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.

Runners Strength: 3 Exercises To Help You Have Less Injuries And Finish Strong

You love to run, right? But this whole strength training as a runner thing is a bit confusing, you don’t want it to interfere with your run plan or know what exercises you should be doing.

The good news is not only is adding strength training make you a stronger, less injury prone and faster runner, but you can add it to your weekly plan without throwing a hitch your run game!

MINDSET CHECK: Strength training is not cross-training it is just apart of your training as a runner and an athlete

Why is Strength Training important:

What does the Research say:

Effects of Heavy & Explosive Strength Training on Endurance Performance

  • Increase economy (ease of running)
  • Increase lactate threshold
  • Decrease or delayed fatigue
  • Increase max strength & speed
  • Improved endurance performance
  • Increase rate of force development (measure of explosive strength)

Strength Training reduced sports injuries to less than 1/3 and overuse injuries could almost be halved

Strength Training on Performance in Endurance Athletes

  • Improved velocity at VO2 max
  • Power output at VO2 max
  • Maximal anerobic running test velocity

KEY TAKEAWAY: VO2 max is the measure of the maximal amount of oxygen a person can use during intense exercise, so its basically a measurement of your body’s ability to use oxygen ie taken more oxygen and deliver to muscles

So let’s put this all together and give you 3 really easy to implement exercises you can do anywhere! You can also easily add them to your easy pace days. If you are currently in training season you will be good to add these as well! Remember the heavy and explosive strength training benefits above? It is recommended you implement a program like that after racing system and go from there.

Our power muscles the glutes, the cheeks, the peaches, etc whatever you want to call them need alot of attention in most runners so the three exercises below focus on increasing strength and stability there. Adding them to your routine will get you on the road to running easier, faster, and with less nagging aches or pain. Some focus can also help you to hit that PR in your next race!

KEY TAKEAWAY: This series of exercises are perfect for easy run days. If you need to begin without resistance thats ok, 3 sets of 15 with or without using resistance band

These are just a starting point to adding more targeted runners strength exercises into your run plan. The idea is to begin targeted strengthening program that includes free weights, barbell, kettlebells, etc that can be used throughout the year with different adjustments based on your run/walk or training schedule. Stronger hips to keep you on the pavement = a happy and faster runner!

Research excerpt from PT management for endurance runners

Featured Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels

Dr Latisha Williams @runforlifeindy, is a new member of Indy Runners, loves helping others, has been a physical therapist since 2007, RRCA Certified Run Coach and Owner of Run For Life Performance & Physical Therapy

I Didn’t Need a Running Club.

The reason I joined Indy Runners nearly a decade ago is the reason I’ve remained a member.

It’s the same reason I’ve committed to renewing my membership year after year, the same reason I volunteered for my first club event, and why I went after for a seat on the club’s board.

The reason: to ensure that runners and walkers in Indianapolis have a thriving club and community to be a part of. 

When I joined, though, I thought Indy Runners was just a running club. I didn’t need a running club. I could log miles from my front door whenever I wanted. But, I wanted to make sure that others had access, should they want it. $25 seemed like a small investment in something so many others found so valuable. (That should have been enough to make me take notice and join in, right!?)

Then I volunteered for the 35K-ish Relay, met a few members (now dear friends), let myself get talked into joining a Saturday run and realized just how shortsighted I had been. Indy Runners was far more than just a time and place to log miles on a common route.

Indy Runners was a place for creating connections and forming friendships that existed beyond the hours together on the road. It was about working together and pushing one another to be better in our sport and in our lives. The club expanded my professional network and exposed me to people I may never have met otherwise. It’s helped me develop skills that have nothing to do with pounding pavement. Oh, sure – Indy Runners provided accountability, knowledge and resources that helped me train harder and smarter.

Sure, I can do all of my training by simply stepping outside my door, but why? Indy Runners has made me faster, stronger, tougher, more connected and more inspired.

Whatever your reason for joining, I hope you’ve also found your reason for sticking around, renewing your membership, volunteering with club members and recruiting new runners and walkers to be part of Indy Runners. Help me make sure that Indy Runners continues to be the Place for Every Pace in Central Indiana, won’t you?