2020 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship Co-Winner Jaliaya Molett

2020 marks the fifth year in a row that Indy Runners has awarded the Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship. Traditionally two $500 scholarships are given to local high school graduates whose lives have been positively impacted by the sport of running. This year we added an additional $500 scholarship to a deserving candidate thanks to a gift from Dr. Michael Helms and the support of Indy Runners members. The three winners are Jane Hirschman from North Central High School, Jaliaya Molett from Charles A Tindley Accelerated High School, and William Hackler from Franklin Central High School.

Erika Wells, who the scholarship is named after, was a beloved member of Indy Runners who passed away in October 2016. Her dedication to service, personal growth, and social engagement was unparalleled, and she embodied Indy Runners’ belief in the transformative power of running as part of a healthy lifestyle and a way to unify a community. The Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who exemplify these characteristics.

Jaliaya Molett (Charles A Tindley Accelerated)

Jaliaya Molett was a four year varsity member of Charles A. Tindley’s track and field team, and several other athletic teams. She was also a National Honor Society Member and highly active in other school clubs and activities. She graduated with a 3.5 GPA and is currently attending Prairie View A&M University.

Each scholarship applicant was asked to submit an essay on how they came to love running, what the sport of running means to them, or how they believe running will impact their future. We are happy to share Jaliaya’s essay below.

My name is Jaliaya Molett I am a Senior at Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School located in Indianapolis,Indiana. I hold a GPA of 3.5, ranked 3 of 56 for the Class of 2020. I am a 5 sport athlete; Track and Field, Cross Country, Basketball, Cheer leading, and Soccer but Track and Field is where my heart is. I just play other sports to stay in shape on my off season and I just happen to be good at them too.

I have been running track since I was 7 years old. I currently run the 300 Hurdles during my High School season and the 400 Hurdles during the summertime for Indiana Storm Track Club. I also run the 100 Hurdles, the open 400 meters, and Long Jump. I have an all-around good experience with all the sprints and mid-distance since I started running but these are my main events. I have a goal to one day run in college at the collegiate level hopeful for Prairie View A&M University.

I came to love running because it is the most natural way in which I could clear my mind. I feel at peace knowing that my only task is to get to that finish line and have fun doing it. It wasn’t always about winning too me. I adored the way in which we as athletes are brought together. Running in different meets to me is just a way to bring people closer and to unity different skills from different athletes together along with bringing different cultures together. It’s not all about competing against one another but being able to better your skills along with helping others do the same. I do believe that running has the ability to create a global community by being blind to discrimination which can cause a huge impact on anyone’s future along with mine. Where every athlete feels comfortable competing against one another and not having to worry about being judged on where they come from. Only because running has the ability to blinding people to other regions, races, and sexual preferences do to the fact that we are not here on the race of what ethnic group is better than another but here to enjoy are selves and showcase are talents.

Remember, if you know a deserving young candidate for the 2021 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship, encourage them to apply this upcoming winter/spring. To be notified when applications open, please email GivingBack@IndyRunners.org.

2020 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship Co-Winner William Hackler

2020 marks the fifth year in a row that Indy Runners has awarded the Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship. Traditionally two $500 scholarships are given to local high school graduates whose lives have been positively impacted by the sport of running. This year we added an additional $500 scholarship to a deserving candidate thanks to a gift from Dr. Michael Helms and the support of Indy Runners members. The three winners are Jane Hirschman from North Central High School, Jaliaya Molett from Charles A Tindley Accelerated High School, and William Hackler from Franklin Central High School.

Erika Wells, who the scholarship is named after, was a beloved member of Indy Runners who passed away in October 2016. Her dedication to service, personal growth, and social engagement was unparalleled, and she embodied Indy Runners’ belief in the transformative power of running as part of a healthy lifestyle and a way to unify a community. The Erika Wells Scholarship is awarded to high school graduates who exemplify these characteristics.

William Hackler (Franklin Central High School)

William Hackler was a varsity member of both the Franklin Central cross country and track and field teams. He was also a member of the National Honor Society and was involved in several other school activities. He graduated with a GPA of 4.203 and is currently attending Purdue University.

