Posts Tagged Baltimore Station

May was yet another momentous month for all of Back on My Feet Baltimore, highlighted by social and sporting events, two days of races and several new additions to the teams! MCVET welcomed 3 new members: Herbert, Tony and James, HUM added Tim R and Mike B to the roster and CP grew by two members as well!

In addition to all the new faces, the month started off strong with several Back on My Feeters taking the start line of the Maryland Half Marathon!  While many took on and defeated the 13.1 mile challenge, including George from CP running his very first half, several others began training for the challenging hills of next month’s Baltimore 10 Miler!

Of course, Back on My Feet isn’t all about races, running shoes and PR.  We’re always looking at other ways to kick back and have fun as well. BSTAT implemented a new tradition of Joke Wednesdays, making sure to share laughs over the Wednesday morning runs, and they also got together for BSTAT Bowling Night. It’s apparently a good thing running’s their main sport though, because only alumni Kenny M. looked like he had any shot on the PBA Tour!

BSTAT non-res and res members Roderick, as well as Team MCVET’s Ace, flashed some serious potential on the softball diamond though when the teams all got together after a Saturday run hosted by Charm City Run to do their best impression of the 1st place Baltimore Orioles!

Getting back to the running, several teammates attended an event on May 17th where Croix Sather spoke about his run across America. Croix was very gracious with his time and we enjoyed hearing him share his insights on working towards your goals.

While they may not have traversed the country, several BoMF runners did hit some equally impressive mileage goals of their own. CP’s Will earned his 175 mile shirt and is looking to crush the next level of mileage achievement, and his teammate Jerome reached 500 miles! On the west side, Eddie hit 150 miles before the month closed out as well!

On top of that big mileage accomplishment, Jerome also moved into community housing and reached alumni status! We’re all looking forward to celebrating his and other new alumni’s achievements at the end of the month’s alumni induction ceremony.

Many congratulations are also in order for the big non-res graduates! Julian A. and Gina at CP finished school this month as did Laurin, Charlotte and Jordan at Team MCVET! Julian will be going to med school in the fall and Gina is studying to take the NCLEX and work as a nurse.

As the month came to a close, all the teams looked forward to the what’s become a BoMF Memorial Day tradition. All our teams get a chance to join the staff and students from MCVET at the annual MCVET 5k and 10k races.  In our four years doing the event, it also seems to fall on what happens to be the first really hot weekend of the summer, but everyone is able to shrug off the heat and enjoy the festivities (with some brave team mates even taking on both the 5k and 10k distances back to back!) Making this occasion even more exciting this year, was the fact that the MCVET 5k marked the first race for several of res members including MCVET’s Sabrina, Terrance, Ace and Callahan. And even if they weren’t racing the course, our other MCVET teammates were providing much welcome-support to the runners, helping to serve food at the finish line, work on-course water stops and even lead the crowds in the singing of our national anthem!

It’s been a great month and all the teams are eagerly anticipating the excitement summer brings.  June will push each of us to get our miles in for the 6k30 Challenge while we finish up our training for the Baltimroe 10 Miler and begin preparing for the milestones that will be reached at the Baltimore Running Festival!

April has been an great month in Baltimore.  Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter Half Marathon and Relay was a resounding success for all!  All of the teams ran with a great group from the National Transitional Jobs Network, a new partner with BoMF.  The Friday before Easter, the teams met at the harbor and had a city wide easter egg hunt!  The non-residents and alumni celebrated BoMF with an appreciation breakfast.  Congratulations and a big thank you to Rob C. from Team Helping Up for all his work in coordinating long runs on Saturdays.

April has been a BUSY month for Baltimore Station!  Teammates came out in full force for the Nikia Half, all with the hopes of beating Dan, Greg, and the rest of the race committee to the finish line. Eddie (with 100 miles under his belt) participated in his first Back on My Feet race by running a relay leg, and Roderick experienced BoMF spirit for the first time by joining teammates to cheer for the runners! Both Roderick and Jason started running at the end of March and really hit their strides in April, reaching 25 and 10 miles, respectively, and now two more resident members, Kurt and Al, have come on board, running their first few miles this month! And in other great news, after being sidelined by surgery, George is getting back to running again. The non-resident members have been busy running and racing too with the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Baltimore’s Sole of the City 10k, and even the Boston Marathon all featuring a few BSTATers. BSTAT looks forward to finishing out April with Operation Oliver and a BSTAT Bowling Night, and May promises even more excitement!

April has been awesome for Team CP with a GREAT turn out at the Nikia Half and Relay. Jerome ran his first half marathon and crushed it in an hour and a half! Plus George, James, William, and Jordan all ran legs of the relay. Even Arnell came out to cheer and join with the CP band. The non-res came out in force as well, with many running the half marathon and relays. Team Triple Threat made up of Diane A, Nikia’s mom, and Bonnie won the oldest team award. They sure looked stylish out there! Christopher’s Place’s coaches have kept the team busy this month with track workouts, timed miles, and new routes. Four of the resident members reached their capstone, which means they are job ready. Congrats to William, James, Jordan, and Arnell! In fact, Jerome, George, Robert, and Dean Michael, are all working! And Jordan just got a job as well. The non-res have been busy this month as well between a happy hour at Sticky Rice and a few people ran the Sole of the City. Special shout out to MJ for winning second in her age group. Congrats to William (res) and Kevin (non-res) as CP’s members of the month. The team is looking forward to the Oliver 5K and the Maryland Half. The team is looking forward to introducing three new members on our team: William, Daryl, and Brandon.

April was a great month for Team Helping Up Mission! A new Rez member, Joe K., joined the team and the rest of the team is strong as always! There were several teammates who closed out March by running the Nikia Half Marathon and Relay and several who are training for the MD Half Marathon in May. Helping Up hosted a few All Team Saturday runs in April, which are great because the Helping Up runners get to see members from the other teams. The team is gearing up to run the Operation Oliver 5k on Saturday, April 28th. Also, on Sunday, April 22nd, several teammates celebrated their graduations from Helping Up Mission with a great ceremony at Martin’s West. Some teammates sponsored a table and enjoyed the very emotional ceremony. Everyone is always proud of the residential member teammates not only for what they are doing when they run, but for all they are accomplishing in their lives!

