Posts Tagged Helping Up Mission

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!

Christopher’s Place’s Members of the Month: William and Kevin

William P. started running with Team Christopher’s Place last February and has accumulated over 125 miles.  His favorite memory since joining Back on My Feet is his first day.  He’s so excited to be a part of something so positive.  His biggest challenge with running is “not overworking himself; he has no ʺmediumʺ speed and he LOVES running.”  He looks forward to the Operation Oliver 5k, gaining employability, and getting his license renewed.

Team Leader Jordyn says, “William always says how blessed he is to have found BoMF and the people that are involved.  I think that goes for BoMF as well.  William was excited to be on the team from day one.  He is a great partner to run with, and he runs with everyone, regardless of their speed.  He is honest and open and is a great addition to our team.”

Kevin F. started running with Back on My Feet in April 2011.  His favorite thing about Back of My Feet is “seeing the guys grow from sometimes struggling to run a mile on day one to cheering everyone else on as little as a month or two later.”  While Kevin thinks about numbers, distances, and to-do lists when running on his own, he says it’s very different when he runs with other people: “When I am running with others, I either engage in conversation or completely free my mind and enjoy the presence of the other runners’ breathing and footsteps and think about nothing.”  His favorite post-race meal is a burger.  “After my last marathon I ate a burger with a double patty at Red Robin in St. Mary’s County and I finished the whole thing plus fries!”  Kevin’s next race is the Operation Oliver 5k.

Jordyn says, “Kevin is one of our coaches, and he has done a great job in this role.  While we may not always wan to push ourselves in the morning, he’s there with a smile and encouraging words.  Sometimes he even has homemade treats for us!”

Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month: Frank and Michelle

Since December 2011, Frank P. has run over 225 miles with Team Helping Up.  His most recent 13.1 at the Nikia Half Marathon were his favorite.  “When I finished I looked down and saw my little girl there; it was an amazing experience.”  When he’s running, he prefers to talk to whomever he’s running with than think about anything in particular.  Frank’s biggest challenge with running is staying injury-free.  He wants to push himself and run harder, but wants to be sure that he’s strong enough first.  He’s looking forward to the Operation Olive 5k.

Helping Up Mission’s Team Leader, Rob says, ʺFrank has really pushed himself since he joined the team and had an amazing first half marathon last month!  Frank was chosen by his teammates to be Team Captain and has stepped up to the challenge to become a great leader on our team.  Even though Frank is a very fast runner, he takes time to run with as many different teammates as he can…and that’s really what BoMF is all about.  Frank will have many more great successes in his life, not just with running, but with anything he wants to achieve!ʺ

Rob says, ʺMichelle H. has been a great teammate from the time she joined our team.  She’s consistent with her attendance and is a steady figure on the team.  At the Nikia Half marathon she joined a relay team that needed one more person so that she could support two of our teammates and her enthusiasm and support were fantastic.  I always enjoy seeing Michelle at our runs and the positive, supportive attitude she always brings!ʺ

MCVET’s Members of the Month: “Ace” and Ross

Charles “Ace” S. has run 12 miles since joining Back on My Feet in March.  During his first week with the team, all of the Baltimore teams gathered at MCVET for a Back on My Feet 3rd birthday run.  “What a way to get started with my first week on the team,” “Ace” has said.  “Ace” has been getting over an injury.  He says, “It’s hard coming out and knowing I need to sit out on the run while I’m waiting on my knee appointment.”  Although he wants to push himself, he knows that the longer miles will have to wait until after his knee pain reduces.  In the meantime, he’s excited for supporting 6th Branch at the Operation Oliver 5k!

Abby, MCVET’s Non-Res Coordinator says, “Ace is such a wonderful addition to the circle. Despite his injury he is still out each morning with a great smile getting the rest of us amped up for our morning run. His enthusiasm is infectious and much appreciated. We are so lucky to have him and look forward to him overcoming his knee injury so he can join in for more miles…and smiles.”

Ross L. has been running with Team MCVET since the first week of March 2012.  Ross recounts his first few times running with the team: “My first day running with BoMF was on a Friday, and as such, my attitude was great coming to the end of the week. The next Monday, however, waking up for work and thinking about the laundry list of things waiting for me had me in a slump as I prepared to head off for my run. When I arrived at MCVET, in my slightly grumpy/half asleep manner, no less than 15 people approached me within 5 minutes of arrival – all brandishing a smile that, at 5:30 a.m., was completely foreign to me. The contagious uplifting morale of everyone standing around in the circle that morning gave me chills as I got on the train and headed in to work that day – and suddenly the laundry list didn’t seem very long after all.”  His next race will be the Operation Oliver 5k on April 28th where Ross hopes to run a 21:00 or better–dang that’s fast!

Mitch, MCVET’s Race Coordinator says, “Ross is a gung-ho, positive, happy eager-beaver who makes every run fast and fun.  You can quote me on that!”

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!

American Rescue Worker’s Members of the Month:  Quentin and Jocelyn

Quentin and Jocelyn

Quentin L. joined Back on My Feet as a residential member in March 2011 and has more than 90 miles under his belt. He says his biggest challenge while running is finishing, but he had no problem finishing his leg of the Baltimore Running Festival Relay, which he accomplished in a quick 49 minutes. His advice for new runners is to “be determined!” Quentin likes to refuel after a race with bananas, and his next race with Back on My Feet will be the Tuerk House 5k on November 5th. Good luck Quentin!

Jocelyn S. joined Back on My Feet as a non-residential member in August and says her favorite moment so far was her first run “because everyone was so welcoming.” She jokes that her biggest challenge while running is “keeping my tonails” as well as making it up hills at the end of a long run. While running, she thinks about the finish line and how happy she will be to cross it again. Jocelyn’s goal for the next three months is to finish the Annapolis Half Marathon on November 19th in 1:55. Her next race with BOMF will be the Zoo Zoom the next day on November 20th.

