Ultra-runner tackles Track


Signs line the side of the trail at the Mark Twain 100 miler, a race Weber recently participated in. Finishing with almost thirty other runners, Weber started the race on September 13 and ran for more than 30 hours.

This spring, West welcomed an “ultra-runner” to the coaching staff. Karyn Weber, who runs races that are longer than marathons, is now an assistant coach for Girls Track.

“Basically I do distances over 26 miles, so 50K races, 100 milers and some 100K races. It takes a lot of time,” Weber said, laughing. “I like running because I am in more competition with myself.” Unlike team sports she says, “It’s just you and the trail.”

Last year, Weber moved from the Chicago area to St. Louis, where her father lived for over 20 years.

“I always used to bring my kids here [before I moved]. People are really nice here; they hold doors open for you,” Weber said. “In Chicago they don’t do that because everyone it always in a crazy rush. [St. Louis] is a totally different, calmer environment.”

As a child, Weber took up running at the age of seven. She also played volleyball and basketball, but in high school, Weber became more focused on running, due to a “limit” of three seasons.

“When you get to high school you have to choose, so I ran Cross Country, played Basketball and then ran Track,” Weber said.

An “ultra-runner” for almost 10 years, Weber has competed in several races, just recently completing the Trail of Tears 50K in Jackson, Missouri last October.

“There is no race ever the same, just because of the elements and the technical aspects of a trail,” Weber said. “You have to be ready for anything.”

Although running is an individual sport, Weber has seen people go out of their way to help others during races, showing great sportsmanship in the midst of extreme physical taxation.

“I think it is just the relationships you build out on the trail. People will help you, even total strangers,” Weber said. “If you are having a hard time, they will sacrifice their race just to get you to the next checkpoint.”

In the way of injuries, Weber says she has been “very fortunate” throughout her career, receiving her first injury, a badly sprained ankle, just a few months ago.

“There are a lot of physical benefits to running. People always say running is bad for you, but when you look into research, truly it is not,” Weber said. “People always ask me, ‘Well how about your knees?’ and I’m like, ‘They’re fine!’”

Currently Weber says she is “learning her way around the program,” following the head coaches who have been on staff for many years.

“I love doing workouts with the girls,” Weber said. “Overall I think I am more of a conditioning and strength training coach.”

In the end, Weber says the advice she has gained from running can apply to non-athletes as well. While she does not have any specific goals for the team yet this Spring, Weber reminds the athletes that running is a mental game.

“There will be times that you want to quit, but if you can get through practice, competitions will be that much easier,” Weber said. “When you work hard, benefits do come eventually, if not right away. It is an awesome sport.”


As of the beginning of April, 2015, Weber has stopped working at West due to personal obligations.