Team MCVET continues to grow! This month 3 new res members (Chris, Anthony and Terrance) were welcomed to the team as well as 6 new non-res members. Fresh off some stunning performances in the relay at the Nippy Nikia Half, team members are eagerly looking forward to the Operation Oliver 5k at the end of the month. Not only will it be a first race for several of MCVET’s newer members, it’s also a chance to get to see what many of the non-res members are involved in as it benefits the 6th Branch, a veteran-led nonprofit group that several of the team’s newest teammates are involved with. The team looks forward to getting some miles in while supporting a good cause!

Baltimore Station’s Member of the Month: Sarah

Sarah C. has been running with Baltimore Station since October and took vharge as Team Leader last month.  When running, Sarah likes to daydream, but not on the football field.  This big player at this year’s Superbowl flag football game says, “For all the guys that leave me in the dust out on the streets, on the field I had the chance to rough ‘em up a little.”  She enjoys long runs in the harbor and around the city, which has been great training for the Nikia Half-Marathon.

Sarah hasn’t always loved running.  “I begrudgingly joined the track team in high school to stay in shape during soccer off-season.  Because running intimidated me so much though, I opted to throw discus instead of run and became our team’s leading discus scorer. Thankfully, I eventually overcame my fear of running… but I can still throw a discus darn well.”  Her advice for a new running is to hang in until the day where running switches from feeling like work to fun.  She’s thankful she did!

Former BSTAT Team Leader “Fast” Dan Miranda says, “When I had decided to step down as BSTAT’s team leader, I was only going to pass the torch to someone I knew I could trust. The ideal candidate would have been someone who would come to mind immediately.  It was quite fortuitous that Sarah joined our team when she did! Having only been a nonrez for just a couple of months, I knew right away she was the perfect successor.  She quickly became a 3-morning a week runner, possessing a great infectious enthusiasm, and would run with any rez member who needed a running partner that day.  I was overjoyed when she so graciously accepted the role despite her still relatively new status.  I know BSTAT is in good hands for the future!”

Christopher’s Place Members of the Month: Charles and Caroline

Charles D. has accumulated over 50 miles in the last two months as part of the team.  His first race was the Valentine’s Day 5K last month, and he hasn’t yet make plans for any upcoming races.  His biggest challenge is “not letting the young folks out do him.”  His goal is to be able to run 5 miles and “keeping strong.”

Says his Team Leader Jordyn Manucci: “Charles is one of the most honest, talkative, and happiest people I’ve met. He may have a bad knee, but he’s out every morning with a smile and a story about his wonderful family.”

Caroline S. encourages other runners to “keep going, even if it seems too hard at first. You will be amazed by how much you can do that you initially thought would be impossible. And run with others!”  She’s happy with her time at the Shamrock 5K last month (many thanks to the downhill course!), and her next race is the Nikia Half-Marathon and Relay with the Race Committee team.  Maybe afterwards she’ll enjoy her favorite post-race food: Chipotle!

“The thing you notice first about Caroline is her smile. That’s how she greets everyone. Her enthusiasm has carried over to her awesome job as our team’s race coordinator,” says Caroline’s Team Leader Jordyn Manucci.

Helping Up Mission Members of the Month: David and Amy


David F. has run over 125 miles since joining the team last September.  His biggest challenge is getting up in the morning, but once he starts running, he says, “I try to clear my head when I run.  I enjoy feeling free when I am running.”  David looks forward to running on a Nikia Relay Team and starting college.

From Helping Up Mission Team Leader Rob Carfagno: “David (Farmer) is fun to be around and brings a positive vibe to our team.  Farmer is quiet at first, but once he opens up he’ll definitely have you laughing.  He’s a steady presence on the team and always in a good mood and having a good time.  I had the pleasure of running the Tuerk House 5k with Farmer and was proud to see how well he did.  Farmer’s a great guy and a great teammate and friend!”

Amy S. started running with Helping Up in May 2011.  She came out for a Saturday long run and has become hooked.  “No matter what I have going on that weekend I find myself accomodating this run into my schedule.”  When she’s out running, she thinks about breakfast, like blueberry waffles.  Her next race is the Nikia Half.

Rob Carfagno, Amy’s Team Leader, says, “Amy (aka A4 & aka Spatula) is not only one of my favorite teammates, but one of my favorite people!  Spatula has an amazing energy about her and she is always smiling and having a great time.  She’s loved by all of our teammates and she does so much to help our team.  She does a great job of balancing having fun and doing great things for others.  The sky’s the limit for Amy and she can accomplish anything she wants in life.  We are certainly lucky to have her on the team and I am lucky to call her a friend!”

MCVET Members of the Month: Chris and John

Chris M. has been a member of the MCVET team since December and has accumulated 100 miles.  His favorite moment with the team was the “Valentine’s run in the harbor. It was my first time seeing the other teams in Baltimore – cool to see how many of us there are when we all come together like that.”  He’s trying to keep a balance and make sure that he doesn’t bite off more than he can chew.  “It’s been an adjustment to remember I can’t do some of the things I could do when I was younger.”  This more relaxed outlook has led him to enjoy the scenery and conversations on his runs.

MCVET Team Leader Peter says, “Chris has been an awesome addition to the team in 2012.  He might be a former marine, but he brings a gentle attitude, soft-spoken demeanor and sense of humor to the circle each morning, which his teammates all really appreciate. He hadn’t even been for than 2 months when his teammates nominated and voted him to be team captain.  He’s always quick to listen to what others have to say and his running’s steadily improved over the course of the past few months. An avid fan of the outdoors< Chris seems to love to reminisce about his time in Montana which is why I’m particularly excited to join him for his first race with BoMF later this month at the Nikia Relay just a mile or so down the road from where the buffalo roam (Gunpowder Bison Farm)!”

John W. ran his first run with MCVET in 2009.  He enjoys running and calls it his pure downtime when he doesn’t have to think about anything.  His favorite moment was, “That moment (a few months after joining) when you know enough res and non-res members so when you walk into the circle you feel truly comfortable. That’s the moment when Back on My Feet becomes much more than a running group.”  John will be out running the Nikia Half-Marathon, and will be circling up with plenty of familiar faces!

