It’s a great time to be a member of the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club. All of our training programs are in full swing, there’s a hint of autumn in the air and the fall race schedule is underway! We can celebrate the completion of three successful Signature Races – Summer Solstice 8K, the Women’s Distance Festival and the Market Street Mile. And we can look forward to our final Signature Race of the year, Rick’s Run on October 8th. If you haven’t signed up for Rick’s Run yet, what are you waiting for? The new race venue presents an opportunity to try something new in a fun location at Milkhouse Brewery. Looking for an excuse to try out trail running? This is your chance. Importantly, Rick’s Run is for a great cause: the FSRC Memorial Scholarship. Rick’s Run also commemorates the memory and legacy of several inspirational Steeplechasers. I encourage you to sign up! Thank you to our extraordinary Race Directors, Harriet Langlois (Summer Solstice, Women’s Distance Festival), Jake Sisler (Market Street Mile) and Crista Strople Horn (Rick’s Run) for leading and executing our amazing Signature Races.

In case you didn’t know, we are an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that accomplishes amazing things within the Frederick running community. We would never be able to fulfill our mission  “to promote running for fitness, friendship, and athletic development, in support of our members and the Frederick community” without the enthusiastic support of our members. That’s why I’m really excited to let you know about our Annual Membership Meeting on the evening of November 7th. The Membership meeting is free to all paid members and their guests (two max). Not only is it an opportunity to learn more about the Club, but it is a time to recognize and thank those who volunteered this past year. I hope that many Steeplechasers including new and veteran members alike can attend, learn more about our Club and socialize with one another. Learn more including how to register. I hope to see many of you at the Delaplaine Arts Center. 

As part of meeting our mission, we offer Race Support Services to support local races. It is wonderful to see so many help with these races, but we are always looking for additional volunteers. Please take a minute to check out the list of upcoming races and volunteer opportunities. Volunteering is rewarding and I’ve never heard someone say that they regret the experience. Thank you to Mark Lawrence for his continued leadership and dedication to our race support services.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out all that is going on with our free training programs for paid members. By the way, annual FSRC Membership is only $20! If you aren’t yet a member, learn more and sign up! Building off the success of another inspiring Women’s Distance Festival 5K Training Program,  I am so happy that the Club is offering the next training step, a Co-Ed 10k Training Program for the fall. The program just started on September 18th and runs through November 12th. I’d like to give a shout out and a big thank you to the 10K coaching team: Michelle Carlin, Katie Davis, Rachel Keylon, Rob Prokop, Wendy Rollinson and Sue Searcy.  Learn more and sign up!

Our Full Marathon Training Program is more than halfway through their training. If you are training for a fall marathon and haven’t signed up for FSRC’s training program yet, members are still welcome to sign up. Our coaches can share information about the training schedule and advise how it might fit with your goal race. Thank you to Lead Coach and FSRC Training Coordinator, Ainsley Cain, along with the coaching team of Farrah Douglas, Johanna Homon, Paul Lively, Rob Propkop, and Bret Shelley for leading another outstanding FSRC Marathon Training Program!  

This year FSRC is offering our first Trail 50K Training Program. A big shout to Coach Michele Jacoby for championing the program. I’m so excited to hear about the accomplishments of our 50k ultra runners. While our Half Marathon Training Program is at the end of their training program, unfortunately their target race, the Susquehanna Half Marathon on September 23rd, was cancelled because of weather. I know that the Coaches, Jean Marie Heim and Caren Clark, put their heart and soul into leading this group and preparing everyone for the race. Thank you to the coaches and congratulations to all the runners for all your hard work during the training. It will certainly prepare you as you decide on alternate races this season. 

FSRC also has a training program for youth runners ages 8 – 14. The Spires Youth Training Program started a few weeks ago and runs through October 26. While there’s a small fee to sign up, we strive to keep it as low as possible. Thank you to Coach Michele Jacoby and fellow coaches Katie Davis, Scott Wallace, Julie Henderson, Karen Ochs, Paul Abel, Cheyenne Norwood and John Hallock for their dedication to this program which helps to nurture youth running in Frederick County.

Shifting gears, are you aware of the FSRC Grand Prix, our Club’s friendly competition between members? At the beginning of the year our Competition Committee, co-chaired by Steve Dobson and Ruth Taylor, selected  a series of races that comprise our Grand Prix races. Members who participate in any of the races receive points based on their performance against other members. The top five overall male and female winners along with the top five male and female age group winners are announced and recognized at FSRC Annual Banquet. All members who participate in at least four races are also recognized. It’s so much fun! Check out the list of Grand Prix races for this year. You can see how many you might have already completed, and how many are left for which you can still sign up. Get ready to be inspired.

There’s so much going on with our Club that it would be impossible to mention it all. I’m sorry if I inadvertently left someone or something out. Fortunately, we recently launched our new website, which is an excellent resource for all things FSRC. It was a great experience to be part of this FSRC website project team led by Lou King along with Lindsay Westcott, Michael Joval, Oksana Lightfield and Kathy Cea. The new website makes it easier for our members and the Frederick running community to quickly find the information that they need. I encourage you to check out the site and explore all that the Steeplechasers has to offer.

I hope to see you on a run or at the Annual Membership Meeting. Happy running!

Michele Newton
FSRC President