I’m a writer, on-camera reporter, and race announcer dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. I host On The Run, a web show and TV show from New York Road Runners, and serve as a race announcer for events like the TCS New York City Marathon, United Airlines NYC Half and Fred Lebow Manhattan Half. I’m also a regular contributor to SHAPE.com and Canadian Running magazine. I previously wrote the column “Run, Karla, Run!” for The Washington Times’ Communities section.
Karla’s Running Story
I came to the sport of running in 2005 after a life-changing surgery. Thanks to a slow-growing bone tumor in my leg that sat right at the knee joint, running had been a painful endeavor for almost 12 years. I lived with constant pain and stuck to low-impact exercise until any exercise at all was too painful. I even walked with a limp.
One year post-surgery I was largely tumor free and my doctor told me it was time to start rebuilding the muscle and bone-density in my leg. But when my doc suggested running as the perfect bone-building exercise, I scoffed. It had been the single most painful exercise for me. I hated running.
But I’ve always been a person who follows doctors orders. So one day, I laced up the only sneakers I had and hit the sidewalk. It was some ugly business. After 12 years of avoiding running at all costs, I lasted three blocks before I was completely out of breath. But I stuck with it, and three blocks turned into 10, which then became a mile, and eventually stretched into three miles. I soon felt my well-worn hatred for running morph into something else—joy.
Now, I’ve built my life around the thing I used to hate most.
Karla’s Career Story
I started my writing career as a Newsweek reporter with the intention of making good on my undergraduate degree in religion from Amherst College. Concentrating in Hinduism and Islam, I graduated Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa and won a college prize. At Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, I charted a career as a religion reporter. While there, the Religion Newswriters Association named me one of 10 national finalists for Student Writer of the Year and I received reporting grants from the Carnegie and Knight Foundations to cover religion in America and the Scripps Howard Foundation to report on religion in India. I won a Fulbright scholarship to Germany for young American journalists and served as a fellow for News21.
But I spent all my free time squeezing in workouts while training for marathons. So I eventually launched a freelance career as a running, travel and sports writer.
My work—including print, photography, multimedia and broadcast—has appeared in Newsweek, Shape, The Week, Runners World, Canadian Running, Active, ESPN2, Universal Sports, ABC7 in New York, The Washington Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, American Athlete Magazine, and two dozen other publications. I’ve also appeared on America’s Morning Radio on the Talk Radio Network, Good Morning San Diego on KUSI TV, and The Marathon Show on BlogTalkRadio, which named me one of The Most Interesting People of 2010.
I’m no Olympian, but went to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times and served as sports editor for The Washington Times Communities and RunningTrax.com.
I’ve received mentions by The New York Times, Fox Sports, Runner’s World, Canadian Running, Competitor, The Baltimore Sun, PBS, Bleacher Report and many other outlets. I’ve also spoken at race expos like the 2014 Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half, and in 2011 I moderated a Social Media Week panel called, “The Social Runner,” and a JackRabbit NYC Running Show panel appropriately called “NYC Running Scene.”
When I’m not pounding the pavement as a reporter, I’m usually pounding the pavement as a runner. I’ve completed seven marathons, six triathlons, 20 half-marathons, and dozens of other races. I train with the New York Harriers and am a member of New York Road Runners.
Before becoming a journalist, I worked as an actor, model and singer in New York City. I still moonlight as lead singer of The Fades, an ’80s cover band. I’ve been able to merge singing and running at road races around New York City. New York Road Runners asked me to sing at the 2010 ING New York City Marathon, in addition to other races like the Fifth Avenue Mile and NY Mini 10K.
I’m also a travel junkie who’s been to 35 countries on six continents. I swam with humpback whales in Tonga, rode an elephant through the jungles of Nepal, learned to swing a polo mallet in Argentina and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, among other adventures. My favorite places I’ve been include Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Germany, India, Italy, Tonga, Uruguay and Hawai’i (even though it’s a state, not a country). I’m also learning to play polo and sail too.
For links to some of my work, visit KarlaBruning.com.