Category Archives: Coaching

Join My European Maccabi Games Team!

MP Headshot 2013This summer, from July 27 to August 5, the 14th European Maccabi Games (EMG2015) will take place in Berlin, Germany, and I personally have the great privilege of participating in the games as a member of Team USA’s Half Marathon Team. The EMG2015 are Europe’s biggest Jewish sports event with more than 2000 athletes, coaches and counselors from 36 countries around world. Personally, this will be my third time participating in the Maccabi Games; my first two experiences both occurred in Israel as part of the World Maccabi Games (once in 1997 as a member of the Junior Track & Field team and most recently in 2013 as a member of the Women’s Half Marathon team).

However, this summer’s experience promises to be extra meaningful. For the first time ever, the European Maccabi Games will take place in Germany – just 70 years after the end of the Shoah and the Second World War and 50 years after the establishment of German-Israeli relations. And potentially most significantly – right in the midst of a period of heightened terrorist attacks and anti-Semitism in Europe, when prominent leaders and journalists from around the world are suggesting the Jews emigrate from Europe. Further, the EMG2015 will be held at Olympic Park in Berlin, which is the same location where Jews were forbidden to participate in the Olympic Games of 1936 – less than 80 years ago.

The historic and sociopolitical importance of the EMG2015 is enormous for Germany, Berlin and the worldwide Jewish community. And the urgency of Jews like myself not backing down but rather traveling to Europe, and specifically Germany, to proudly compete in athletics and celebrate being Jewish is dire.

It is with this purpose in mind, that I humbly ask you to support me in reaching my Chaverim requirement and becoming an integral part of my personal journey to Berlin and EMG2015.

Thank you in advance for your support. If you would like to make a contribution, please visit my Maccabi USA website! The direct link is as follows: http://musa.convio.net/site/TR/Games/MaccabiTeamRaiser?px=1004341&pg=personal&fr_id=1060.

Thank you and sincerely,

Melissa Perlman

Steeplechase What?!

FullSizeRenderLast week, I drove up to Orlando with the Spanish River track team for the Disney Relays. The meet was a little hot (and sunny) but fun…but the highlight had to be the 2,000 Steeplechase event for high school boys. Two members of our team competed (jumping hurdles and steeplechases for the very first time), didn’t get injured and had a great time in the process.

I have to be honest…I questioned the idea at first…concerned that these runners would fall, slip, get trampled, etc. while trying out this “different” event…but my fellow Coach Doug Horn pushed for it, saying it would be fun for the boys…and he was right. They had a good time trying out an event…you rarely get the chance to compete in (especially in high school) and they did okay!

So, I figured I’d share some of the pictures from the race here…and also share some tips from steeplechase experts…

Also, check out this Runner’s World article on the subject.

Enjoy!

1. Don’t wear socks.

2. Have a strong core! The race requires you to get your legs up and over the barriers multiple times. Also, you don’t always land smooth. A strong core will help you keep your body in control and prevent a side stitch.

3. Run big. Running in any distance race where you are in a pack is tough. Now throw in some barriers to leap over and you have a disastrous mix if you aren’t careful. Find some space by staying outside, or being on the inside, but edge away from the first lane line a little to give yourself some space on one side. If people try to crowd you, lean towards them to make your presence know.

4. Don’t go out too fast. It is nice to be out in front and out of traffic, but if the pace is too fast at the start for you, the later stages of the race will be a death march. This race is unforgiving and just imagine being extremely fatigued with countless water jumps and barriers to make it over. Every hurdle is another momentum killer, so don’t burn up your energy too soon.

5. Learn to use hurdle with either leg. Out of all the steeplechase tips, this one is the most difficult to follow. You have to keep your momentum going, and you aren’t going to be counting steps between hurdles. Don’t do that choppy step routine or the long leg strides right before the barrier. Practice hurdling with your opposite leg. It makes a huge difference to be able to leap and not mess up your stride.

McFarland: A Must See for Cross Country Runners and More!

mcfarlandI rarely make it to the movie theater these days, but I have to admit that from the minute I saw the previews for McFarland, USA, I knew I’d have to go. It’s rare to see a movie about running, let alone cross country. So supporting this Disney film was a no brainer…plus I heard rumors that it was really good!