Each scholarship applicant was asked to write and submit an essay on how they came to love running, what the sport of running means to them, or how they believe running will impact their future. We are happy to share William’s essay below.

I started running my junior year of high school. I was a soccer player at heart, having played it for more than ten years, so leaving the sport that I knew like the back of my hand was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made.I knew that I have always had a talent for running. With a lot of hard thought, I decided to join the cross country and track teams at Franklin Central. I was very shy and found it hard to connect with some of the runners on the team. I had joined the cross country team just two days before the soccer tryouts, so I missed almost all of the summer conditioning for cross country. The team was very connected and I felt out of place. It took me a couple of weeks to feel comfortable with the team and to really start buying in to what it had to offer. Once I did, I instantly fell in love with the sport. I was always working as hard as I could to improve my times and work my way up the food chain.

In a little over a year, I dropped my time from a 17:52 down to a 16:18 for the 5k. While doing this I helped our team claim Sectional and Regional titles in 2019, while also receiving All-Sectional and Regional Honors for both my Junior and Senior years. In addition, I received All-Marion County Honors and helped our team win the first Marion County Championship in school history in 2019. Deciding to run was one of the best decisions that I have ever made and it has taught me many life lessons, as well as provided me with amazing role models and friends that I can call my brothers. The biggest lesson that I have learned is no matter what, you can always do better than your best. This lesson has helped me become a much better runner and student. This lesson has allowed me to stay focused in school and allowed me to achieve a 4.203 GPA out of 4.0 and receive First Team Academic All-State Honors.

Running will always be a part of me now. Unfortunately, my senior track season got canceled due to the coronavirus, but I have been doing additional training and participating in online time trials. I will continue to try to improve my times in hopes of walking on at Purdue University in the fall. This has been a goal of mine ever since I started running and I plan to do everything in my power to achieve this goal. No matter what happens, I will never lose my passion for running and will continue to train everyday like it is my last.

In addition to William’s essay, here is a short thank you video he sent us!

Remember, if you know a deserving young candidate for the 2021 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship, encourage them to apply this upcoming winter/spring. To be notified when applications open, please email GivingBack@IndyRunners.org.

2020 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship Co-Winner Jane Hirschman

2020 marks the fifth year in a row that Indy Runners has awarded the Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship. Traditionally two $500 scholarships are given to local high school graduates whose lives have been positively impacted by the sport of running. This year we added an additional $500 scholarship to a deserving candidate thanks to the support of Indy Runners members and a gift from Dr. Michael Helms. The three winners are Jane Hirschman from North Central High School, Jaliaya Molett from Charles A Tindley Accelerated High School, and William Hackler from Franklin Central High School.

Erika Wells, who the scholarship is named after, was a beloved member of Indy Runners who passed away in October 2016. Her dedication to service, personal growth, and social engagement was unparalleled, and she embodied Indy Runners’ belief in the transformative power of running as part of a healthy lifestyle and a way to unify a community. The Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who exemplify these characteristics.

Jane Hirschman (North Central High School)

Jane Hirschman was a varsity member of the North Central Panthers cross country and track and field teams. She was also a National Honor Society member and highly active in several school clubs and activities. She graduated with a 5.26 GPA and is currently attending Bowdoin College.

Each scholarship applicant was asked to submit an essay on how they came to love running, what the sport of running means to them, or how they believe running will impact their future. We are happy to share Jane’s essay below.

When my parents gave me the options of running or swimming to get in exercise after third grade, I begrudgingly chose running, only because swimming seemed too difficult. Little did I know what I was in for. I joined the middle school cross country team in fourth grade, by far the slowest on the team. Yet I kept showing up. Somehow as the years ticked by, I became faster and soon ran the school record for the
2400.

Due to my success in middle school, I felt encouraged me to run cross country my freshman year of high school. However, I was mainly running to earn a gym credit. This decision was one of the greatest decisions I have made so far in my life. High school is where I have fallen in love with running. I have come to appreciate every aspect of the sport. The long runs before the sun rises when you only can hear your
breathing. The cross country camp hill repeats where every time you get to the top you think you can’t do another and yet somehow you do. Endless laps on the track where with each lap you feel increasingly more accomplished. I love it all: the good, bad, and ugly. Every single bit of it.

