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Then vs. Now: Kerry Blackmer

Eight years ago, Kerry Blackmer was ready to quit running. Mentally and physically burned out, she had decided to drop out of the Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon mid-race. But as she neared the relay point where she would have bailed and boarded the bus back home, something happened. 

ASA Athlete Kendall and his Wingman Team whooshed past with a sudden burst of energy. It seemed like they were running with a purpose and having a blast doing it — and that energy was contagious. Kerry changed her course and followed them to the finish line, maintaining the same pace and riding the second wind they had unknowingly gifted her.

When she arrived home later thay day, she found Athletes Serving Athletes online, and signed up as a Wingman without a second thought. She was at the very next Group Training run that Friday. 

Now, eight years later, Kerry runs regularly with ASA serving as both a Wingman Captain and Frederick County Community Coordinator.

“Joining ASA rekindled my love of running,” she recalls. “All of a sudden, I had a purpose that made it feel motivating and meaningful again. I rediscovered joy and happiness in the little things — you don’t realize something is missing until you find it.”

When she first started running with ASA, Kerry was the only Wingman living in Frederick County. She’d travel to race and train in other communities until she met now ASA Athlete Savannah, who also lived in Frederick. 

After coordinating a meeting with Savannah and her parents, Kerry waited for them one cold, dark, winter day in Baker Park, half-expecting them not to show due to the gloomy weather.

“Sure enough, there they were,” Kerry remembers. “Savannah was so excited that she tripped and fell running across the parking lot to meet me!”

And thus, the Frederick ASA Community was born. With Kerry at the helm as Community Coordinator it continued to grow. Currently, 8 ASA Athletes race and train in Frederick. 

“So many people that I call friends now are from ASA,” she says. “I’m very lucky.”

Back then, before ASA, Kerry was burning out and ready to throw in the towel. Now she enjoys racing and training regularly, and plays an integral part in sharing the Wingman Program with Athletes and Wingmen living in Frederick.

A lot can happen in eight years… and we’re so glad to have been a part of Kerry’s transformation while she helped transform our organization, too!