So this past Sunday, I headed to the theater (I actually biked 12 miles there with my boyfriend – how appropriate?!) in West Delray Beach to see McFarland. And the movie was fantastic!

It was inspirational, realistic, educational and rewarding all at once. It was definitely a Disney movie…with any form of romance or violence being left on the cutting room floor – I am sure. But it also wasn’t corny, forced in any way. It was a good story…and realistic (as it should have been – being based on a true story). The end was one of my favorite parts I’ll admit – when the audience was updated on how each of the McFarland team members turned out…and what they are doing today.

I would highly recommend the movie for anyone – especially for those that know the sport of cross country, compete in it, ran high school cross country at some point in their life, and/or just want to know more about this AWESOME and sorta cultish team sport.

While I did not see the movie with my own team that I coach, I wish I had. I’d highly recommend it for anyone – great bonding, great inspiration for all. Maybe next time we’ll watch it the night before a big race!

Summary:

McFarland, USA is an American 2015 sports drama film directed by Niki Caro and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Based on the true story of a 1987 cross country team from a predominantly Mexican-American high school, McFarland High School, in McFarland, California, the film stars Kevin Costner as Jim White, the school’s coach, who leads the team to win a state championship. Read more: http://movies.disney.com/mcfarland-usa

Session Two of Boca Raton Kids Run Club Kicks Off in March!

Thanks to our friends at ModernBocaMom.com for featuring this awesome Kids Running program. Learn more HERE:

Kids Complete Session One of the Kids Run Club at the Holiday Mile Run in Boca Raton in December 2014.
Kids Complete Session One of the Kids Run Club at the Holiday Mile Run in Boca Raton in December 2014.
Runner’s Edge Boca Raton is partnering with The City of Boca Raton and Run for Funds Florida, a school and organization fundraising/event management business, to launch a highly requested Kids Run Club here in Boca starting March 3rd.
The Kids Run Club is open to first through sixth graders or kids ages 7 to 11. The kids meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:45 pm at the Spanish River Athletic Complex (across from Spanish River Library).
Lacey Chimienti, a teacher and track coach in Boca Raton and a weekend Runner’s Edge Boca Raton employee, is the head coach of the program; she is assisted by Runner’s Edge owners (and runners) Tom Vladimir and Carol Virga.
To participate in the Runner’s Edge “Kids Run Club,” please call Runner’s Edge Boca Raton at 561-361-1950 and/or email Coach Lacey at lacey@runforfundsflorida.com to sign-up to receive details on registration.
The cost of the Kids Run Club is $75 for residents and $93.75 for non-residents. The Spring session will kick off on March 3 and end April 23, 2015. Kids will race in the Run for the Rays race on April 26th in Boca Raton.

How’s that New Year Resolution Going? Couch to 5K Training Program

The 2013 Couch to 5K Training Program
The 2013 Couch to 5K Training Program Participants

We are just two weeks into the New Year! So…how’s that New Year resolution to get in shape, to finally run a 5K race, to feel better…going? Well let the Runner’s Edge Boca Raton training team help! Whether you are a self-labeled “couch potato” or a regular runner looking to race faster, the Runner’s Edge has a training program for you. Read on:

  • Runner’s Edge Boca Raton’s 2015 Carol’s Couch Potato 5K Training Program (aka “Zero to 5K”) (Feb 12-April 26, 2015) designed for beginners! This program is built around interval training (run/walk) and the focus is on fitness, not competition. Includes: personalized coaching, schedule, discount on store purchases, t-shirt, free entry to Run From the Rays 5K, alumni pace leaders, and three group meetings/classes per week. Cost is $99 for 10 weeks. Orientation Thursday, Feb 12th.
  • Runner’s Edge Boca Raton’s 2015 5K/10K Training program (Feb 12-April 26, 2015) designed for runners of all levels. The goal is to improve speed and conditioning and includes coaching seminars, individualized training, group runs (three-times a week), daily training schedule for 11 weeks, alumni pace leaders, free entry into Run From the Rays 5K on April 26th, training t-shirt and discount on purchases at Runner’s Edge. Cost is $99. Orientation is Thursday, Feb 12th.