Not only have I fallen in love with the running, it has also given me a second family, a second home. I could never have accomplished what I have done without my team and coaches. Running has a unique ability to be both an individual and team sport. Because of this, I have celebrated both the highs and the lows with my team. We’ve seen each other at both our bests and worsts. Through it all, my team and
coaches have been there for me. I could not have imagined my high school years without the dedication and support I have received from my running community.

Running has led me down paths I never thought I would have experienced. I have found myself doing 400 meter repeats in a hotel hallway when I was unable to go outside. I’ve spent my summers waking up at 5:30 am to go to cross country practice when all I’ve wanted to do is sleep. I’ve gotten covered in mud from races and had to tape my spikes on to make sure that they wouldn’t get pulled off. And yet in spite, or maybe even because of all the crazy things I’ve done, running is where my heart is. Never did my 9 year old self think that I would be going on to run in college, yet somehow here I am. More excited than ever to put in the miles and miles that will be full of joy. Through it all, all the adversity, joy, and challenges I face in my life, I know that running will always be there for me.

Remember, if you know a deserving young candidate for the 2021 Erika Wells Memorial Scholarship, encourage them to apply this upcoming winter/spring. To be notified when applications open, please email GivingBack@IndyRunners.org.

Stay Visible While Running

Thank you to Cendy Moliere for submitting the following post. Club members are also invited to share stories and articles for the Indy Runners Blog throughout the year. To do so, please email president@indyrunners.org. Material may be edited for space and grammar.

Running is a great way to stay fit and burn off stress but when you’re running whether you’re training for a marathon or just running for fun in parks and trails, there are things that you should do to make yourself as visible as possible. There’s no way to be completely safe when you’re running but there are some things that you can do to make yourself more visible and lower the risk of getting into an accident like:

Use A Trail Map

GPS is just no substitute for a paper trail map. You should always have a copy of the paper trail map with you when you’re running on trails. If your GPS fails, the paper map will be a backup to keep you headed in the right direction. It’s important to stay on the trail at all times so that you don’t damage the natural world and staying on the trail will be easier if you have a trail map with you.

Change Your Run Time

One way to make your run safer is to change the time of the day that you run. If you usually run in the morning or at night when there is poor visibility try to run during the day instead. During the summer you can run later in the evening because it stays light longer, but in the winter consider squeezing in a run during your lunch hour instead of waiting until the evening to run.

Run in Pairs

Another way that you can be more visible when you’re running is to run with a friend or loved one. Two people running are a lot easier to see than just one. If you are both wearing reflective gear and practicing other good safety tips then you will be doubly visible when you’re out running. Running in pairs will make you more visible and make your run more fun. You might even want to try starting a running club at work to see if others want to join you for a lunch time run.

Wear A Safety Vest

Whether you’re running alone or with someone else you should wear a safety vest. Safety vests designed for running are made from high tech reflective fabric that is very lightweight but also very reflective so that when car lights or streetlights hit the fabric it will shine brightly. Some safety vests even have LED lights that flash so that you are always visible in the dark or in the low light. And they have pockets for your cell phone and keys so that you have a convenient way to carry the items that you need to bring with you on a run.

Don’t Litter

Shockingly one of the biggest environmental wrongdoings that some runners commit is littering. Leaving behind food wrappers, water bottles, and other trash contributes to the destruction of natural habitats, causes problems for local wildlife, and can ruin the environment in a particular area. Always pack up your trash and take it out of the park or trail area with you so that you can dispose of it the right way.

Wear A Head Lamp

A head lamp is a great piece of safety equipment for runners as well as cyclists. It will make you much more visible on the trails and it will also give you better visibility so that you will be able to see if there is an obstruction in your path, or other rough ground in front of you.

This article was provided by www.personalinjury-law.com, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only.

