Molly Caudery

RunBlogRun, #1: Tell us about your relationship with Holly Bradshaw? When did you first meet?

Molly Caudery: I’ve known Holly for a long time. I probably met her back in 2015 or something, but she wouldn’t have known who I was. I went up to train in Cardiff, and she was there with Scott Simpson. I remember seeing her and being in awe of her. And then, I got to know her a little bit in 2018 and moved to Loughborough, joining the group in 2020, when I was training with her full time. I did that for the last three years.  She’s still around in the HIPAC in Loughborough, and I still see her day in and day out, and we have a really good relationship. I’ve learned so much from Holly, and she’s been quite a huge part of my career and an inspiration for me growing up. then, to learn from her and be surrounded by such a professional person has been a huge help to me.

Molly Caudery cleared 4.85m at Microplus UK Athletics Indoor Champs, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics.

RunBlogRun, #2: You are from Cornwall [extreme South West of England] – beautiful but remote; how did that affect your development as an athlete?

Molly Caudery: I think growing up in Cornwall made me who I am. It makes you a little bit tougher, I guess, as there wasn’t much in the way of facilities, but I still had the support I needed. We train outside all winter. If we did want to go indoors, we’d drive three or four hours in the car to Bath. They’re our closest indoor center, but the Cornish support is unmatched. I think there’s not loads of people that have come out of Cornwall in high end athletics, so when someone does, I think you have the whole county behind you supporting you.

Molly Caudery with Eliza McCartney at the athletics world indoor championships, photo by Martin Bateman

RunBlogRun, #3:  What sort of athletics outdoor facilities were there for you when you started?

Molly Caudery:  So I started when I was about 11 or 12, and I did all the events – hurdles and high jump. There was a little bit more competition when I was younger, actually.  There was another girl in pole vault from Cornwall, and we were one and two at the time battling it out. There wasn’t so much competition once I started getting a bit older, maybe 16 or 17. But I guess that’s when you start competing internationally and getting on junior teams. But competition-wise, you did have to travel outside the Cornwall.

RunBlogRun, #4: You said it toughens you. In what way was it just because you had to make that extra effort to get to competitions?

Molly Caudery:  Yeah, I have a vivid memory of actually, before the Commonwealth Games in 2018, I was still training down in Cornwall, and crazily, it was in March, but it was snowing, and we were just jumping outside in the snow, and if it was windy, we’d just have to get on with it. We didn’t have indoors to go into. Although it is nice to have those luxuries, I think as athletes, we do compete outside, and it’s really adapted me to those conditions, so when it does come to a competition, when things aren’t perfect, I’m quite good at dealing with that.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 2 : Image of Molly CAUDERY at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 2, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

RunBlogRun, #5: And presumably Cornwall a good place to go and unwind?

Molly Caudery: Definitely. I think if I’ve ever felt a bit overwhelmed or anything like that, I’ve got a great relationship with my coach, Scott [Simpson], and he’ll just be like, right, go to Cornwall for the weekend. And every time I come back, he’s like, yeah, you just look refreshed, reenergized – because I find that when I go down, I just love it there. It’s a great place to go home and visit, and yeah, it’s like my happy place.

RunBlogRun, #6:  Have you had many injuries?

Molly Caudery: Quite a few injuries. I think everyone always latches on to that. I had an injury to my finger where I nearly chopped it off, and a lot of people ask me about that, but since then, I have had two Achilles surgeries, which were actually more major and put me out for almost nine months. But not in the last year, but the year from the September until end of March, April time I was I was rehabbing pretty much that entire time. So, that was a pretty big setback that I managed to come back from.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: Molly Caudery of Great Britain acknowledges the crowd during the Women’s Pole Vault Final on day one of the Microplus UK Athletics Indoor Championships 2024 at Utilita Arena Birmingham on February 17, 2024 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk – British Athletics/British Athletics via Getty Images)

RunBlogRun, #7:  How did you chop your finger off once?

Molly Caudery: That was in the weight room. I was snatching as I brought the bar down. My finger caught between where you rack it and the bar, and it just almost went straight through. And yeah, three surgeries later, it’s all good, but it did take about three months to get it sorted.

RunBlogRun, #8: Does it say something about your character that you’re willing to put up with those injuries to continue and persevere?

