Dan Walters - Owner & Head Coach
Dan grew up watching his father, Dave Walters, compete at a high level (capped with an Olympic Trials performance and multiple World Marathon Major age group wins). His father's influence helped Dan discover the beauty of the sport and Dan proceeded to run competitively in high school and at the University of Illinois before succumbing to a stubborn achilles injury.
Despite being sidelined, Dan's fiery passion for the sport lead to him to self-education and seeking out the next best thing - helping others achieve their goals. In 2013, DWRunning was born and in 2015, Dan took DWRunning full-time! As much as Dan loves running, he finds even more joy in helping others chase their dreams. While Dan specializes in marathon coaching, he coaches athletes of all ages and abilities for mid-distance track races through ultramarathons. Dan is 100% committed to spreading the fitness gospel and is ALL IN to help athletes reach heights they never thought possible!
Dan Kittaka - Assistant Coach
Dan K enjoys helping athletes achieve their goals and redefine their limits through personalized stress/rest schedules and developing greater mindfulness and resilience. He is a life-long runner with experience guiding athletes to personal records and Boston-qualifying marks in events ranging from 1500m to the marathon and beyond. Dan K began his running journey in high school and progressed as an athlete and student of the sport through college and beyond. Dan K has completed five of the six World Marathon Majors (he'll be completing London, his last, in April 2019). As a coach, Dan K values a personalized approach that focuses on long-term development through consistent, joyous running.
Declan McDonnell - Assistant Coach
Declan grew up playing all kinds of sports before getting hooked on running in high school. He attended college at the University of Illinois where he joined the club running team. This community of dedicated mentors and athletes (including fellow DWR assistant coach Dan Kittaka!) taught him the value a great team and great coaching can provide.
Since that experience, running and coaching cemented itself as a lifelong pursuit, driven by an insatiable curiosity and a desire to achieve more. A USATF Level I certification and two years coaching at the high school level in St. Louis lead to a position coaching at the collegiate level for the University of Minnesota. Declan spent two years working as an assistant coach under Olympian Steve Plasencia, coaching athletes at the Big Ten and NCAA Division I level.
For Declan, the enjoyment of coaching and running comes from creating a community of support while challenging each other to be at our best, and he can’t wait to help other DWRunner’s continue this mission.
Shawn Lucas - Assistant Coach
Shawn was introduced to distance running while conditioning for basketball during middle school. After seeing success in high school, Shawn put his basketball dreams on hold and accepted a scholarship to run for Loyola-Chicago. An up and down college and post-collegiate career culminated with PRs of 4:03 for the mile (road mile), 14:40 for 5k and 1:09:40 for the half marathon. A back injury ended Shawn's personal athletic pursuit and Olympic Trials Dream, so Shawn put his full heart into his coaching career.
Coaching also entered Shawn's life largely in part due to the coaches in his life. Shawn's college coach, Marc Burns (now at Missouri), and his post-collegiate coach and good friend, Charlie Kern (York HS), taught and inspired him. As a collegiate coach for over 8 years and currently at UIC, Shawn has worked with his fair share of athletes and he found that he loves learning how to best maximize each runner's unique skills and talents. What has been a key to Shawn's coaching successes is building a relationship with each of his athletes and having a strong line of communication. Shawn has seen so many amazing achievements occur just because the coach-athlete experience is a positive one.
Dave Walters - Assistant Coach
Dave Walters has been coaching runners for the past 30 years. From mentoring HS runners to developing 2:20 marathoners, Dave has coached a broad spectrum of running talent. His own running background includes PRs of a 29:18 10k, 1:03 Half Marathon, and a 2:19 Marathon. He qualified for and ran in the 1988 US Olympic Marathon Trials (2:24 and a 36th place finish).
Dave is a 777 Captain for United Airlines and coaches several DWR marathoners as well. He plans on retiring from the United in August 2020 and looks forward to devoting more of his time to his true passion: marathon coaching! "Choose your Goal, then BECOME your Goal!"