Virtual Courses of the Week: 5k & 10k

Recently, if you are an avid road racer, you’ve probably had to scramble to come up with a virtual race course (or two) due to the pandemic. And if you have run a few already, you might be getting bored of the same old route. If that sounds like you – or if you are just looking for a fun new course to run – here are my 5k and 10k course recommendations this week. I really like both courses. I hope that going somewhere different with a set course might help you feel like your run was a little bit closer to the “real” race experience.

Indy Runners Rocky Ripple 5k (Segment available on Strava & Garmin Connect)

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1110709?units=miles

This is an extended version of a tempo loop that my friend Jordan Kyle showed me a while back. The first mile is really fast and will get you into a good rhythm. There is a little hill that you have to deal with twice before you make your way onto the Canal Towpath, but overall it’s a really fast and fun course. To get a detailed course profile, click on the link provided under the map above.

Indy Runners Bulldog 10k (Segment available on Strava & Garmin Connect)

https://www.plotaroute.com/route/1110906?units=miles

This course includes the Rocky Ripple 5k – so if you use Strava and Garmin Connect you can get extra segment credit. This is a nice run on Butler’s campus where you will love me on mile 2 and hate me on mile 5. I’ve only jogged this course but plan on racing it as a fitness check this Friday. Quick note: the finish listed on the map above is slightly different than the segments on Strava and Garmin Connect. Click on the link under the map to get more detailed information on the route.

I’m hoping to make this a regular thing, so if you have any route suggestions send them my way in the comments and they might make it into the next blog post. If you end up running one of my routes let me know what you think!

My First…

This weekend, runners and walkers from across our city, state and country should have come together on Washington Street – stretching from the JW Marriott to the Arts Garden, all awaiting their moment to run under the giant American flag and begin their journey on foot the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway and back.

Although the Mini didn’t take place as planned this weekend, many still hit the pavement to log their miles. Many took a moment – as we often do on race day – to think about how far they’ve come since their race and some chose to write about it on a friend’s social media thread prompting the reflection.

Below is what came to mind. I’d love to hear memories from your first Indy Mini…

I signed up for the 2003 Mini with the hope that the idea of running alongside 35,000 people would motivate me to run regularly and lose a few pounds. I was doing step aerobics classes and, somehow figured if I could do two hours of step, I could do two hours of running and gently put off “real” training for a little closer to the race – running a few miles here and a few there, one 8-miler along the way.

I remember the people and the sights more than anything on race day – the elephants at the Zoo watching us go by, the belly dancers on White River Parkway, the cloggers before Allison Transmission… and the track! Why the **** do people think it’s FUN to run around that thing? But as a lover of experiences, it was pretty cool. And who drinks beer during something as long as a half marathon (I’d soon learn that it, too, was fun).

I remember barely being able to lift my feet off the ground and stumbling across the railroad tracks on 10th Street. The smell of popcorn ready to pop brings me back to race day and the stretch down White River Parkway. And I’ll never not know that it’s a mile from the turn onto New York to West Street. In fact, that’s where I got passed by a speed-walker – man, did she look fresh and did I feel humbled!

I remember laying on the grass in Military Park, exhausted, swearing off any future runs longer than a lap around my neighborhood. And then, the next day, signing up for 2004 where I took a similar approach to training.

Transitioning to Running in a Time of Corona…

With gyms and other workouts on hold during this time of responsible social distancing, many people are taking up Running as a way to get in some fitness (and sanity). Maybe you are one of them, maybe you know someone who is starting to Run more.

As a Running Club we certainly want to encourage folks to enjoy the benefits of our beloved sport like we do. But, we also want to encourage a responsible transition to help avoid injury and build up in a smart way to capitalize on this new adventure.

Attached are two progressions for transitioning to being a runner.

  1. Intermediate – For relative newcomers starting from walking 20-30 minutes several times per week.
  2. Advanced – For those who usually workout in other fashions (weights, high intensity intervals, spin class, etc.) that have a good base of fitness but can’t do those things right now.
  3. We also have our Beginner Program that we started last year – starting with Walking then to Running 40-minutes over a 12-week span (maybe up to a 5k race?)