Peter says, “John’s been running with MCVET since almost day 1 and his dedication to the team and Back on My Feet Baltimore shines through in everything he does.  He always looking out for the well being of his teammates, both res and non-res alike, and is happy to lend an ear and offer advice to anyone who needs it. His efforts haven’t been limited to his current teammates though as he’s always doing what he can to keep growing our morning circle. He even recruited his wife Shannon, to come out and join us and she’s since become a fellow MCVET superstar, and we’re lucky to call them both our teammates.  John’s dedication to BoMF was even recently recognized when he was invited to join the Baltimore advisory board! We all know his guidance will be an asset not just to our team now, but BoMF as a whole!”

February kicked off incredibly well for Back on My Feet Baltimore, with a flag football showdown at Dunbar Field early on Superbowl Sunday morning. In a feisty competition pitting Baltimore Station and MCVET against the rest, many runners showed off fancy footwork and clever plays. It may have been a more exiting match up than the real event later in the evening! The following weekend found BoMFers off the field and back on the course, with a wet and wintry Valentine’s Day 5k at Kinder Farm Park. This sold-out race was, for many, a stepping stone toward the Nikia Half Marathon. Training (and enthusiastic betting, FundRacing, and costume-planning) is well under way for the big spring race, and all teams are focused on having a great showing! As for what else each team has been up to…

ARW is thrilled to announce that Joseph Wheeler reached 500 miles this month. This wonderful accomplishment was celebrated by ARW (with the help of other teams passing through) at Inner Harbor on February 17th. Joseph has been running with Back on My Feet since American Rescue Workers became a team in March 2010 and says he will continue to run as long as he can. He insists that “If I can do it, anyone can do it!” Congrats to Joe!

Baltimore Station also saw a member reach the 500-mile-mark; congratulations to Len on this success! Teammate Eddie reached 50 miles this month as well, and BSTAT hopes he will continue to say his catchphrase, “I made it,” after many more runs and miles. Two of our loyal Res have moved from BSTAT, but Gary and Daniel promise to return and keep training when they can.  BSTAT also welcomes new Non-Res members Jessica and John, and welcomes back an old friend in Katie.  We look forward to a team dinner coming up soon, and of course, to the spirited competition sure to be found as many of our teammates run in the Nikia Half.

For Team Christopher’s Place, February has been an awesome month. We had five guys run their first race! Even the guys that couldn’t run came out to support their fellow teammates by participating in the now famous CP band.  We also had eight members reach their capstone in February, which means they have graduated and are job ready.  Congrats to Tim, Dean Michael, Brian, Sheldon, Robert, Charles, Paul, and Brendan on this awesome accomplishment.  Dean Michael was voted this month to be team co-captain to assist Jerome in motivational duties.  George has also found employment at Mercy and will hopefully be starting soon.  We’ll miss him in the morning, but he’s still committed to evening runs and weekends to keep training for the Maryland Half.  Sarah M has taken over for Amy U as our Non-Res coordinator full time.  We fully appreciate everything that Amy has done and welcome Sarah to the core group at CP.  We also had a dessert happy hour(s) hosted by Amy and Scott.  Delicious cakes, pies, cookies, etc. were had by all.  I don’t think anyone left without being in a sugar coma ;).  Training for the Nikia Half is still going strong.  We thank Team HUM for their hospitality on longer distances Saturday runs.  It’s been great for all of us to have some new and familiar faces when getting out there for long distances.  We’re looking forward to acquiring a few more guys to round out a full 15-person team in the near future.  Go Team CP!

As for Team Helping Up Mission, in February we added 3 new teammates – Dwayne L., Joe M. and Ryan T.!  The team continues to remain strong with generally 20 – 40+ teammates attending each run.  Several of our teammates have increased their distances while training for the Nikia Half Marathon and others are taking part in training for the MD Half Marathon which just began.  Both races promise to be filled with lots of excitement and celebrations…and watch out for the amazing spirit that HUM teammates will bring!  Several teammates ran the Valentine’s 5k on February 11th with the following times:  Bryant J. 28:58, Dave H. 25:57, Mike B. 20:33, Frank P. 21:16, Barry B. 25:42, Tim B. 24:49 and Paul P. 23:42.  We also had a crew of boisterous supporters!  On February 12th, we went ice skating at Patterson Park Ice Rink and found out why most of us are runners and not professional ice skaters!  That is of course with the exception of the lovely Amie Bettencourt who dazzled us with her jumps and spins!  We had a great time and another fun social event is in the books.  We are looking forward to a fun March, including the Nikia Half Marathon!

All of Back on My Feet is excited for springtime weather, the sun coming up during morning runs, and of course, much racing and reveling ahead.

Baltimore Station’s Members of the Month:  Daniel and Ben

Daniel  B. joined BSTAT in November and has already accumulated 90 miles. He loves being part of the team and running in the rain. He notes that the biggest challenge he faces running is building up his endurance and stamina. Through the program, Daniel is working toward his overarching goal of being a responsible and positive person. His advice for a new runner is to “take your time, take it easy, and keep it moving forward.” His first race with Back on My Feet will be Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter Half Marathon – his first half! His favorite post-race meal varies, but after Nikia, he’s looking forward to digging into steak and potatoes.

Says Daniel’s team leader, Sarah C.:  “When Daniel isn’t in the morning circle, I instantly notice. He brings not just his exuberant greetings and his camouflage print pants to BSTAT, but a spirit and determination from which every person on the team draws energy. A great way to describe Daniel’s outlook comes from a few words he said to me recently on a particularly tough run. ‘Arghh I just hate hills!’ I complained. He replied wisely, “But keep going…they make you stronger.” Daniel quietly embraces every hill, mile, and race as a new challenge, and as he works to succeed, he inspires everyone around him.”

