Lauren is one of the best distance runners in the world, famous for her devastatingly long finishing kick, a mid-career refusal to singularly focus on sport, and her authentic ...read more
Lauren is one of the best distance runners in the world, famous for her devastatingly long finishing kick, a mid-career refusal to singularly focus on sport, and her authentic storytelling. Career highlights include two National Championships and representing the USA at five World Championships in Cross Country and Track & Field.
The New York Times named her the best distance runner in American history not to make the Olympics. It was that series of near misses that moved Lauren to think critically about the value of professional sports, and the hyper-focused approach expected of athletes. What happens when you allow yourself to be human in the pursuit of super-human things? What are the consequences of being more fully yourself? Curiosity about these questions led Lauren to become an entrepreneur, writer, mom, shenanigan appreciator, and sports activist during the remainder of her athletic prime, resulting in a lifestyle that set the stage for the absolute best and worst performances of her career. She has walked the runway at New York Fashion Week with Oiselle, had a photo of her thigh cheese go viral on the internet, lived ina VW camper van, and believes that using profanity is a celebration of her family heritage. Lauren is a legend, an oddball, a role model, or a cautionary tale, depending on who you ask. You can find her in Bend, Oregon, coaching a handful of Olympic hopefuls, advocating for athletes on the USA Track and Field Board of Directors, writing, leading running and writing retreats, or playing open mic nights at the local dive bar under the name "Wilder." Her husband Jesse Thomas is a world class triathlete and CEO of their company, Picky Bars.