You may have read about the awesome “streakers” in our club — people who’ve been running every day for months and even years. But did you know the Steeps also has a group of half-marathon streakers? To kick off the series, here’s Tee Dockery with her story…more to follow in the weeks ahead.
I ran my first half in the streak on the 19th of September 2020, on a bit of a whim, when the Half Marathon Training group was doing a 12 mile “figure eight” from Lewistown Elementary. It was a beautifully cool morning, and I was feeling good. I had doubled back to help a newer runner who was struggling, and by the time we got back to the school, I realized I was close to a half, so I went ahead and completed it.
A couple of weeks later, on another beautiful but cold morning in October, I ran the Steeps Challenge that HMT coaches Amanda Berry and Michele Newton put together from Utica District Park. This was an “unofficial” half to celebrate the training group since our target race, Freedom’s Run, had been cancelled due to COVID-19.
Then, in November, I ran the distance again to celebrate Michele’s birthday. After that, realizing that again it felt great, I decided I’d keep it up every month as long as I could. I invited others to join me, and it took off.
As of August 2022, I have run a half marathon distance every month for 24 months straight, and I see no end in sight. During this period, I have run six official half marathons, and the rest have been extended group training runs, or, occasionally, individual runs. Back in September 2021, I also ran a half every weekend of the month, with the encouragement of fellow Steep, Jessica Jones.
My streak almost came to an end when I had COVID near the end of June 2022. Fortunately, July had five weekends, so I was able to get the distance while running with the Marathon Training group on the 30th.
It’s hard to pick one, but I think I’d have to say that October 2020 run was my favorite. I have also enjoyed the Battlefield Half in Winchester, Virginia, and the Frederick Half. The most enjoyable runs have been those with friends, when the miles go by almost unnoticed in the pleasure of talking about anything and everything.
The hardest one may have been Freedom’s Half in October 2021, when the route was changed to include grassy trail on a hillside. Another hard one was July 2022, where, despite generally feeling recovered from COVID, I found my endurance was still a bit off.
This streak has definitely been worth it, and I do intend to keep it up as long as I’m blessed with the ability to do it. It has made my body much stronger, given me a monthly goal, and simply been enjoyable, even when it’s hard.
I won’t name the names of those who have run with me, other than those I’ve already mentioned, but you all know who you are. Please know that every one of you who has helped me in this streak is appreciated and loved!
— Compiled by Caree Vander Linden