TSR Runner of the Week-Andrew Dawson

By: Kayla Dodd

Congratulations to TSR Runner of the Week, Andrew Dawson! He started his running journey at the early age of 9 or 10. Andrew mentioned that he was a member of the Capitol City Striders in Charleston, WV, when he was growing up and at that time he also ran throughout middle school and high school. It wasn’t until after graduating college in 2008 that he became interested in running any type of distance longer than a mile.

His first 5k was in 2008, shortly after he started distance running. It was the Charleston Distance Run 5k that is held at the same time as the Charleston Distance Run 15-miler. Andrew’s current 5k PR is 19:44, his current Half Marathon PR is 1:32:00 and his current Marathon PR is 3:48:53!

Andrew has running goals for himself and he said, “My current goal is to break 1:30 in a half marathon. I’m hoping to do this in the fall. I’d also like to complete another marathon so I can redeem myself for my previous two lackluster efforts. Eventually, I would like to complete a 50k trail race, but that seems so daunting.” He also mentioned that he is motivated to run for a few various reasons, “First, I use it as a stress reliver. I work in a high stress banking job and running is a good outlet for the stress that can build up at times. Secondly, I run because I am a competitive person and in running you compete not only against others when running a race, but also against yourself, daily. Lastly, I’m motivated to run because of the running community in our area. There is such camaraderie and friendly competition between the runners. It is hard to not be motivated by people achieving PR’s and doing things they previously thought were unattainable.”

One of the coolest experiences he has received through running was at the 2013 Chicago Marathon when he started the race with 40,000+ people…now that is a crowd! Right now, he is working towards the 2017 Bourbon Chase in Kentucky and the Charleston Distance Run 15-miler in September. He is also looking for a fall half marathon, so if anyone reading this has any suggestions, comment below!

When asked what “dream race” he would want to participate in he said the Boston Marathon! “If I was able to do this, it means I set a big marathon PR.” His favorite running/motivational quote is, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison. His best experience from running has been the people that he has met through running. “I’ve met some amazing people, even some people who we’ve started an unofficial running club: The Hurricane Road Runners.” His favorite brand of running shoes are Mizuno and his furthest running distance to date is 26.2 miles!

When asked what advice he would give to a beginner runner he said, “To any runners just getting started, start out small and try not to be intimidated by other runners or longer distances. Everyone at one point or another is a beginner, it takes time to build up speed and distance. Don’t worry that you aren’t the fastest runner, just be happy you are out running.”

Running has truly benefitted Andrew’s life by allowing him to get outside and out from behind a desk and enjoy the outdoors. He said, “It’s a great way to spend an hour or two which I would otherwise be doing something unproductive. It helps me stay healthy and fit, both of which are important to me. It also helps set an example to my young daughter, Isla.” Congrats to Andrew on all of his runner accomplishments. Team TSR will see you at the finish line! Happy Running!  

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