January 28th kicks off the Columbus Running Company’s winter season of Walk & Run 101, a 5K training program designed for beginning walkers and runners. We’re welcoming three new coaches to the team this season and are excited to have Karen Brogan leading the Saturday group workouts at our Dublin store.
“I have enjoyed running for many years and love the friendships that I’ve made from running with a group,” Karen says. “I look forward to sharing this experience with others who are beginning their journey.”
Karen ran her first race in elementary school and continued to run in high school, where she came just shy of qualifying for state in the 400 meters. She then walked onto Ohio University’s cross country team despite having never run a full 3 miles prior. Her 5K time improved throughout the season, yet she left the team when she realized that cross country and track would require year-round practice and competition.
“I didn’t run again for over 20 years,” Karen says. “In 2003, at the age of 43, I started to run again. I remembered how much I enjoyed the sport and how fast I used to run. My body, however, didn’t remember that I ran.”
To keep herself motivated as she got back into her running routine, Karen registered for a 5K race 18 days after starting her training.
“My race goals were to run the entire distance and to finish. I had only accomplished up to 2 miles in my training, so 3.1 miles was going to be a challenge,” she explains. But she met her goals and continued to run 5Ks that summer, steadily improving until she had trimmed 4 minutes from her first 5K time.
Karen began running with CRC in 2007 after completing her first half marathon. She had trained with a group and was looking for a year-round running group, which she found at the Dublin store.
“Our group had a strong bond, and I still run with many of those people I met back in 2007 with CRC,” Karen says.
The half marathon also made Karen excited to return to shorter distances. “I discovered that my long distance running allowed me to shave a minute-and-a-half off my 5K time. Plus, I enjoyed doing the 10K and quarter marathon distances the most.”
She still sets goals while having fun with running. “This past year I was pleased with finishing 3rd in my age group at the Upper Arlington Memorial Day Run. How many years had I run that race to finally finish in the top 3 in my age group!” She also trains with Love2Reach, CRC’s charity running program.
While she loves seeing her times improve, Karen says that what means the most to her are the friendships she has made from the running community. “I really enjoy all the people I have met through running. It’s a sport you can do by yourself, with a group and with a wide variety of age groups. I am amazed at how many people participate in races today and like to call them all my friends.”
As a coach for this season of Walk & Run 101, Karen is excited to share her passion for running with people new to the sport. “I want to see them cross the finish line and feel that ‘I did it’ accomplishment. I want to see their smiles!”
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To learn more about Walk & Run 101, visit our “Training” page at columbusrunning.com or feel free to attend an informational kickoff event at any CRC location January 23rd – 26th. Registration is open and the season begins on January 28th!