Where ever you are on your journey, please let us know how it’s going. And once we can gather again for group Club Runs, we’d love to see you join us!

Any questions, please feel free to write to our Medical Liaison, Brian Schuetter, PT with St. Vincent Sports Performance at medical@indyrunners.org.

Thanks so much and be safe out there!

Let’s Run :: River House Edition

Have you noticed that nearly every Friday, an email magically arrives in your inbox noting a prescribed distance and a recommended route for the next day’s Indy Runners club run?

We know that running with the club isn’t always possible, so we mapped out four of of our favorites starting and finishing at the River House Apartments, 6311 Westfield Blvd, Indianapolis, IN 46220:

THE MONON:
https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926031149
The Monon Trail is now over 27 miles long, a little over a marathon, from Indianapolis north through Carmel and Westfield. From River House in Broad Ripple, head north to 75th Street (3mi), to 86th Street (6mi), 96th (8mi) or even up to 146th Street (18) round trip.

WILLIAM’S CREEK / PENN LOOP:
https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926015297
This route is ideal for adding a couple miles of hills to your workout and will cover 8-8.5 miles. Run north on the Monon, turn left (west) on 86th Street, then left (south) on Pennsylvania just before you reach Meridian Street. Run on Penn until it Ts at Arden. Turn left (east) on Arden and run along the river until the road nearly dead-ends. Turn left (north) and then right (east) on 70th Street.

You can get back on the Monon near the Art Center at 67th Street or may choose to extend the route a bit and run south along College to Fresh Thyme Market.

This route can be run in either direction. If you’re looking for additional hills, you’ll find them around Washington & 70th.

Watch for cars along Penn and at intersections throughout the run.

BUTLER UNIVERSITY & TOWPATH LOOP:
https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926026451
From River House, head south on the Monon to 52nd Street. Turn right (west) running on the sidewalk. Cross with the lights at College Avenue and again at Meridian Street before you reach the north side of Butler’s campus. Turn left (south) onto Boulevard Place. Hinkle Fieldhouse will be on your right. Stop in there or the Health & Recreation Complex (HRC) for a drink of water or a restroom.

Continue past the HRC, turning right (west) before the campus parking garage and pass through Holcomb Gardens. Cross the pedestrian bridge onto the crushed-limestone towpath. Turn right and head northeast. The towpath will bring you back to Broad Ripple.

This route is a total of 6.5 miles and may be shortened by continuing along 52nd Street directly to the towpath.

Near 52nd and the towpath, you’ll soon find the Indy Runners-sponsored drinking fountain.

DOWNTOWN LONG RUN: https://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/2926045174
Don’t let the name fool you. This 19-mile run, too, begins and ends at River House Apartments. Head south-ish on the towpath past Butler and Newfields/Indianapolis Museum of Art. At 30th Street, jog to your right and catch the light just past Riverside High School. Head south along White River Trail through Riverside Park and past the former Bush Stadium until you reach a large pedestrian bridge near 10th Street.

Cross the bridge and cross 10th Street at the light. Turn right (west) and run a couple blocks to the west side of the VA hospital. Turn left (south) before the bridge over White River and follow the path across New York and into White River State Park. From here, you can find your way onto the Canal Walk. Exit the Canal Walk at the USS Indianapolis Memorial and onto Walnut Street.

You’ll see the brown pavers of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Follow the Cultural Trail past the library, south through American Legion Mall, west on North Street, along Mass Ave to 10th Street. Turn right on 10th and look for the Monon Trail on your left. Run on the Monon until you return to Broad Ripple.

More than Miles: A Member Profile of Alison Brown.

If you’re like me, you might find yourself going out for a run or walk just to balance out the weight of the news headlines. You may even wonder if there’s anything one person can do to counter them, even just a bit.

Indy Runners & Walkers member and volunteer Alison Brown was inspired to try.

This coming weekend, she’ll join women around the world in walking or running 21.1K (13.1 miles) and donating 21.1 Euros to support the International Alliance of Women (IAW) and Project 21.1. Look for her at North Central High School’s Great North Run.