Ben F. joined BSTAT as a non-residential member in August, and his favorite moment so far was dressing up to run on Halloween morning. While running, Ben says, “Sometimes I think about song lyrics, sometimes I solve the problems of the day I am facing, sometimes I engage in prayer.” Ben’s last race was the Catonsville High School YMCA 5k on Thanksgiving, and he has a busy race schedule ahead of him: the D.C. Marathon in March, the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, the Wheeling WV Half Marathon on Memorial Day weekend, a 4th of July race, the Baltimore Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, and hopefully a couple triathlons. Whew! In the midst of that race schedule, Ben is excited to do a good job in his new role of Social Coordinator for BSTAT.

His favorite workout is running the BWI airport loop, and his advice for a new runner is: “You never know the places running will take you. You don’t have to be fast to enjoy it. Embrace your inner child and run!” And his running mantra is: “No matter how many miles you do, you are miles ahead of those that never get off the couch.”

Says Sarah C.: “Being a new member of a team is never easy, and when that team only meets in the dark, sleepy, pre-dawn hours, it makes it even harder to become familiar with new faces. Ben, who says he has trouble with names, does an incredible job of remembering and welcoming new people to the team. Whether it be by recalling someone’s college major, or pro football team preference, or first half marathon story, he makes up for the fact we only see each other in the dark, and pays attention to a thing far more important than someone’s face: he listens to each team member’s story.  Ben is an enthusiastic, energetic force, day in and day out, and our team is lucky to have him!”

Christopher’s Place’s Members of the Month:  Robert and Hillary

Robert and Hillary

Robert C. joined Team Christopher’s Place in November and has already accumulated more than 45 miles. His best moment so far was watching the 5 mile race. “Even though I couldn’t participate, getting to watch and be a cheerleader was great.” Robert is focused on his main goal for the next three months – finding employment. As he works toward that, he is enjoying what running brings to his life. He notes that his biggest running challenge is hills, but while running he tries to relax. “If I have a scripture, I think about that, otherwise I just focus on relaxing and breathing.” His advice for a new runner is, “Go for it!” Robert is working toward the Valentine’s Day 5k.

Robert’s team leader says, “Robert has been a wonderful addition to our team. His enthusiasm, spirit and kindness are infectious and he makes sure to support everyone. He has been recovering from an injury, but always shows up for his teammates even when he can’t run himself.”

Hillary G. joined CP as a non-residential member in November. She says her best moment was: “Before Snowlympics started with the D.C. teams, a group of us from Baltimore cheered on runners as they passed by us on the National Mall, complete with a tambourine and cow bell.  It was completely spontaneous, but so much fun!” When asked what she thinks about while running, Hillary says, “Running is a time when I clear my head.  If I am worried or anxious about anything, getting out with the team or on my own helps me put things into perspective.” Her advice for a brand new runner? “Just take it one mile at a time – that’s the only way.”

Hillary’s last race was the Frozen Finger 5-miler. She says, “I’m not quite sure what my time was, but it was my first non-road race, which kept things interesting for sure.” Her next race with Back on My Feet is the Valentine’s Day 5k. About Back on My Feet, Hillary says: “This experience has been incredibly life-giving.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are, it’s just amazing to see what can happen when team members come together in such a unique way to support each other.”

Says her team leader: “Hillary has been an incredible addition to our team since she started. She is always smiling and takes the time to get to know everyone on our team. From the very beginning, she has shown up to all our events and helps out with driving.”

MCVET’s Members of the Month:  Link and Shannon

Link and Bert (aka Joe Flacco)

Walter “Link” L. joined Team MCVET in December; he is off to a great start and is getting a lot out of being part of the team. Link says he used to train as a boxer: “It was very independent and I never considered myself very good with people so this camaraderie is a new experience for me and I am really enjoying it.”

Link’s goal for the next three months is to get stronger and start setting his sights on completing a marathon. When he runs, Link says he just “takes in the scenery and the companionship of the people I’m running with. I used to train with music all the time so it’s neat plugging into all the other sounds instead.”

Link’s next race and first race with the team is the Valentine’s Day 5k. Says Peter, Team MCVET team leader:  “Link surprised all of us when after completing his first mile with the team, he jumped in with the pack that was going out to get in a few extra miles. We learned later that day, that as a former boxer, Link never backs down from a challenge. He also never ceases to make runs that much more enjoyable, sharing his good humored spirit and outlook with his teammates as they pound the pavement together. Since his first day, he’s been racking up plenty of miles and recently set his sights on a 26.2 round heavyweight bout with the best hills our city can throw at him at next fall’s Baltimore Running Festival. We’re looking forward to getting to run alongside him as he prepares for this race and any other challenges that come up along the way.”


Shannon W. joined Team MCVET as a non-residential member in March 2011. She jokes about her size 11 feet, “Feel free to call me “Big Foot” from now on – or as my high school swim team members dubbed me, “Flipper.”

Shannon says her best moment with Back on My Feet to date was completing her first race ever at the MCVET 10k in May with other first time resident racers and then setting a goal to complete her first half marathon this October. “I never would have done either without the encouragement of our wonderful team. When running the half marathon, I heard Greg’s voice telling me to keep my head down and pass people on the hills. It worked!”

Next up for Shannon: volunteering at the Nikia Half Marathon. Her goal for the next three months is to stay well and hopefully get back to running.

Says Peter, team leader: “For months, John told us about how he hoped to lure his wife out to join us one morning for a run, and we are so grateful that he succeeded! Since coming out for her first morning with the team, Shannon has become one of our most dedicated and supportive non-residential members.  For almost a year now, it’s been a real pleasure for every one of our members to get to know her and spend the mornings with Shannon.  She always has the best interest of the team and its members in mind and is eager to lend a hand to whoever needs it. She’s been known to push the pace at the front of the pack some mornings, but also to walk and listen with anyone as well. She welcomes our newest residential and non-residential members alike and has even graced us with her delicious baked (healthy!) treats for members’ birthdays.  We can’t say enough about how much we appreciate having Shannon as part of Team MCVET!”

Team Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month:  Bryant and Rachel


Bryant J. joined Back on My Feet as a residential member in September, and though he says his biggest challenge is waking up early and getting out there to get started, he has already run more than 100 miles! His best moment so far was participating in the Baltimore Running Festival, and his goal for the next three months is to complete his first half marathon. His next race is the Valentine’s Day 5k.

