Badass of the Week: Molly Oakley


Name: Molly Oakley
Hometown: Spokane, Wash.
Majors: Nutrition sciences and cell biology and neuroscience
Year in School: Super senior
Hobbies: Downhill and cross-country skiing, road and mountain bike racing, rock and mountain climbing, hiking, trail running, scuba diving

If you could do anything for a day what would it be?
Doing a 24-hour mountain bike race solo, trying to do my best, or with a huge group of friends caring more about the 24-hour party atmosphere than the actual biking.

What day will you never forget?
Getting lost in the woods for 18 hours with two friends.

What is your favorite thing about Montana?
All the great things to do outside and all the people who are willing to go out and do them.

What brought you to MSU?
Skiing. When I toured MSU my senior year of high school, I went to MSU Friday and liked it, then went to Big Sky on Saturday and fell in love with the place.

What is your favorite ride in Montana?
There are so many it’s hard to choose — but if I had to pick, I’d say I’m a big fan of riding Emerald Lake up in Hyalite.

What is your plan for the future?
I am applying to graduate school right now to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. For fun, I’m running a half marathon in a few weeks and am planning to do a few cyclocross bike races this fall. I’m doing all this in preparation to race an Ironman next summer.

What do you do to prepare for a race?
Some races I try to train for and others I just show up for — either way, I just go in determined to have fun.

When and why did you start running?
I technically ran cross country in high school, but I didn’t really like running back then, I just was on the team because my friends were. I got into running last fall semester after a summer doing marathon mountain bike races (longer than 50 miles). During my short-term cycling burn-out phase, I decided to train for a marathon — and while listening to the entire “Hunger Games” series on tape, I trained and in the process, learned to love running.

Is there a person or quote that inspires you?
In biking, running and backcountry skiing I love climbing hills, because of the little bit of euphoria I get at the top from working so hard and knowing I get to go downhill next. When it hurts on the climb up I like to repeat the words of my old high school cross country coach: “Kill the hill.”

What is your favorite class at MSU and why?
Mary Mile’s sport’s nutrition class and Scott Taylor’s anatomy and physiology class. I just loved learning about the human body, because once you learn about the human body you will never be bored — every time you eat, exercise, get sick/hurt or do anything, you can think about your body’s response.

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