Tom Coupé and his daughter Lola are working together to become the best runners they can be. 

Tom began running 11 years ago when he was in his early forties as a new hobby and a way to stay fit. However, Tom quickly became more competitive with himself and found running to be a way to challenge himself and to set and achieve new goals. Soon, Tom competed in 5Ks and 10Ks, half marathons, and even some marathons. While Tom initially enjoyed running alone, he has spent time running with others through local running groups. However, he has now found his favorite running companion, his 13-year-old daughter, Lola. 

Lola and Tom started running together about two years ago when she was in fifth grade. “I always saw my dad running when I was growing up, and seeing how much he loved it made me want to try,” says Lola. She was instantly taken to the sport and joined the track team at her school. Lola remembers that she enjoyed running with her classmates but was always glad to run with her dad, chat, and catch up whenever they could. “Especially during COVID, Lola and I would spend as much time as we could running together at the track or Shelby Farms,” Tom remembers. 

Tom and Lola love that running allows them to set goals, work towards them, and feel proud of themselves for their hard work. However, Tom says he now enjoys seeing Lola’s growth and improvement in running more than his own. Her successes are plentiful. She was the 2024 City, Regional, and State Champion in the TMSAA Class A Girls 1600m Run, the 2024 City and Regional Champion in the TMSAA Class A Girls 800m run, and finished 8th Place at State. This past May, she was 1st overall female in the Orion 5K for the second straight year with a time of 19:40, and Tom and Lola also finished first in the Father-Daughter category for the second consecutive year. 

Tom now serves as a cross country and track coach at Lola’s school, where he helps other students develop their running skills. “I try to remind the students that running can be an analogy for life. If you work hard, you will succeed, and goals that seem impossible are achievable with the right mindset and work ethic,” Tom says. 

This year, Lola and Tom look forward to an upcoming 5K during a family vacation to the Gulf Coast, as well as local races, the Cooper Young 4 Miler and the St. Jude 10K. Lola plans to continue running through high school and college, and knows she has the support of her parents and her younger brother to cheer her on.

By Zoe Harrison 

Photo by Tindall Stephens