Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A: I’m from Custer, South Dakota. I just graduated from Custer High School, but I participated in Cross Country, Wrestling (as a manager), Track & Field, & HOSA (Future Health Professionals). I’m also working at the Custer Dairy Queen, where I’ve worked for the last 5 years. This fall I’m attending South Dakota State University to pursue a PharmD degree & run cross country & track.
Q: How long have you been running?
A: I’ve been running for the last 7 years, or since 6th grade. I used to play in the Custer YMCA soccer league all through out elementary school until cross country became an option in middle school.
I decided to go out for cross country because both of my brothers ran. My oldest brother, Chance Dooley, was my main inspiration for starting to run since he was a state champion in cross country in 2015, & state championship for the mile & two-mile in track. He was also there to help me when I had questions or when I felt down about how I was doing.
Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone?
A: I like both for the most part. It really just depends on my mood, & definitely the weather. I can’t stand running in intense heat, but a group of friends to run with always helps me get through it. I also like to run by myself when I need space or when I want to just think & enjoy the weather.
Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?
A: It depends. I’ve ran on the Mickelson Trail in Custer & Hill City my whole life, so it gets pretty boring unless I go to a new spot that I haven’t ran on it. I don’t run on roads that often, so I like that it changes up my usual running schedule.
Q: What is your favorite distance or race?
A: This is difficult to answer, because I think I like all races for different reasons. My favorite distance would be any distance on a run that felt easy & fast, but that isn’t secluded to one distance. If I HAD to pick a favorite race, I like the 5k from cross country. I like running through the golf courses & in the grass. I also like having hills in the race for a challenge.
Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
A: Motivation is something I’ve only really struggled with as of recently, but I find that doing strengthening or injury-preventing work (like ab or hip workouts) help me stay motivated. Just doing something small like that will help my body transition into a different mindset that actually wants to run or get into a workout.
Q: What would you do if you didn’t run?
A: Have more time to do my laundry. I somehow always have laundry & never have the time to do it. Besides that, I like to read, crochet, bake, hike, & I could keep playing soccer. I could fill my time no matter what.
Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?
A: The most rewarding thing for me is the sense of accomplishment I get after I do well or push through something difficult, like a hard long run or a fast workout. I think the accomplishment helps motivate me for other runs or races. Although I do cherish the bonds & friendships I make along the way with teammates & coaches as well.
Q: What is your favorite running memory?
A: I don’t exactly have a favorite memory, but a favorite time of the year. Every cross country season with the Custer cross country team was my favorite time of the year. We’re a really close & successful team, & I’ve helped the team win 5 combined team championships in cross country. It’s just a group that’s always fun & supportive & I have a million amazing memories.
Q: What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from running?
A: The most valuable lesson I’ve learned through running is patience is key. I’m still an impatient person, but progress will NOT come out of nowhere. It takes time & dedication, & patience & consistency are key.
Q: What are your running goals for the future?
A: I’m looking to improve as an athlete overall. I want to gain strength & speed & work down my times. I also want to just gain the knowledge to be the best runner that I can be while listening to my body to do what’s best.
Q: Who inspires you the most?
A: My other brother, Wyatt Dooley, is my inspiration. He ran track & field during middle school, and started cross country in high school. After he graduated, he raced his way into a spot on the Black Hills State University cross country & track team, where he’s currently still running. Anytime I have a question about running shoes, a weird soreness I have, or if I just need support, he’s always there to help me.
Q: What advice do you have for new runners?
A: Just take it one mile at a time. One step at a time if you have to. Running doesn’t come easy & I know I wasn’t motivated to run when I started out as a 12 year old middle school girl. Just remember to keep your head up & stay consistent!