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 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.  

The Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club has been supporting runners in the Frederick community since 1975.  With a strong core commitment to the Frederick community, the Steeplechasers organize four Signature Races benefiting community causes, donating over $51,000 in 2020 to the Women’s Giving Circle of Frederick County, the Lincoln Elementary School Panther Running Club, Blessings in a Backpack, City Youth Matrix, 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 $1,800,000 to Frederick County nonprofit organizations that aid women in need. The Giving Circle awarded $250,000 in grants in 2021.


In 2021, the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club donated $23,194 in net proceeds from the race to the Women's Giving Circle. Since 2010, our total donation to the Women's Giving Circle is $181,029. 

2021 WDF Donation Trend Chart.png
More Info about our 2021 Race

Our return to in-person racing was a smashing success in 2021!

2021 WDF Infographic.jpg

Did you love our 2021 race shirt? We are selling the leftovers for the low-low price of $5. Visit our online STORE!

2021 WDF Race Shirt Images.jpg