Kareen’s the fearless captain of the Burke Sole Sisters, a Northern Virginia based team who’s been a fixture on the AOR course for year! She’s also a former teacher, current Potomac River Running Coach, RunFit Kidz Coach, RRCA Certified Coach and Ambassador for Skirt Sports, NUUN, Livingstone and our sister race, Rock the Creek Relay! She’s also the namesake behind Kareen’s Rule (formerly known as Regina’s Rule) which helps teams to participate and complete AOR and POR even if their runners aren’t able to maintain the minimum 12 minute space. Kareen’s rule allows multiple runners to be on the course at the same so that teams can still complete all 9 or 36 legs in the allotted timeframe.
1. How did you hear about AOR? Why do you keep coming back?
I heard about AOR through a Facebook ad. 2019 will be my 6th year running this awesome race. I keep coming back because it is so much fun! It’s a great way to spend a weekend with an awesome group of ladies!
2. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened during an AOR?
The 4th year I ran AOR I ended up running 5 legs because someone dropped out at the last minute. Normally I don’t sleep in the van, but I guess the extra legs must have gotten to me because I woke up in the van at the Bavarian Inn freaking out because I needed to go cheer our runner in. Turns out she had already come in and was sitting right next to me!
3. What’s your favorite AOR memory?
Running leg 6 two times is my favorite memory. It was hot both times and it totally sucked, but my Burke Sole Sisters took awesome care of me. They kept refilling my water bottles and putting cool cloths on my neck every mile or so. My time getting up that mountain wasn’t great, but those awesome women are friends for life! I could never have done it without them!
4. What’s the best part about being a Burke Sole Sister? The Burke Sole Sisters are some of the most amazing women you’ll ever meet. They come from a variety of backgrounds and are at all different stages of life. Many of them have been through huge life events that would break most people, but they keep on going with strength, dignity and love. They are the kind of people who you know you can depend on to support you through the rough patches that life has a tendency to throw at you!
5. What one thing do you wish runners knew before signing up for AOR?
AOR is for everyone! I think that the idea of a relay can be very daunting, but AOR offers the opportunity to get outside of your comfort zone and accomplish something great. You don’t have to be competitive to have fun! In fact, I think it is probably more fun if you aren’t so worried about a finish time.
6. What makes AOR different from other races?
Each year that we return to AOR it feels like a family reunion. We have gotten to know many of the other teams and how often are you greeted by race directors by name and with hugs?