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Annual race raises awareness about substance abuse


Left to right, foreground, William Allen II and Bonnie Blackwell

Solomons, MD - Remembering the heavy rains and high winds of past races, the 2017 Step-by-Step 5 Kilometer (K) race brought almost ideal conditions for a hearty dash through the small town of Solomons. The 17-year-old dash is sponsored by the Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse (CAASA) and always held on the first Saturday in November. The first Step-by-Step was held in 2001, 10 months after local resident Mike Blackwell was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver on Broomes Island Road. Blackwell was jogging on the side of Broomes Island Road when the incident occurred. The Step-by-Step is always run in his memory.

“I know it’s not a real sunny day, but I know Mike is shining down on all of us this morning,” Blackwell’s widow, Bonnie, told the runners and walkers assembled at Calvert Marine Museum Saturday, Nov. 4 for the race.

William Allen II, 26, crossed the finish line first, logging a time of 16 minutes and 32 seconds. Fidel Mota, 27, finished second with a time of 18 minutes and 24 seconds. The top female runner and third-place finisher was Anna Staats, 18, whose time was 20 minutes and 16 seconds.

Race organizers also awarded medals to the top three finishers—male and female—in 10 age categories. Also earning medals were the youngest participant—Layn Mounts—and the oldest—Tami Graf. Top walker Julei Darrach—finishing the race in 38 minutes and 43 seconds—also received a medal.

The family-friendly event raises money for CAASA and its local substance abuse prevention efforts.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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