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 started running casually just before high school and upon starting high school decided to join the cross country team to "get into shape." After some modest, initial success, Dan K became wrapped up in the training, racing, and camaraderie of running at the high school level. During this time, Dan K had four different coaches in four years driving him to study the sport for himself. Following high school, Dan K continued running in college at the club level. During this time, he continued to learn about the sport taking lessons from injury and Coach Jake Englander. Jake's coaching guided Dan K to his only complete collegiate track season and to an intuitive sense of what good coaching can accomplish.
Following college, Dan K fell in love with the marathon, continuing to build knowledge and experience with each race including a 2:31 personal record and 200th place finish at the Boston Marathon. For Dan K, coaching is an opportunity to use this experience and knowledge to empower athletes of all abilities by helping them work towards their goals over a variety of race distances.
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.