Dawn White

RRCA Certified Running Coach
USATF Level 1 Certified Coach
RRCA Certified Race Director
CPR/First Aid Certified

Favorite distance– Marathon

Why you wanted to become a coach-I’ve always been a coach and teacher and love to share my passion with others. I like to take the beginner and see them progress through consistent effort.

Favorite runner– Meb, Pre, Galen, Shalane, and that runner who gives it their all everytime!

Favorite quote- “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” -Pre

Why it’s important to train with a coach– Sometimes it’s hard to be objective about your own training. A coach takes the guesswork out and can help you train efficiently. Although I am a coach, I have my own running coach as well!

Other hobbies– Reading and watching crime shows

Family/pets– Will-hubby

Favorite race– Disney Marathon

Hardest part of training– Working on my mental game and speedwork

Etc-. I love Disney, Mickey Mouse, goats, and running shoes. I worked 21 years as a Bible teacher/ministry outreach director and now am fortunate to have a 2nd career at Black Dog Running I am just as passionate about!



Gary Elmore

RRCA Certified Running Coach

CPR/First Aid Certified

Favorite distance-Half-marathons are my absolute favorite, but marathons are my guilty pleasure. It’s a good mixture of happiness, magical misery and elation when you cross that finish line!

Why you wanted to become a coach-I love helping people and animals…It’s my sole mission in life to help others. That is what I was destined to do!

Favorite quote-One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, What are you doing?

The youth replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean.

The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.

Son, the man said, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said I made a difference for that one.

Favorite Runner-Meb or Shalane Flanagan

Why it’s important to train with a coach-We take the guesswork out of your training plan, but more importantly, we tailor your training to you, based on scientific principles. We don’t use a cookie-cutter approach where one training plan fits all. We listen to your questions, concerns and scheduling needs and adjust things as necessary. Most importantly, though, is the social aspect, where you can share experience with others, just like you, training for the same goal, or questions that you’ve had about training, that you never knew the answers to. We are all family here at the Black Dog Running Company, no matter what pace or ability level you are. We welcome everyone with open arms and so do the rest of the runners in our groups.

Other hobbies-Fostering Cats and playing Baseball

Family/pets-1 wife (Meghan Elmore), 1 daughter (Shannon), 1 dog (Murphy) and more cats than I can name 🤣. We have 3 of our own and an ever changing amount of fosters from the Grand Strand Humane Society and St. Francis.

Favorite race-I haven’t really found a favorite race yet. There have been good memories and bad memories associated with all of them, but no race that I love more than any other.

Hardest part of training-Training in the heat and humidity during the summer, is the most difficult part of training for me. I sweat more than most, so it’s a constant challenge to stay hydrated. It can also be very frustrating knowing that you will be forced to slow down and not run quite as far, because the effort is just so much harder.

Also, trying to get your fueling right for an upcoming race. My stomach is very sensitive and it is very hard to find the right combination of fuel that will not upset it.

Etc.-I’m a vegetarian runner and contrary to popular belief, you can still get faster and run hard as a vegetarian.

I have a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Coastal Carolina University



Akemi O’Briant

RRCA Certified Running Coach

CPR/First Aid Certified

Favorite distance– Marathon and Half Marathon

Why you wanted to become a coach– Running is a big part of who I am. When you’re passionate about something, you naturally want to share it with others. Recently, I’ve experienced how rewarding it is to help someone achieve a personal goal. It’s a day I will never forget!

Favorite runner– I really don’t have a favorite elite/professional runner. There are so many to admire. I do have some favorite runners/friends that I get to run with on a regular basis.

Why it’s important to train with a coach– A coach will teach you the safe and efficient way to train. Often, we need a reminder to trust the process. Having that person push you out of your comfort zone is invaluable.

Other hobbies– Shopping, Sewing when I have the time.

Family/pets– Tod-Husband, Olive – Chihuahua & Princess of the House

Favorite race– Myrtle Beach Marathon – My hometown race!!

Hardest part of training– Getting through cumulative fatigue.

Etc-. I do love candy, cookies and doughnuts,but I’ve cut back on my sugar intake. Not a fan of the 5k distance, but do them for the training.