Lisa's Goal for Walk & Run 101? To Help You Cross a 5K Finish Line

If you or someone you know would like to take up running but they’re not sure where to start, the Walk & Run 101 training program is a great place to begin. Participants receive weekly coaching emails, and this year they’ll have the added benefit of working with a coach at Saturday group runs. Lisa Dillahunt, who leads the program, will be at our Westerville store to help the group meet their 5K goals.

Lisa joined the Columbus Running Company in 2012 when she helped to create CRC’s charity training group, Love2Reach. As the program grew, so did Lisa’s list of responsibilities.

“Two years ago, I was fortunate to make CRC my new career as I was hired as their Outreach Coordinator,” Lisa says. “As a part of this job, I get to head up the Walk & Run 101 program. I can honestly say it is the most fun ‘job’ I’ve ever had!”

Lisa started running in 2004 when she was in her 40s and she hasn’t stopped since then.

“I have run countless 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. I have also run nine full marathons and completed one sprint triathlon,” she says. “Even with this experience, though, I never forget what it was like to first get started.”

That’s one of the reasons why Lisa looks forward to working with the Walk & Run 101 participants. Beginners make up a majority of the group, and while everybody is excited to get started, trying something new can also be a little daunting. 

Having a detailed training plan and the support of a coach can go a long way in helping walkers and runners at every stage of their fitness journey. Lisa will be the first to tell you that by training the right way with smart goals and gradual progress, you can reach many milestones you might have once thought were impossible.

“I have three favorite running moments,” she says. “The first is when I completed my first half marathon in 2004—something I never thought I could do! I surprised myself again in 2008 when I completed my first full marathon. Then, I qualified for the Boston Marathon in 2015, which was something I was sure I could NEVER do!”

Lisa’s own running experience makes her a relatable and reliable resource for every beginning runner. Athletes in the Walk & Run 101 program will not only receive guidance but also a motivational boost from all of our coaches.

“I love to work with people in reaching a goal that they may not have ever imagined that they had a few years ago,” Lisa says. “I like helping them transform into something they never saw for themselves. Watching our first-timers cross the finish line is an experience that I never tire of. It is truly a highlight of my year!”

To learn more about Walk & Run 101, visit our “Training” page at or feel free to attend an informational kickoff event at any CRC location January 23-26. Registration is open and the season begins on January 28!