When asked what he thinks about while running, Bryant says, “There are a of things that go through my mind, but mostly I think about getting things back on track in my life and doing well.”

Says Rob Carfagno, team leader: “Bryant has such a great attitude and has done a lot to jump in and make new friends on the team. He’s always smiling and goes out of his way to come up to me and say hello each morning when he reaches the circle. He’s increased his mileage recently and is working toward his first half marathon. He’s enthusiastic about his running and it seems like everything he has going on…he’s definitely great to be around. I’m excited to see all of the great things Bryant will accomplish in the coming months, both in running and in life!”

Rachel and Honey Dip

Rachel S. joined Team THUMB as a non-residential member in July 2011. Her best moment so far?  “Running AND finishing the 2011 Baltimore Half Marathon with Steve, Bonnie, Julie and Erica, also known as Steven’s Crew. We ran the whole race together and really stuck by each other. I remember I was struggling at the beginning, but then there was Steven, running backwards with encouraging words getting me up the hills. We ran into the finish line holding hands. I was so proud of my teammate, it’s quite an accomplishment to complete a half marathon and we did it.” Now, Rachel is gearing up for the Nikia Half Marathon at the end of March.

Rachel often brings her sweet dog, Honey Dip, to the morning runs, much to the delight of her teammates. Rachel says, “Some of the things I think about when running are:  Why won’t Honey Dip (HD) slow down? 2. Please please please don’t come across a chicken bone, HD will eat anything not nailed down (and some stuff that is nailed down), chicken bones are not good for dogs. 3. If I wasn’t running with Back on My Feet, I’d definitely have stopped to walk by now. 4. How many blocks until the end of the run? Some of the things I assume Honey Dip is thinking about when running are: 1. Hope we run by chicken bones. 2. Mom, can you run faster? 3. Can’t wait to finish so I can see my friends, they love me and pet me. 4. WOOF!

Says team leader, Rob Carfagno: “Our team is lucky to have Rachel (and Honey Dip!) as our teammate!  Rachel is always so enthusiastic and you will often hear her say how important Back on My Feet is to her. She really loves to be part of the team and she goes out of her way to make those around her feel comfortable. Rachel and Honey Dip bring smiles to lots of our teammates early in the morning. Rachel helps to make a real difference to those around her and it is clear just how much the team means to her!”



Circling up for the Frozen Finger 5 Miler

January was a fun month, starting with the Frozen Fingers 5 Miler, which had a mix of cross country, a road course and even some laps on a track.  A crew from Baltimore also traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in Snowlympics, a field day filled with games and friendly competition among the teams. On January 18th, Orientation 2.0 took place where members shared their personal stories of addiction and how it has affected them and their families.

Training is underway for the 3rd Annual Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter Half-Marathon and Relay which will take place on March 31st.  Several of our teammates will participate in this race, some of them running their first half marathon.  There are also relay options so this race has something for everyone.

Team Baltimore Station has charged headfirst into the new year, with excitement and eagerness for what 2012 will bring. Residential members Len and Gary hope to run half marathons again this year, and Daniel has started training for his very first half! Many non-residential members are lacing up their shoes for the Nikia Half too, and hoping to fare well on the NCR trail. Also, Mid-January saw a changing of the guard at BSTAT. After a send-off breakfast for Fast Dan (who stepped down so he could step up his training and become even faster!), Sarah took over as team leader. Her mile times might not look like Dan’s, but her smiles—and jokes and weekly videos—will hopefully make up for it. All of BSTAT looks forward to a great year ahead!

Team Christopher’s Place has had a lot of change and good times during January.  Jordyn took over as team leader and Ben H. has stepped up as the Social Coordinator.  He is SUPER enthusiastic and excited to share his ideas with the team.  Sarah M. has also stepped in to assist Amy U. as the non-residential member coordinator since the CP non-res contingent has grown to be so big!  This month we had a happy hour at the Green Turtle that was well attended.  As for the residents, EIGHT guys went down to D.C. to participate in their Snowlympics.  A good day was had by all, and the CP band lives on strong!  Residential member Jerome is now working!  While he misses some of the regular runs, he still is there when he can and is still training for the Nikia half.  George ran his first 5 miler at the Frozen Fingers race and loved every minute of it!  He is now considering training for the Maryland Half. Coaches Paul and Kevin are thinking up new ways for CP to eat hills for breakfast and are adding new fun runs including “Freaky Fridays” and “Wacky Wednesdays” to the weekly schedules.

Team McVET has had plenty of exciting news as 2011 came to an end and 2012 kicked off. Right on the heels of the birth of Maya’s daughter and Darryl M’s daughter, Walker welcomed his fourth child, JP, into the world.  Paul D. announced that he’s now expecting a fifth child so soon enough, the two of them will be able to field an entire baseball team for the rest of us to cheer on! In addition to newborns, the team welcomed Odell and Joy as our newest residential members! Also this month, existing members took on new opportunities. Ja-Aura started dental school and Tim secured an interview and a new job in Port Covington! Longtime non-residential member Lauren L. also took on duties as part of her role as an intern with BoMF Baltimore and began rotating her running schedule among all 5 teams.

Team Helping Up Mission welcomed one new member this month, Paul P.  Paul is already a runner and is very excited to be part of the team.  We had three guys run the Frozen Fingers 5 miler, Mike B. 36:22, Frank P. 37:01 and Barry B. 44:43.  We celebrated a few big accomplishments this month as Mike H. celebrated two years of sobriety and Tim B. graduated from Helping Up Mission.  After a little over a year with the team, Mike B. moved back home to get started on the next part of his journey. We are sad that Mike will no longer be at the morning runs, but very excited that things are going well for him. We love to see him so happy and able to make this step in his life!

November was a great month for Back on My Feet Baltimore with good energy still lingering after the Baltimore Running Festival.  We kicked off the month at the Tuerk House 5k which is an annual race for us, and one at which we usually take home a few medals.  We met all expectations, with several residential and non-residential members placing not only in their division, but overall as well.

Later in the month we geared up for Sneaker Week and kicked off the promotion with a surprise flash mob at our morning run on the 14th.  The Baltimore Bash committee showed off their moves and gave everyone a sneak preview of how much fun the Bash will be.  Teams are continuing to compete to see who has the highest percentage of members attending and there will be a great showing of non-residential members this year.

