In the Beginning

When I joined the club at the end of 2014, I never saw myself becoming the president of the club. In actuality, I never saw myself becoming a runner. I was one of those kids who would try to get out of PE class and would avoid physical activities, such as yard work. I started working out in college and briefly played on the women’s rugby team. I kept up with aerobic classes after college, but it wasn’t until the school I was working at started planning a 5K that I started getting interested in running. I can still remember my dad’s Facebook post after my first half marathon, sharing about his daughter who was a “late bloomer”. While I didn’t meet my overly ambitious goal of a 2-hour half marathon (my time was 2:02:40), I had caught the running bug and had found a running club to help me with my goals.

I participated in several half-marathon training groups before I decided to get involved with the club as a volunteer. Thanks to Billy Clem’s wonderful example as a coach, I took the RRCA course and joined the coaching team. I coached for several years, as well as becoming the chair of the Social Committee, before I decided that I wanted to get involved with leadership. As a teacher, the secretary role seemed perfect for me. I’m organized and like taking notes. After serving in this role for two years, I decided that I wanted to continue on as a Board member, but had bigger goals in sight.

My Term as President

My term as president began as things with the pandemic were becoming more relaxed. We were able to hold our Signature Races in person that year with COVID-19 plans in place and the training groups, as well as the youth programs, were back in action. Our Decathlon Series looked a little bit different in 2021, as it started off at local parks before ending on the track. As COVID-19 restrictions changed, we were able to hold social events, such as the Summer Picnic and brought back the weekly Pub Runs. 

Despite having to reschedule the Annual Running Celebration and Banquet in 2022, due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, things got back to normal and we were able to hold all of our races and events. I was able to attend my first RRCA Convention and accepted the RRCA Communications Excellence Award on behalf of our wonderful Communications Committee, led by Oksana Lightfield.

Reflecting on the Last Two Years

As my term as president is coming to an end, I have been reflecting on this amazing experience. I have learned so much the past two years and have grown, both as a runner and as a member in the club. Some people don’t believe me when I say this, but I am actually pretty shy. It has taken me years to become comfortable with public speaking. However, thanks to this experience, getting up in front of a crowd doesn’t give me anxiety.

I can’t let my term end without thanking a few people who have helped to make my job a lot easier. I am so fortunate to have had an amazing Executive Board, which included Chris Dutton (vice president), Michelle Edwards (secretary), and Crystal Tressler (treasurer), as well as the Directors (Lou King, Tim O’Keefe, and Josh Roane). A huge thank you to all of the committee chairs. Too many people to name, but please know how much I appreciate all that you do for the club. Oh, and let’s not forget all of the wonderful members of the club. I have truly appreciated all of your support and encouragement during my term.

What’s Next?

So, what’s next for me you ask? In addition to being nominated to be a director for the 2023-2025 term, I am taking on a new role in the club as the racing team chair. When this announcement was made, I was told that I had some big shoes to fill. My first thought was, “Ooh, I love shoes”. In all seriousness, while this is very different from the other positions I have had in the club, my level of commitment to the team, as well as the club will remain the same. I am excited to continue to support, encourage, and grow the team, as well as highlighting their amazing accomplishments.

I have big goals for next year, as I plan on completing my first 100-miler, so look out for me at group runs and races, as well as social events. 

Thanks for the opportunity to lead this amazing club. Stay safe and healthy and keep on moving!

~ Heidi