This week’s incredible member spotlight is on someone who has stepped up many times to volunteer at races and has recently stepped up to help our Volunteer Committee! Thank you for all you do to support the Steeps Mary Bellamy!
I may be the only member of the Steeplechasers who has never run anywhere. I grew up swimming for sport and walking to explore and to get around. As an adult I worked, raised children, and went to the pool when I had time. And then, one day, my arms were too weak for me to swim. An auto-immune disease had begun its attack on the nerves in my arms and my legs. A couple of years ago, after too many sedentary years, I decided that I would take more risks and see if I could maybe walk more than I thought I could. I started out walking for a quarter of a mile and made my goal to walk a half mile at the first Dulles Run the Greenway Kid’s Fun Run. I got there and discovered that my parking spot was about a half a mile from the starting line, so it was more challenging than I expected, but I completed the walk, got back to my car, and collapsed. My second fun walk was for one mile at the Frederick High School Headless Horseman event. It had recently rained, and the bleachers were wet, and I needed to be able to sit while waiting for the fun run to start. The only dry seat that I saw anywhere was in a parked truck with a kind looking woman in the driver’s seat. I asked her if I could sit in the passenger seat, and she welcomed me, and we had a very nice conversation. She said that the truck’s owner was marking the course and they were members of the Steeplechasers and I should join the club even if I couldn’t run and didn’t even walk all that well and that is how I met Natasha Keogh and came to sit in Mark Lawrence’s truck and joined the Steeplechasers. Since joining the Steeps I have met a lot of very nice people. I walk in fun runs. I volunteer at events that don’t have a fun run component. And I have the very great joy of volunteering with the Steeplechasers’ sponsored Lincoln Elementary School Panther Running Club. No, I don’t demonstrate proper running form for the kids. I remind them to tie their shoes, I record their times on spreadsheets, and I cheer and cheer.