The Philadelphia Marathon came and went this month and we had several non-residential members join the Philly crew to race.  We are winding down the marathon season and looking at darker, colder mornings for the foreseeable future, but people have already started talking about the D.C. Marathon and the Nikia Half so winter will be over before we know it.

In team news:

Team Baltimore Station (BSTAT) has been the scene for a lot of fast running, with the fall road racing season in full swing.  At the end of October, four of our non-residential members participated in the Marine Corps Marathon.  It was a cold day, but good for marathoning.  Erin M., Ben F., Chris L., and Christen V. all ran and did well!  A mere two weeks later, Ben also ran the Richmond Marathon.  We certainly had an impressive showing from our non-residential members.  On the5K front, three of our residential members ran the Tuerk House 5k, including Len L., Sam M., and George H.  It was a brisk morning, but once again, good for running races!  Having three of our residential members inducted into the Alumni Program left the team with more than a few open spots for new members. One of those spots was eagerly taken by Daniel B., who is off to a very, very fast start.  He is already doing three and four mile runs with ease.  He admits to struggling with the hills, but will be focusing on them to become a stronger runner!  BSTAT is also making sure to rally as many people as possible for the annual Bash.  We may not be the biggest team on the block, but we’ll represent with our professional dress and hot running sneakers!

Team Christopher’s Place has had a great month!  We saw Jerome win his age division at the Tuerk House 5k and he was joined by Ursula H. and Caroline S. as they placed in their divisions as well.  Erick was offered a full time position with the MTA and is gearing up to be very busy during the holiday season as people travel into the city for shopping.  Sarah O. and Kayla A. represented Team CP at the Philadelphia Marathon, which was Kayla’s first, and she also fund-raced for Back on My Feet.  Go Kayla!  November has definitely been a busy month, but we’re really looking forward to the Baltimore Bash and the Christmas Party in December.

Team Helping up Mission Baltimore (THUMB) enjoyed a fun month.  We thought things would slow down after the Baltimore Running Festival in October, but we had many great things carry us through this month.  First up was the Tuerk House 5k.  THUMB represented with Mike B. taking 3rd overall (20:45), Mike H. 4th overall (20:57) and Emily B. 3rd Female!  We had several more guys running:  Eric L. 36:25, Tim B. 23:28, Bill B. 35:09, Steven W. 35:10, Barry B. 24:55, Dave H. 26:16 and David F. 27:07.  Awesome job to all!  On November 17th, THUMB attended Family Night at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.  Our teammate Charmaine S. was nice enough to invite our team and a group of more than 30 people attending.  The team had fun touring the aquarium, shopping in the gift shop for discounted gifts, and watching a 4D movie.

Team MCVET welcomed our newest residential member Duane to the team. Duane got busy racking up miles and ran his first race with the team at the Tuerk House 5k only a few short days later. Ja-Aura and Tim, having jumped into the racing world with a splash at the Baltimore Half, added the 5k distance to their resumes that day as well. Our own Lauren L. meanwhile took first place overall! In non-racing news, the team recognized Veterans Day by having all our residential members and non-residential veterans share their military experience with the rest of the team during the morning run on the 11th.  We also kept Ricky in our thoughts, our non-residential member currently deployed in Kuwait, who sent us an email assuring us he’s still getting his runs in each and every morning before it gets too hot. Alumni member Arnold wasn’t able to join us during that morning’s run because he was already at work being interviewed by WBAL about his own experiences! We’re all excited for alumni-member Carlos to start training at the Fire Department Academy at the beginning of next month and alumni member Greg S. received a promotion at the Aquarium!

Back on My Feet at the BRF

October for American Rescue Workers (ARW) was an amazing and exciting time. As the temperatures started to dip, our spirits stayed high! Patrick instilled Fun Fridays to keep that momentum going. No matter if it was Crazy Hat Fun Friday or Favorite Sports Team Fun Friday, Team ARW got up ready for fun on the run!

The Baltimore Running Festival had a lot of firsts for the team – with many members running their first marathon or half marathon. Floyd sped through the finish line at 2:15 – very impressive for his first half marathon! Quentin teamed up with three guys from Christopher’s Place to run a relay – beating the rest of his team’s splits! Finally, Harold PR’d from Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter 5k with a time of 36:06. Alumni Darius ran a really strong half too! Thanks to Harold, Kevin, and the rest of Team ARW for helping at the Mile 22 water stop – we never could have run those last couple miles without your tasty beverages!

In other very exciting Team ARW news, Kevin A. was inducted as a Back on My Feet Baltimore Alumni. Current Alumni Darius was on hand to present Kevin with his monumental award along with a few touching words. We are so proud of Kevin as he moves his life forward with a great big smile on his face! Stay cool Kevin!

October was a big month for team Baltimore Station. At long last, October 15th brought the Baltimore Running Festival – the pinnacle of many impressive training efforts. We had two residential members participate in the half marathon, Len L. with a time of 1:53:16, and Gary A. with a time of 2:41:33. It was Gary’s first half marathon, and Len pointed out that he had run another half more than 20 years ago only a couple minutes faster. As he put it, age has not slowed him down very much! We also fielded a marathon relay team, with three of the four spots taken up by Baltimore Station members. Kenny M., Sam M., and George H. each ran a leg of approximately 6.5 miles. Another runner from Philadelphia joined them to fill out the team. Eight of our non-residential members joined the party as well, many running the half marathon.

Team Christopher’s Place also had a great showing at the Baltimore Running Festival with more than 15 non-residential members running, and almost all of our residential members participating as well! Kani, George, and James all ran the 5k, while Jerome, Solomon, Abdullah, and Steven raced in the relay! Brian cut 30 minutes off his marathon time and Dominique completed his first marathon and crossed the finish line with the support of team Christopher’s Place and other Back on My Feet Baltimore runners. If you haven’t seen this video yet, chronicling his journey, you have to check it out! Even Tony and Ricky, alumni, came out to cheer us all on, and several Christopher’s Place teammates manned the BoMF water stop. It was a day many of us will never forget.

