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Meet Coach LB

Hello! My name is Lauren Blankenship and I am an Atlanta native. I got my start in athletics at an early age chasing my oldest brother Carter around playing basketball and soccer. I remember going roller blading while my Dad and Step Mom ran, but I officially joined organized sports when I was in fourth grade playing club soccer for the Santos!

In high school, I made the varsity soccer team where my speed was noticed on the soccer field. I went to a private smaller high school named Wesleyan and participation in sports was encouraged due to smaller numbers. I'll never forget my bible teacher Libby Houk encouraging me to come out for Cross Country the fall of my sophomore year.

I ended up winning state my sophomore, junior, and senior year of high school all along while continuing to play varsity soccer in the spring. I clearly found a talent and my hard work earned me a scholarship to run at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. 

At Samford I had a 3 X  All American running career where I ran cross country, indoor, and outdoor seasons respectively. After college I was offered a job to coach at my alma mater. After a year I then was offered a job to coach at Ole Miss, and then ultimately what brought me home was an opportunity to coach at Georgia State.

While coaching at Georgia State I had a couple part time jobs one of which was at my first run specialty store called West Stride. After two years at Georgia State I stepped away from college athletics when I realized my passion to work in run specialty and coach privately.

My coaching career started in 2008 officially and I have worked hard to stay in and around the industry ever since!

Interested in my full coaching & personal running career resume? Feel free to reach out or I'm happy to fill you in on our initial call. 

College & High School Coaching Experience

Samford University
July 2008-July 2009

University of Mississippi
July 2009-July 2010

Georgia State University
July 2010- July 2012

My first coaching job right out of college and at my Alma Mater. We got a whole new head coach (Rod Tiffin), joined a brand new conference (SoCon), and the new athletic building opened. Nothing like coaching your teammates, but I jumped in the deep end and swam to the top. 

My first coaching job in the SEC. I assisted the cross country coach in all things practice, recruiting, and travel arrangements. We hosted SEC Cross Country Championships that year and I remember having a blast making the course with Doug! 

I coached at GSU for two years and helped make huge strides in recruitment and getting us on the map in the CAA Cross Country. It was super exciting to win a CAA Track Championship that first year as well!

Private Coaching & Related Work Experience

West Stride
March 2010-April 2015

Holy Spirit Prep
July 2013-May 2015

Run with LB 

Implus Corporation: Sales Rep Run Specialty Division
May 2015-July 2020

Thanks to Genie Beaver, I found my passion for Run Specialty. I worked in sales, lead the group runs, and helped with coaching programs out of the store which encouraged me to start Run with LB. 

While at West Stride I also worked at Holy Spirit Prepatory School for 2 years as Head Cross Country & Track Coach, I also assisted with JV Girls Soccer.

Leading group runs showed me the opportunity to coach so many that found the sport of running post college and even later in life. I created Run with LB in 2014 with the passion to give back to a sport that had blessed me in so many ways.

Working as a sales rep in the run specialty division at Implus was a ton of fun and fueled my passion for marketing and partnerships. Traveling across FL, SC, AL, GA selling Balega Socks, Trigger Point Therapy products, and more was a ton of fun and challenged me in many ways from sell in to sale through. Merchandising, expos, opening new accounts, etc.. 

Related Work Experience & Certifications

Fleet Feet, Inc.

Dec 2020- Present

ATL Run Tours, LLC
Sept 2022- Present

Current Certifications

I landed back on the store side working in a Marketing Manager role that then turned into a Marketing Director role over two stores. I enjoyed bringing the group run back to life after two years and focusing on marketing expanded my skillset in driving partnerships, digital, and social media. I stepped away from full time in March of 2023. I still work here part time when time allows.

In September of 2022, I reupped my LLC to ATL Run Tours. Serving as an umbrella over Run with LB, Sports Mindset Coaching, Market with LB, and other offerings in corporate wellness to compliment skill set.

*USTFCCCA Endurance Specialist Certification

*RRCA Certification

*CPR Certification

*Mental Game Coaching Professional Certification

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