. at Utica District Park, Shelter #1. Here is the link to RSVP: https://runsignup.com/fsrcsummerpicnic The club will be providing the main dishes and some side dishes. There is also a sign-up for appetizers, sides, and desserts. Here is the link: https://www.signupgenius.com/FSRCpicnic. Thanks to the Social Committee, led by Justine Springer, for putting on this fun-filled and exciting event.

Our last two Signature Races will be taking place in September and October. Market Street Mile will be taking place on Saturday, September 10. Our wonderful race directors, Chris Dutton and assistant race director, Jake Sisler, have been working hard to get things ready for this event. Rick’s Run 5.22 Mile Race and Ultra Challenge will be taking place on Sunday, October 9. Did you see the awesome shirt that the race director, Crista Horn, picked for this year’s race?

End of My Term

It’s hard to believe that my term is coming to an end. We are currently working on forming the Nominating Committee, who will be tasked with putting together the slate of Officers and Directors to be voted on at the Annual Running Celebration and Banquet in late January. Look for more information about this on the Facebook group, as well as in upcoming newsletters. We are also going to be hosting a get-together with current Board Members and the Nominating Committee, so you can learn more about the different positions. 

With lots happening the next few months, I hope that you will be able to get out to some races and events, especially if you are new to the club. This is a great way to meet other members and find out ways you can get involved.

Heidi Novak

FSRC President