=PR= Blog

=PR= Behind The Whistle

June 16, 2017 |

Kareen Lawson, =PR= Training Programs Coach

Community is one of the core fundamentals to Potomac River Running Training Programs. =PR= Distance Training Program (DTP) coach Kareen Lawson understands the importance of community and running. She sees the countless benefits of her DTP participants running together and supporting one another as opposed to running alone. She has also seen the benefits in her own life. Kareen started off solo in her running career, but after completing her first =PR= Race Series race in 2012, she found her way into her first training program. That 2012 race was the New Years Day 5K, and it was there she became instantly addicted to the world of racing and pushing her limits. Her first =PR= Training Program was Running 101 (focused on novice runners, a good bridge from walking to running) with Coach Kelly Kavanaugh. This was where Kareen met new friends and started to create her own running community.

Joining her first training program inspired and motivated her to complete previously unimaginable goals and conquer countless miles. The longer she stayed in the program the more friends she made. After learning and growing more in the sport, she became the head coach for the Burke program. The Burke DTP is now famously known as the “Burke Beasts.” As the Burke Beasts fearless leader, Coach Kareen has helped countless runners accomplish their running and fitness goals. The background and goals of each person in the group varies. There are members who are a part of the =PR= Race Team and others who are running their first ever long distance race. Her coaching technique caters to the average adult schedule. When it comes to accomplishing goals, Kareen has her eyes on the prize. She makes sure every runner completes their training, but most importantly, completes their race.

It isn’t hard to find her out in the community. There’s a chance you’ve seen her at any of the numerous local races. She’s the one with signs and cowbells, cheering loudly and waiting for her final runner to cross the finish line. She emphasizes that there’s a place for everyone at the Burke DTP, where you’ll end each practice with the support of your running family. Kareen is a real and tangible runner, and her runners are an eclectic group of people. You’ll find them running hill repeats while Kareen hits her gong. They are firm believers that magic happens through tough workouts – a “necessary evil” – that they love. No matter how hard or easy distance training gets, every runner completes practice with a smile.