Our 2022 November Runner Spotlight is on Erin Vespe. Erin ran cross-country and track in high school in the 1980s — a time when a 5K race was considered too strenuous for girls to run. She completed several marathons into her late 30s before taking a long hiatus from the sport.
In 2020, Erin’s husband Frank, a lifelong athlete, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his leg. While thankfully cancer free, he can no longer engage in some of the activities he used to enjoy. It was a wake-up call to Erin to not take any day for granted, and she returned to the sport she loved later that same year. In March 2021, she entered her first race in over 15 years, the Bishop’s St. Patty’s 5K in Georgetown.
“I remember it was a cold day and I was very nervous. I had been running at a 12 minute plus pace, and one of the things that attracted me to Bishop’s Events was their Back of the Pack Series, which said to me that runners at all levels were truly welcome.”
It was a great return to racing, and Erin now runs races most weekend days, focusing on 5Ks and to a lesser extent 10Ks, as the shorter distances are kinder to her body. “I have been part of many teams and running clubs over the decades, and the Bishop’s community is far and away the best I’ve ever been a part of. There are truly runners of all abilities, each with their own unique reasons for running, and all are welcome and respected for their accomplishments.”
Erin’s biggest racing accomplishment came with Bishop’s in 2022. For the first time in 55 years, she took home the women’s overall first place in a 5K and placed second and third overall in subsequent races. “I always seemed to find a way not to win when I raced as a teenager through my 30s. Running with Bishop’s runners has given me the athletic confidence I lacked when I was younger.”
Erin recently celebrated her 100th Bishop’s race doing a 3K event with her husband. She looks forward to many more races and making happy memories with the Bishop’s community in 2023!
Join Erin at one of our upcoming events!