About the Women's Distance Festival
In 1979, the RRCA started the Women’s Distance Festival in response to the lack of distance running events in the Olympics Games for women. The first Women’s Distance Festival events were held on July 13, 1980, the date of the men’s marathon at the Moscow Olympics. Today, the Women’s Distance Festival celebrates the history of women’s rights to participate in running events at any distance and at any age. While women’s participation in distance running nearly matches that of men, the Women’s Distance Festival continues to serve as a celebration of the determination and dedication of women runners across the country.
The Maryland Women's Distance Festival Series is sponsored by the Maryland/DC RRCA and its participating clubs. Women who complete four or more of the eight races in the series are eligible to receive the WDF Participation Award at the annual WDF celebration. Runners must fill out the participation form at the end of the season in order to be considered for the award.
NOTE: The Maryland WDF series is on hold for 2020 since most of the races have been cancelled. The state series will hopefully be back stronger than ever in 2021.
The Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club has been supporting runners in the Frederick community since 1975. The club has a rapidly growing membership, approaching 1000 in 2019. With a strong core commitment to the Frederick community, the Steeplechasers organize four Signature Races benefiting community causes, donating over to $73,000 in 2019 to the Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County, the Lincoln Elementary School Panther Running Club, Blessings in a Backpack, Advocates for Homeless Families and the FSRC Memorial Scholarship Fund. In support of local non-profits, the Steeplechasers offer low-cost timing, course marking and promotion services to local charity races The club also provides free training programs to its members, fitness, and wellness educational programs, and events and opportunities to challenge runners of all abilities to improve fitness and performance.
Who We Help
About the Frederick Steeplechasers
Proceeds of the Frederick Women’s Distance Festival, minus essential expenses, are donated to the Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County.
The Women's Giving Circle of Frederick County brings women together who share common philanthropic goals to benefit women and their dependents. The Women's Giving Circle provides opportunities for donors to promote and support programs that enable and empower women in challenging situations to improve the quality of their lives and the lives of those for whom they are responsible. Funds collected by the Circle are held and managed as a component fund of The Community Foundation of Frederick County.
Since its founding in 2006, the WGC has awarded over $1,600,000 to Frederick County nonprofit organizations that aid women in need. The Giving Circle awarded $240,000 in grants in 2020, including $20,000 in emergency COVID-19 funding.
In 2020, the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club donated $21,095 in net proceeds from the unprecedented virtual edition of the Frederick Women's Distance Festival to the Women's Giving Circle. Since 2010, our total donation to the Women's Giving Circle is $157,834.