Cadets in Boston

Norwich cross country athlete, coach both run Boston Marathon
Norwich cross country athlete, coach both run Boston Marathon
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 10:08 PM EDT
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NORTHFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - When it comes to marathon experience, there is quite a bit of difference between Norwich cross country coach Michael McGrane and Cadet freshman India Jones.

“This year was my 21st consecutive Boston Marathon,” McGrane said.

“That was my first one,” Jones countered. “Longest run before that was only 18 miles. But I’m a runner so I knew I could do it.”

Last Monday, they both took to the streets of Boston to compete in that famous race.

“This one was definitely special,” McGrane said. “The crowds were amazing, the weather was great. And we hadn’t been back since 2019 to running it in April.”

“I was just trying to take it all in because I knew there’s probably not going to be many times that I’ll be crossing the Boston Marathon finish line,” Jones said.

Running the Boston Marathon was just the latest in a line of success early in Jones’ college career: she captured the GNAC title this Fall as a rookie.

“That was an incredible experience,” Jones said. “I had a lot of fun. It was soggy and wet, the course. But it was fun being that dirty when you finished.”

And Jones’ success could be a sign of things to come for the Norwich cross country program, with McGrane becoming the team’s first ever full-time coach within the last year.

“It was definitely a challenge the first Fall cross country season this past year,” McGrane said. “You know I relied on the team, the captains to lead some of the practices and just not being there every day was a challenge.”

“Definitely tough since he wasn’t here too much during the season, but he’s a really good coach, really supportive,” Jones said.

As for whether this means we’ll see more Cadets running Boston in the future, McGrane isn’t sure.

“Finishing a marathon is one thing, but actually training and racing that distance, I do believe it takes several years to train for a marathon,” McGrane said.

But Jones thinks Norwich provides the perfect setting for training.

“I joke with my teammates, you either go right or you go left when you leave campus and you do an out and back,” Jones said. “And you definitely go up hills. Like Heart Attack Hill wasn’t as big as a hill as I was expecting because it’s nothing compared to any of the ones around here. So it’s definitely good training.”

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