Team Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month: Eric and Phil

Eric L.

Eric L. joined the team as a residential member in April 2011 and has since logged more than 127 miles. He says his best memory is “the Baltimore Running Festival! It was great having the big group out there and the positive energy from all the Back on My Feet participants was amazing!” Eric says his biggest challenge while running is getting out of his head (you’re not alone there, Eric! Such a common runner challenge!), and his goal for the next three months is to stay focused and keep the enthusiasm. While running, Eric often thinks about how he can use his experience to help others.

“I first met Eric in the group circle as he attached the adjective ‘Effervescent’ to his first name,” says Lauren Shimek, THUMB teammate. “I quickly discovered an enthusiastic running buddy who is passionate about life, learning, and self-betterment. We’ve logged many early morning miles together, and I’ve watched Eric progress over time from a Seed of Hope to a Graduate of the Helping Up Mission. He has worked through a challenging year of recovery with steadfast dedication and the courage to share his personal experiences with others. I am so proud of Eric and look forward to seeing him as a role model for others.”

Eric’s next race will be the Tuerk House 5k on November 5th.  His advice for a brand new runner? “Never give up and you’ll get stronger every day.”

Phil Strikes a Pose

Phil B. joined Team Helping Up Mission as a non-residential member in January 2011, and his best moments include “training with Nicko and watching Mike Bennett’s flowing locks blow in the wind.” While running, Phil often thinks about what’s for breakfast, as well as whom he will connect with that day. His next race with Back on My Feet will likely be the Celtic Solstice in December.

“Phil has been a great addition to our team,” says Rob Carfango, team leader. “He has a fun and relaxed attitude and gets along with everyone. He likes to joke around with his teammates and he has gone out of his way to run with many different people since joining the team. He comes out early to help support our teammates for longer runs and varies his pace to meet the needs of others. He is a true team player and I appreciate all that he does for our team!”

Team Christopher’s Place Member of the Month: Amy

Amy N.

Amy N. has been a non residential member since the very beginning of Team Christopher’s Place! She says that seeing her teammates along the course and on the sidelines cheering during her recent half marathon run at the Baltimore Running Festival is her best moment so far: “I never could have done it without my team!”

While running, she thinks about the hills she has to climb, but when asked what she would tell someone who is considering joining Back on My Feet, she says, “Just do it! 5:30 a.m. never looked so good. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Meredith Tyler from THUMB gave me that same advice two years ago when I was afraid of how early we ran. She was right!”

Amy’s next race with Back on My Feet will be the Tuerk House 5k. Her advice for a brand new runner is to “pace yourself and don’t start too quickly. Try to find someone who runs at your pace.”

Fun fact about Amy: She studied and worked in Thailand for four years and can speak Thai. But her favorite post-race meal is a good old American breakfast of eggs and toast.

MCVET’s Members of the Month: Kevin and Dave

Kevin R.

Kevin R.’s best moment to date with Back on my Feet was finished the Baltimore Running Festival 5k. “The amount of people lining the streets and cheering was unbelievable,” he says.

Kevin notes that his biggest challenge in running is hills. “There are a lot of hills in Baltimore.” (You got that right, Kevin!) While running, he thinks about distance: “How far I’m going, how far along I am, and how many miles I’ve run.”

Says Peter, MCVET’s team leader: “Kevin was one of the original members of Team MCVET when the Baltimore chapter launched in March of ’09 and it’s been great getting to know and run with him ever since. Although rarely one for many words, Kevin quietly demonstrates his commitment to his own self-improvement each and every day by the way he goes about taking on his responsibilities, whether it’s coming out every morning, working a long day of carwash at MCVET, or pursuing his welding training. Despite the unassuming fashion with which he goes about his business, Kevin’s progress has not gone unnoticed by his teammates who have taken note of his ever improving outlook and hard work.”

Dave W.

Dave W. joined the MCVET team as a non-residential member on February 14, 2011. His best moment so far was running the MCVET 5k: “I came in thinking about myself and what times I would run.  However when talking to another non-res (Jenn) about running times, she reminded me that it wasn’t about times, it was about being part of the team.  Just then Wayne came up to me and asked to run together with him. We had such a fantastic time talking, laughing, and complaining the whole way that I couldn’t tell you what our times were. At that moment I knew I was part of a true Team and that has stuck with me to this day.”

When asked what his biggest challenge has been, Dave says, “Day 3 when I couldn’t finish 2 miles?  No, actually running the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon.  It was actually two challenges. The first was the actual run and the second was running as a FundRunner for Back on My Feet. I had never asked anyone for money before, but as a FundRunner, I asked friends, family, and colleagues to sponsor me. I had no idea how that would play out.  The other issue is that I have problems with stiffness in my legs (one of the reasons I started running again oddly enough) and I didn’t know how I would do running 13 miles. Well I exceeded my fundraising goals and completed the half (though I would like to forget about miles 10 and 11).” Dave’s next race will be the Tuerk 5k.

Says Peter, MCVET’s team leader: “When Dave first started running with MCVET, he told me that the last time he had gone for a run was six years prior in a half marathon in Alaska and that he was wearing the same shoes that he had during that race. I think he started off with a mile that day and his return to running was gradual, but each day he came out to put in his miles with the team. As the month went on, his miles increased as did the relationships he was building with his new teammates. This past month, Dave returned to the 13.1 mile distance, finishing the half at the BRF and has grown into a true friend and example for his teammates, helping several of our residential members through their own training. He’s become not just a runner on his own again, but a teammate, mentor, and friend for all of us at Team MCVET.”

Congratulations to all our Members of the Month!

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!