Patriots News · Coaches Corner – Strong Bond Between Two Runners

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Coaches Corner – Strong Bond Between Two Runners


Big things usually come from small beginnings. Anything that has any kind of meaning usually takes work overtime. Those things are often worked for alone with long-distance runners. As they say, the road is never crowded along the extra mile. For two Patriot runners, Jewelia Nichols and Molly McClung, they’ve decided to go it together rather than alone. Their bond has been formed through running together, a lot! A running bond more than just simply running with one another on occasion. Every practice, they run together. Side by side. Stride by stride. Locked in on the pursuit of their running goals. It was very evident something special had formed at the ISD July 2nd track meet.

Both runners were scheduled to run the mile that evening. They each shared the workload of pace for their mile efforts in the humid, hot conditions achieving new personal records. It was as if there was an invisible rope tying them together as teammates pulling one another to the finish line from the start. Both runners then took the opportunity to attack a challenge of doubling with the two-mile. In tough conditions again, the patriot duo both ran to exceptional performances to cap off an otherwise stellar day of distance running. As they embraced one another in congratulations after both races, one thing was evident. They were there, again. Together.


Coach caught up with this duo this week to talk shop running. Enjoy, and Run on!


Talk about what transformed you into the runner you are today?


“I’m not sure what kind of runner I am today, but I do know how my mentality towards running has transformed since I first started. I was never competitive and wasn’t noticeable as competition with other athletes. I was overlooked in anything athletic I participated in. I didn’t care as much at the time and never put in the effort to change it. However, after joining cross country my freshman year, I saw the dedication the older runners had and how they put their heart in every workout. I found myself wanting to be good and wanting to put effort. I wanted to prove that I could be a strong athlete and an asset to the team. After seeing where I have come from, I feel like I have no limits. I can’t wait to keep training to see how far I’ll go. I would not be where I am today without my parents who support me through everything and with a coach that never stops believing in me, even if I didn’t believe in myself.” – Jewelia


“Several years ago, I started running, and ever since then, I have gradually become more competitive with myself and others. When you set a new personal record or place high in a race, it makes you feel really good about yourself. To me, running is about pushing yourself to accomplish things that you didn’t know you could do.” – Molly


How have you been adjusting to the COVID 19 and continuing to train on your own? How has your training been going and what are you focusing on improving?


“COVID 19 has hit at a terrible time. I’m upset because I think this season will be amazing if we get to have it, but COVID is a constant threat. Running every day takes a lot of dedication, but adding the fact that we may not even have a season makes it very difficult. However, training has been amazing. I have been blessed with amazing training partners who push me to better myself every day. I have been focusing on improving my running form since my arms cross a lot, and I find myself struggling to keep them straight during harder workouts. I have also been working on my base mileage and trying to get as many miles as I can throughout the week.” – Jewelia


“Due to COVID 19, we have had to do all of our training on our own. I had to get used to pushing myself while running without the coaches and the team there to support me, just like running during the off-season. Being able to run with Jewelia as a partner has helped a lot with that. We have been getting in a lot of distance training in and I want to start to focus more on speed-endurance training.” – Molly


Talk about the bond of your training partner, what makes them special to you?


“Molly has been an amazing training partner. She has kept me motivated through the summer and not let me slack off on the runs when I don’t feel my best. She’s very supportive, an amazing teammate, and friend.” – Jewelia


“Jewelia has been my running partner since the beginning of this past school year. She is a great team leader. She is always super positive, even when we have really hard workouts. Jewelia always puts in her best effort and motivates me to do the same.” – Molly


What was your experience like from the July 2nd Track Meet after the mile race then coming back in the two-mile?


“I didn’t realize going in I would have to run the two-mile, so I was terrified when I found out, but it was super fun and I’m glad I ran it. I’m not sure why I was so nervous to run the two-mile, but I’ve heard that if you’re nervous it means you’re ready. The race itself was amazing! It was the perfect temp and the fireworks overhead were awesome to look at as we ran around the track.” – Jewelia


“Going into the Two-mile race, Jewelia and I knew that we were probably going to have to run it without any competition. So, we had to think of it as a time trial with just the two of us because we didn’t know where our times should have been at.” – Molly


What are your goals for this upcoming season in XC?


“In the future, I would love to break 20 in the 5k but I might be asking too much for this season. One of my goals is of course to beat my last year’s times. However, my main goal is to be a supportive team leader and to win city champs with a strong girls varsity team.” – Jewelia


“This cross country season I want to try to get some new personal records, but I mainly want to focus on being a good teammate and trying my best.” – Molly