Molly Caudery: I love the sport and what I do, and I would pretty much do anything to get to where I want to be. Injury is a part of every athlete’s career. It’s just something that you have to deal with. You can get lucky, or you can get unlucky. I’ve been unlucky in some instances, but I wouldn’t change anything to be where I am.

RunBlogRun, #9: What are your interests away from the track?

Molly Caudery: I do love going home to Cornwall. I’m a very outdoorsy person, and I love being in the sea, out in the open, and surfing. I used to do that quite a lot growing up, and I just went outside. But then, aside from that, I love cooking and baking. It’s something I really, really enjoy doing. So yeah, in my spare time. So if I get a little bit of time, I’ll bake and bring it into the HIPAC training center for everyone to have or at home I make nice meals and things just because I enjoy it.

RunBlogRun, #10: What’s your signature cake?

Molly Caudery: It is just cakes in general. So, besides, like, I’m not the best at cookies or brownies, but any big-tiered cake like birthday cakes—chocolate, plain, or vanilla—is my go-to.

Molly Caudery cleared 4.85m, another PB, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics.

RunBlogRun, #11:  Is Social media important to you as an athlete?

Molly Caudery: I think it’s super important. I think a few people have said that athletics is not dying, but it’s not quite as big as it used to be. So I think it’s so important either if I can inspire one person from the next generation, let alone 100,000 or so, who follows me, I think it’s so important just to make a little difference if I can and just inspire the next generation to come through and enjoy the sport I guess. But if they could be a part of athletics and keep it going, that would be great.

RunBlogRun, #12:  You’ve got such a big following!

Molly Caudery: I don’t know where it really came from. I just started posting. Some came from YouTube, which may not have been the right following, but I’ve recently posted many PV videos and stuff. From each reel that I’m posting, I’m getting about 10,000 followers just from posting a PV reel, so I think they are real pole vault fans and just coming up through the ranks and getting ranked higher in the world and stuff helped. I think your name gets out there a lot, and it just boosts your profile a bit.

Molly Caudery cleared 4.85m, another PB, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics.

RunBlogRun, #13: You mentioned surfing earlier. Are you a good surfer, and are you an adrenaline junkie, obviously?

Molly Caudery: Yeah, definitely a little bit of adrenaline junkie. I have to contain myself a little bit now; I don’t want to be doing anything too crazy in an Olympic year. But yeah, surfing, I did a lot. I would. I wouldn’t say I’m great, but I really enjoy it, and I’m good enough to get up and do a little bit on the wave. But yeah, I used to love skiing, which I’m unable to do at the moment, but as soon as I finish my career.

RunBlogRun, #14: Mondo Duplantis has taken the sports to new heights, but from a technical perspective, why is he so good?

Molly Caudery: Mondo is just a freak of nature. Honestly, I think he started when he was two years old or three years old. His parents gave him a pole, and he already has those extra years of doing it. And if you go into the technicalities of everything, Mondo is speedy and being fast is a huge part of pole vault. I looked at some of his like data compared to the other male vaulters, and his numbers were just so much higher. So he’s just got the longest stride length. He’s faster on the runway. And all of that converts into energy and the jump, which I think just puts him higher in the air, and his technique is actually not one you can really teach. He’s figured out how to do it, and it works for him. He’s just something else, really.

Molly Caudery, 4.85m, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

RunBlogRun, #15:  And a showman? 

Molly Caudery: He’s either my age or a year older. So he’s still reasonably young, but I think he’s been good from such a young age. He got the world record when he was maybe 19 or something. So he knows how good he is, but he is not ever arrogant with it. He’s still a really nice guy. And although he’s just got such a confidence about him on the runway, he puts on a little bit of a show. And I also think that’s good for the sport though and keeps fans involved and watching and it just brings a bit of extra excitement I just think when you look.

Molly Caudery, World Indoor Champion, pole vault, photo by Diamond League AG (Doha)

RunBlogRun, #16: How do you get your poles around?

Molly Caudery: If I’m competing in France, we just drive, and the poles go on the car’s roof, and you just get on the Eurotunnel, the train that you just drive on with the poles on the roof. Or we could fly.  but they’re easy enough to get on a plane as well. If you think about how big a plane is, the poles actually do fit on quite easily. But often we’ll drive with them in the car, which is even easier because it saves the hassle of getting through the airport.

Based on an interview set up by UK Athletics for GB athletics writers