About Karen

As a kid, I loved playing outdoors. We explored the woods, made forts, climbed trees, and played tag. I remember taking off my shoes so I could run faster in the grass.  Running barefoot was natural.

For more than a decade, I loved all the structured classes at the gym. I scheduled my life around Sports Conditioning.  Fast forward to 2006.   Friends and I started running the stadium bleachers in the Swamp at the University of Florida.  ”The Running Man Club” was born, and this was a new monster. My fitness and horizons exploded in 2010 while training for my first obstacle course race.  Looking for a lightweight shoe with good traction, I found Vibrams.  As soon as I tried them on, I knew I found my favorite shoe. Over time, my running form improved, and I noticed I wasn’t getting pain in my shins or knees. I never dreamed Vibrams would carry me through so many adventures in one year ... Warrior Dash, Rugged Maniac, Savage Race, Swamp Dash, and Tough Mudder.  Over the next few years, Ragnar events, GORUCK, half and full marathons, Spartan Race, and a 50K followed as my circle of friends expanded, and new challenges presented themselves.    As I started reaching the podium, the positive reinforcement fueled my desire to push my limits.

 In 2013, I started training for triathlons; naturally, I wanted to complete an Ironman.  It seemed impossible looking at the training schedule, but I was determined. Luckily, I have amazing friends that embarked on the journey, so accountability was paramount.  Fortunately, we have so much fun, training seemed like play. Since 2013, I have done all distances in my Vibrams including more than a dozen Olympic distance races, two Ironman 70.3 distances, the Louisville Ironman 140.6, and the Chattanooga Ironman 144.6. To my surprise, I placed 9th in my age group in Chattanooga in one of the hottest Ironman events in history.  Up next: I am headed to Puerto Rico to compete in the Pan American Tri Club Championship with my team.

I am very fortunate to live in an active community, and I love being involved with The Running Man Club, G3-Gainesville Triathlon Club, Two Rules Running, Gainesville Cycling Club, Florida Track Club, and Running Tabs.  I am surrounded by phenomenal athletes and extraordinary people that inspire me every day.   Each group offers unique training opportunities, and we share ideas, push each other, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.  Expanding my horizons in Vibrams has enabled me to connect with people, explore this beautiful Earth, and truly live. 

As a mother of three and a full time Physician Assistant, I hope I inspire others to find a passion and pursue it.  Make time for what fills your soul with happiness.  You can accomplish your dreams if you are willing to make a plan, work hard, and be committed.  “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second. Give your dreams all you’ve got, and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.” (-William James)  There is no such thing as failure. Unmet expectations are opportunities, so never quit.  On my bulletin board, I have the following phrases…”Hang with awesome peeps…smash some goals…share your magic…walk barefoot… “ I get to do this every day in my Vibrams.

Happy feet.  Happy me.