Meet the members of the Frederick Steeplechasers Racing Team. Our Racing Team is comprised of an Elite and a Developmental Team. We all enjoy competing in a variety of distances from 200m to 100 miles. We have members that are relatively new to the club and a handful that are seasoned veterans who truly round out our team with their experience. We look forward to our 2018 season and hope this is the stepping stone for many more years of fast times.
Elite Men’s Team
I started jogging in my 30’s, logging up to 3 miles per day to stay in shape generally and for playing softball. I rarely went more than 3 miles at an easy pace. I ran the Market Street Mile and a few other races with friends, but never competitively, just to run with friends. My running took a competitive turn after running a 5k to determine how “in shape” I really was. After that really slow race, I determined it was time to become competitive in my age group if nothing else. I went back and took more than 6 min off that 5k time. That year was my first year as a Steeplechaser. Since that time I have tried to become competitive in distances from 200 meters to 26.2 miles and everything in between. Any success I have had is a result of joining the Steeplechasers, and the help, training, friendship, and encouragement from my Steeps friends. My hope is to remain competitive with those in my age group well into the next decade.
Josh Henson started running in 6th grade and never stopped. Most of his racing PR’s were set when he ran track and cross country at the University of Louisville, but he’s stayed active on the 5k – 10 mile race circuit and has completed 8 marathons, including two Bostons. His goals this year include having a successful racing season for the Steeps Racing Team and to complete his first ultra in the Catoctin 50k. Josh has been the co-director of the Lincoln Panthers Running Club for the past three seasons and has a great passion for coaching youth in Frederick.
I started running back on 2012 to lose weight. I joined a gym and worked my way up to 3 miles of continuous running and a gym friend talked me into trying a 5k. Reluctantly, I signed up not knowing 1) if I’d be able to finish, or 2) if I’d come in last. Well 1) I did, and 2) I didn’t, and a competitive runner was born that day.
I started training for longer distances and held my own in my age group at local races. Along the way, I’ve met some great friends, running races near and far, short and long, marathons and relays.
My first marathon was a planned one-and-done, but coming within 20 minutes of a BQ without “real” training had me reconsider with a more dedicated training plan. Marathon #2 had me within 10 minutes of that coveted mark, so there was no stopping there. I finally qualified for Boston on marathon #4. I ran Boston in April 2017, and it was my proudest moment as a runner that I could ever imagine.
I look forward to continuing to represent the Steeplechasers Racing Team, as I still aim for PR’s every chance I get.
Elite Women’s Team
After running for a few years in my 20’s, I took some time off to focus on a career and family. I got back to it in 1996 at age 40, and started seriously going after the marathon distance in 2005. I am averaging 2 to 3 marathons per year and have 30 marathons (23 states) as of March, 2018. I love that the Steeplechasers have pushed me to do more racing, including the track races of our Summer Decathlon series. My PR’s are likely behind me, but I am focused now on maintaining and improving age-grade results. When I’m not training or racing, I do quite a bit of volunteer work for the Steeplechasers in various roles, including club Treasurer and Race Director of the Frederick Women’s Distance Festival.
My name is Ruth and I’m a reformed soccer player. Been running all my life as part of sports, but have only been running races since 2007. I’m a running generalist…I love all distances from our decathlon track series and 1 mile races all the way up to ultra-marathons (50k and 50 miles). I am an original member of the Frederick Steeplechasers Racing Team since its formation. Since 2012, I’ve completed over 35+ races each year. Recent racing pursuits have been completing the MD Grand Prix RRCA race series (placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd overall female, and 1st AG) in the past five years and pursuing marathons in all 50 states. I have completed 4 trail ultra-marathons with three 50k’s – including two Catoctin 50K and two Stone Mill 50 Milers. Except for my 1st marathon, all have been Boston qualifiers (12 total). To date, I’ve run 13 marathons in 10 states including a sweep of the U.S. major world marathons with time-qualifier entries at New York, Boston, and Chicago in the past year. I’m an active volunteer for the Frederick Steeplechasers including heading the social committee for 2 1/2 years and now I’m co-chairing the competition committee.
Developmental Men’s Team
I have participated in many different sports throughout my life: baseball, football, basketball, softball, outdoor enthusiast, and always a “jogger.” A few community 5k’s and 10k’s were all I had on my resume until age 40. Getting to know a lot of the local runners, joining the Frederick Steeplechasers, participating in a Chi-running clinic, understanding nutrition, and genuine interest in becoming a faster, pain-free runner lit the fire in me. The people I’ve met, the milestones I’ve hit, goals surpassed, and experiences I’ve had, have been unbelievably rewarding. When I turned 40, I updated my bucket list to run a marathon. I did, and then went on to run three 50k’s as well. Lots of miles and and hard work later, I will be running in the Boston Marathon in April 2018.
Mike enjoyed running in his youth, but only ran occasionally once he started working. The stress of work, lack of exercise, and his love of beer contributed to weight gain and back problems over the years. Mike finally began walking in his mid-50’s to lose weight, reduce stress and get in shape. After several years, walking became jogging, then running and participating in local 5K races. Mike joined the Steeplechasers in mid-2017, and with the support of his Steeps friends and coaches ran his first half in fall 2017, another in spring 2018 and completed his first marathon in October 2018. He’s proof that it’s never too late to start running again.
Louis, 26, was a “late bloomer” in terms of competitive running, as he had never run on a team in high school nor in college. His interest in distance running was sparked by his first 5k, the Frederick Turkey Trot in 2012. From there, he continued running and racing in a few 5k’s here and there until he caught the “running bug” and decided to run a full marathon (Rock N Roll D.C., March 2015) before graduating from UMD. Louis got involved with the Steeplechasers in late 2016. Running with the Steeplechasers has brought Louis an immense amount of joy and growth as a runner, and he hopes to help provide that to other runners in the Frederick community and beyond. A couple of Louis’ best results so far are a 16:51 5k at the 2017 Frederick Turkey Trot and a 59:20 at the 2017 Baltimore 10 Miler. He hopes to continue to grow in 2018 as part of the Steeplechasers’ Racing Team, and he looks forward to being an active member of the Steeplechasers for years to come.
Developmental Women’s Team
Hi, my name is Jamie Wisz. I grew up in Frederick and it will always be my hometown even though I now live over two mountains. I was a swimmer before I was a runner. I swam on FAST at a young age. Then started running at the age of sixteen in high school. During that the same year in 2006, our girls’ XC team won states. I ran cross country and track for three years in High school, two years at HCC, and half a year of track at Hood College. In 2012, I became a student assistant coach for XC at HCC while training for my first marathon and first ultra relay race. I was involved in two running clubs at two different colleges in 2013 and 2016. I started doing triathlons in 2014. Then in 2015, I became a FSRC member.
In 2017, I started coaching track at MSD while training for and finishing my first Boston Marathon. Later that year, I competed at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship and finished my first Olympic distance in a very hard age group. Finally in November, I PR’d in my 5K time.
I am blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of a great community by volunteering, competing, and cheering other great runners on! Go Runners!