In other news, many of our members are also are looking forward to the Tuerk House 5k on November 5th to cut time off of their previous races.

Finally, Team Christopher’s Place is happy to report that Erick got a job working for the MTA and Michael got a new job in the kitchen at the NSA. We’re also very excited to celebrate the alumni induction of Johnathan and Brian this month.

October was also a great month for Team Helping Up Mission Baltimore (THUMB)!  Many of our teammates ran in the Baltimore Running Festival, with several running a distance for the first time. It was quite a celebration with all five Baltimore teams as well as Philly and D.C. in attendance.  Here is a recap of the time for the members who ran:  5k – Eric L. 34:50, Stefan B. 28:49, and Bryant J. 30:07.  Relay (approx. 7 miles) – Eric B.  1:07:00. Half Marathon – Nicko R. 2:05:13, Tim B. 1:58:25, Steven W. 3:11:53, and Dave H. 2:11:10. Marathon – Barry B. 4:44:54 and Mike B. 3:46:52. We are so proud of all our runners!

Not only did Eric L. run the 5k at the Baltimore Running Festival this month, on October 7th he graduated from Helping Up Mission. Congrats, Eric! Steven W. celebrated 250 miles with the team and ran his first half marathon while Mike B. passed 500 miles and completed his first marathon!

Team MCVET also had an exciting October. Alumni member Carlos entered the Baltimore County Fire Department. Residential members Tim, Ja-Aura, and Jay all ran their first half marathons at the Baltimore Running Festival, while Kevin and Henry ran the 5k. Alums Greg and Arnold ran the half marathon at BRF and also ran the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct 30 (the third marathon for both of them). Greg was inducted into alumni status on October 27th. Finally, non residential member Ricky O. left for a year-long deployment with his Airborne Unit in Kuwait. Our thoughts are with him and we are looking forward to running with him when he returns!

Join us in congratulating our Baltimore Members of the Month!

Baltimore Station Member of the Month:  John

John B.

John B. joined Back on My Feet as a non-residential member in October 2009, and notes that “Winning Wipeout” is his favorite memory so far!

Says Baltimore Station team leader, “Fast” Dan Miranda: “John has been quite a consistent Wednesday runner with Baltimore Station for a while. I was completely overjoyed when he came to Wipeout 2011. I knew without a doubt our team would win the tug of war. This guy was the perfect person to be our anchor! Whenever our ‘lightweight’ members (myself included) don’t need to be on the tug of war line, it is a good thing. He certainly played a big role (yes, pun intended) in our victory!  But, besides pulling a rope with some suckers on the other end, he is also a great presence on the morning runs. He is willing to run with just about anyone, and is certainly not shy about pushing the pace a bit and getting people to run just a bit faster. He is talkative and his upbeat attitude goes a long way to getting our group going on those dark mornings!”

But while John definitely enjoys chatting it up with his teammates in the morning, he also uses his long run time to remember people he has lost. Says John: “It’s actually the main reason that I run with Back on My Feet. I volunteer in the memory of a good friend. Running gives me time to reflect.”

John recommends that brand new runners “find a time a day that you enjoy being outside. For me, it was always sunset, and the skyline. Experiencing that is when I first really started to enjoy running.”

John’s last race with Back on My Feet was the Marine Corps Marathon in 2009. He is planning to participate in the Ragnar Relay Run from Miami to Key West in January. He is focused on balancing his need for speed (“I’d like to get my mile pace for distance work under 7:30 minutes/mile) with the challenge of pacing himself (“I usually start off way too fast!”)

Christopher’s Place Members of the Month:  Steven and Diane

Steven F.

Steven F. joined Back on My Feet as a residential member on July 27th and already has a lot of miles under his belt. But, the first one was special. Steven says that “finishing my first mile” has been his best moment since joining Back on my Feet. He enjoys chatting with his friends on runs and notes that the biggest challenge he faces is “trying to keep breathing steady enough to talk.” Steven is aiming to run a half marathon within the next few months, and will run in the Marathon Relay at the Baltimore Running Festival on October 15.  What advice would Steven give a brand new runner?  “Stick with it!”

Diane A.

Diane A. joined Back on My Feet as a non-residential member in October 2009 and has a hard time picking her best moment. “There are so many!  Being there when a team member finishes their first race, first year birthday run, the launch of the American Rescue Workers (ARF) chapter, the 2010 Baltimore Running Festival, the graduations, and of course, the hugs in the morning.”

Diane also notes one very special memory – when a member of her team gave her his 5-mile medal because he said she helped him get there. She cannot say enough about the impact the program has had on her life: “It is the most inspiring, emotional, rewarding experience I have ever had. I have met and become friends with the most amazing people! I consider them my family.”

For new runners, Diane suggests, “Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Progress takes time. Have patience.”

Diane’s last race was the Run to Remember on September 11th, which she says was “a great race with some of my favorite people.”  Next up for Diane:  the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon on Oct. 15.

MCVET’s Members of the Month: Ja-Aura and Lauren

Ja-Aura H.

Ja-Aura H. joined MCVET as a residential member on July 3 and has loved every minute: “I love the nature of my open-hearted teammates. They hug often, and they hug like they mean it! I need those hugs, and I really learn from my team members’ giving nature. I follow that example.”

Ja-Aura is focused on college assessments and is looking forward to starting to take classes. “I am working on defeating my fear, to recognize that I am just as capable as others.”

Running has helped Ja-Aura with that confidence, though he jokes that his biggest challenge is pacing himself to slow down because, as he says, “I am not as young as I would like to think I am!”  But, of course, running helps keep us all young at heart, and Ja-Aura says, “When I’m running, I think about how I have always loved it. My teammates show up every week and everyone is so positive. That is an inspiration.”

Ja-Aura is gearing up for the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon on October 15th.  Wish him luck!

Lauren L.

Lauren L. joined Back on My Feet as a non-residential member in May 2009. Her best moment to date? “Finishing the 2009 Baltimore Marathon. I think there’s something special about firsts, and sharing it with my mom, Arnold (my running Dad), and so many friends and fellow runners was great.”