Through the project, the IAW encouraged participants to share their running or walking stories “through the lens of Peace, Climate Change, Human Rights, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Education, etc.” We’d love to hear your running story in the comments below.  

Alison has had an impact locally though Indy Runners as a member and volunteer, as well as globally though IAW as a delegate to the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights and as Secretary General of the IAW, among many other roles.

She came to Indianapolis with her husband Siegmund, who joined Indy Runners in 2009. Alison soon discovered that waiting at the finish line for someone doing a half or full marathon was pretty boring and quickly decided to join the club. She could often be found doing 5- and 8-Ks as he raced longer.

Although Siegmund is no longer with us, you can still find Alison serving and empowering others at races and at Butler Basketball games.

How to Dress for Winter Training Success

Deciding what to wear while running and walking in an Indianapolis winter isn’t an easy task. Negative wind chills at the beginning of the week can easily shift to sixty degrees and sunny by the end of the week. One thing that won’t shift, however, is the date of that Spring race you signed up for in November. I mean, who wants to train on a treadmill every day until the end of March? This blog post is going to help you make sure you have the perfect running or walking outfit to tackle the fickle Indiana weather all season.

Dress for “Adjusted” Temperature.

The first thing you want to think about when deciding what to wear before a run or walk is the “adjusted” workout temperature. When you run or walk, your body is going to heat up, and your outfit needs to be suited to deal with this change comfortably. Try to dress for a temperature that is 15-20 degrees warmer than it actually is outside. I look at the “Feels like” temperature on my weather app (which takes factors like windchill and humidity into account) and go from there. Everyone responds to temperature changes differently, so it may take multiple trials to figure out what is right for you. Start out by making the 15-20 degree adjustment, which is pretty reliable, and then make further changes as you see fit. Also, keep in mind how strenuous your run or walk will be. A leisurely jog or walk may not require as extreme an adjustment to the actual outside temperature as a fast-paced interval workout will.

Base Layers

Choose the right Base Layer.

A good base layer uses special synthetic fabric (and not cotton) and weaving technology to help wick (pull away) moisture away from your skin to aid in the evaporation of sweat. These are durable shirts that will never fade and will benefit you in hot or cold conditions. The most underrated winter base layer in my opinion is the wind boxer shown above. It’s a great piece for men and women, but to the guys out there: if it’s cold enough, you will wish you had a pair, trust me. 😉

Mid Layer

The Mid Layer helps regulate body temperature.

The mid layer helps regulate your body temperature by directing body heat back into your body and by stopping cold air from passing through to your body. They often feature specially placed vents, fleece-lined panels, and, in some cases, protective wind and rain shields. Many thermal layers contain special pockets to hold personal items like phones and keys. For the majority of the winter season, you can easily get by with just a base layer and a mid layer.

Shells

Top it off with an Outer Protection Shell.

The outer protection shell is most beneficial in poor winter conditions. Its function is to protect you from rain, sleet, ice, snow, wind, and more. There are a variety of options available depending on the level of protection you require. There is a variety of apparel items, from vests to jackets, available to provide you with the protection you need on any given day.

Neck Gaiter, Balaclava, Hat, Gloves

Don’t forget your head and hands.

Having a good running hat and pair of gloves is crucial for making it through the winter. There are a variety of different options and thicknesses to fit what you are looking for. If your hands are super cold all the time, then I suggest a mitten. If being able to use your phone is important, there are now a lot of options that allow you to use a touch screen without taking off your gloves. I personally run with a glove-mitten hybrid so that I have the option of a mitten but can switch to a glove when my hands get warm. On the really cold days a balaclava or neck gaiter are crucial to protect your face against the elements. It’s best to try on different options and think about when you will use them. A good hat and pair of gloves can get you through several winters.

Hopefully this blog post gave you a good idea of how to tackle difficult winter training days. Investing in a good winter wardrobe will not only help you train like a champ this winter, but for several winters to come. Best of luck with your training. If you liked this post next time you see me say balaclava and I will take that as a thank you!