Lauren is getting ready for the Baltimore Running Festival 5k, after which she will have run all the events of the BRF! She is also hoping to set a new PR at the Richmond Marathon in November.

What does Lauren think about while running? Breakfast, of course!  She likes to enjoy mixed strawberries, a chopped apple, a sliced banana, shredded coconut and nuts. Yum!

Team Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month: Tim and Mary

Tim B.

Tim B. joined Team Helping Up Mission in July, and says, “there are too many great memories to choose just one.  It is a joy to be there every day with the team.”

Tim says that his biggest challenge in running is “finding the right pace and breathing.” And, keeping a steady pace is at the forefront in his life outside running, as well. His goals for the next three months include building upon success in his new job, managing his finances, making some big decisions, and of course, continuing to run.

Tim appreciates the camaraderie he has found at Back on my Feet, noting that while he runs, “I focus on the conversations I have with my running partners.” He is gearing up for the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon.

“Tim has worked very hard to improve his running since joining the team just a few months ago,” says Rob Carfango, team leader, Helping Up Mission. “He came in with a good foundation of running and has quickly increased his mileage as he trains for the Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon.  He really enjoys his time with the team and you can find him running with many of our teammates no matter the pace.  Tim’s always smiling and looking for ways to make improvements in his running and life. He recently got a great new job and wants to do all that he can with the opportunities he has found. I know Tim will find a way to be successful in everything he wishes to achieve!”

Mary T.

Mary T. joined Team Helping Up Mission as a non-residential member in March 2011. Her favorite memory so far is “the Friday that all the teams ran through the inner harbor with Croix Sather who was on his ‘Dream Big Act Big’ run across the country. Seeing all of the teammates call out ‘Back on My Feet’ and words of encouragement as they passed on their different runs with the sun rising over the water was very inspiring. And then we ended with one of David Dutrow’s famous birthday cheesecakes – a great way to start the day.”

Getting to know the city has been a big benefit in her time with Back on My Feet. Mary says, “Usually, I’m getting to know whomever I’m running with and also taking in the different Baltimore neighborhoods; it’s amazing how much more you see when you are not in a car.”

Mary is getting ready for her first half marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival. “I definitely could not do it without the support of my awesome teammates.”

Says team leader, Rob Carfango: “Mary is a great teammate. She has made a big impact in a short time and continues to do more. She has been great in supporting the guys who are training for upcoming races at the Baltimore Running Festival while she is also training for the half. Several of these runs have started as early as 5 a.m. to accommodate her teammates’ pace and she is always out there with a smile. I have a feeling that as time goes on, Mary will continue to do more to help the team in any way she can.”

Baltimore’s September Team Updates

With September nearly behind us and fall in the air, Back on My Feet Baltimore is looking forward to the Baltimore Running Festival, a day where we runners get the city all to ourselves!

September started on a very interesting note with the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix Indy Car race in town for the first weekend. The downtown racing course split the city in half, but that did not stop our teams from getting in their Saturday long run. Though all five teams could not meet up as normal, we arranged two separate meeting points so no one would miss their miles. Now that is dedication!

On Sunday the 18th, the chapter attended an Orioles game at Camden Yards.  Back on My Feet was recognized at the game.  Even though the Orioles were blown out by the Angels 11-2, the group had a great time.

On the weekend of the 23rd, Back on My Feet (Baltimore and D.C.!) sent numerous teams of runners and volunteers to participate in the Ragnar Relay, a 200 mile relay race from Cumberland, MD to Washington, D.C. Two 12-person teams participated including “Team BoMF Bmore/DC,” and “We Are the BoMF.” Those not running helped out at relay exchange zones and even cooked up some pancakes at one of the rest stops.  Don’t let the term “volunteer” fool you; they worked just as hard as the runners did!

With that, here are some highlights from the teams:

Baltimore Station has been focusing on diligently getting its miles in for the Baltimore Running Festival. Len has been very consistent and looks nearly ready for his first half marathon. He even participated in the Ragnar Relay, running some of the hardest and longest legs of the race. Gary has had a tough time getting his long runs in on Saturday, but thanks to the dedication of Training Coach Susan and Social Coordinator Dana, the three of them have been doing their runs on Fridays. Gary should definitely be ready for his half marathon! Get those miles in any way you can!

Christopher’s Place welcomed four new residential members this month, most of whom are super speedy. In his third week of running, Jerome kicked out a 23 minute 3-miler. Like whoa. James and Solomon reached their 10 miles in record time and George is learning to love those hills.

Kani, Dom, Erick and Tony all joined others from Christopher’s Place and Back on My Feet Baltimore for the Oriole’s game on September 18th. We had a great time, despite the team’s loss.

Our non-residential members have been super busy this month! Both Claire and Brendan qualified for the Boston Marathon! Jordyn ran the Rock and Roll Philly half! Amy M. competed in a triathlon and beat her PR by more than 10 minutes. She says it’s all that training for the Baltimore Running Festival that helped her shave that huge chunk off! Amy U. walked 60 miles for Breast Cancer and Sadie walked 30 miles for the National MS Society. We’re all over the place!

MCVET is proud to announce that Greg “The Road Runner” S. passed his GED exam! This was a great display of teamwork and support, as fellow Back on My Feet teammates Karem B., Erin H., Claire C., Kim C. and Mike M. all worked together to help Greg with his studies. Congratulations Greg!

Team Helping Up Mission Baltimore (THUMB) welcomed two new residential teammates in September, David F. & Bryant J. David & Bryant have already logged a few miles with the team and are really enjoying themselves.

Moses J. and Nicko R. celebrated completing 250 miles with the team, while Barry B. just completed 2,000 miles since joining Back on My Feet in 2009!  Nicko R. is training for his first half marathon and Barry is training to complete another marathon.

On September 16th, our teammate and friend, Steven W., graduated from Helping up Mission and celebrated one year of sobriety. Steven is training for his first half marathon and has several great things going on in his life. We are all so proud of him. Congratulations Steven!

We are getting closer to the Baltimore Running Festival on October 15th. THUMB will have many teammates running the races, with several running this event for the very first time. We are really excited for the day to arrive. We have logged many miles in preparation and it is sure to be a great celebration for many of our teammates!