Learn more and sign up at http://www.runnersedgeboca.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/zeroto5kbrochure15.pdf

Runner’s Edge Boca Raton
3195 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-361-1950

Turkey Trots Galore!

Thankgiving is in fact the biggest day for 5Ks in South Florida…so join in on the fun and participate in a Turkey Trot near you! I personally will be racing in the Levis JCC Turkey Trot on Thursday morning at 7:30am at South County Regional Park in West Boca Raton! Hope to see you there! Details below!

Register here.

Sun-Sentinel - Turkey

High School Cross Country “Clue Run”

My fellow coach at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida, Dough Horn, loves to intertwine fun games and team activities within our serious and high-intensity season (which happens to last from summer through mid-November). So when he asked me to plan a “Clue Run” of sorts that would take place the week prior to the Florida State Championships and therefore act as a stress reliever for those that qualified for States (the boys varsity team) and a fun run for those who had already ended their seasons (the remaining 40 kids)…I quickly got to work strategizing! The “Clue Run” was a success for many reasons, which I will list below, and therefore I wanted to share it with others/coaches looking for a great activity to execute with their own respective teams. (Thanks for the push to post here Lacey!)

Overview/Direction:

  • Doug wanted the run to total 8 miles and of course stay around the Boca Raton area (running distance from Spanish River high school, where the kids would begin the run).
  • We also decided to split the teams so that the faster kids would be required to “run with” and/or push the not-so-fast kids. Initially we were going to choose the team ourselves, but ended up having captains choose their own teams.
  • We also needed a way to prove that all of the kids were running the full distance (i.e. making their way to each of the clues)…and that’s where the selfie requirement came into play! (I borrowed that strategy from a Delray Beach “Seek In The City” event I participated in earlier in the year!)
  • There were 9 clues…and each was spaced a little less than a mile away from the prior clue. Clue locations included: local play ground, water park, cemetery entrance/bench, flags at local university, one of the team members’ houses, crossing guard, Publix produce section, and back the school.

Rules: We gathered the kids after school, named two team captains who went ahead and took turns choosing team members, and then listed the rules. (Earlier in the day, I had driven/run around Boca Raton placing our clues in their “homes” and hoping no one would move anything before our runners had the chance to find them! While most clues were hidden, I did put balloons in certain places where I felt the clues would be tough to find. Remember, the goal was not to get the kids lost but rather for them to run the full 8-mile distance and have a lot of fun!)

Following are the rules shared with the kids:

1. All runners must reach each location. And to prove it, they would have to take a picture of the “team” a the clue location and immediately text it to me.

2. No stealing or moving clues meant for the other team. (Each location had two clues – one for the green team, and one for the blue team – which looking back was a mistake! If I could do it again, we would have had one team go in the reverse direction…to allow for a real race!)

3. No jaywalking! This was critical as the Clue Run is lots of fun…but as we always tell our runners, safety is the priority and cars don’t stop!

4. Be professional! Some of our clues were in private locations (Publix, a park, etc.) and it is important that the kids understand that and act appropriately. On that note, dressing appropriately (wearing shirts) was important as well.

And with that, we sent them off with their first clue…

Lessons Learned

  • A few injured runners were on-site to help out. We wanted them to feel included, and I wanted pictures of the excitement…so we provided them clue locations in advance and they were asked to take pictures. As a result, we had awesome pictures…but having them out there with cars led to a few kids on the team bailing out early and/or being lazy and jumping in the cars. Not the intention…and lesson learned for next time!
  • As I said earlier, two teams going to the exact same location lead to the ultimate merger of the two teams…by the time the kids finished, there was a complete merger of the two teams…luckily the winning prize (a sheet of Rice Krispy Treats) was able to be shared! But next time, we’ll have one team go in a different direction!
  • Try and keep the number of clues below 8! By the time the kids got to number 7…they were bored and distracted.

Questions? Comment here and I’ll share more detail as needed!

RUNNER’S EDGE, RUN FOR FUNDS FLORIDA AND THE CITY OF BOCA RATON PARTNER TO LAUNCH “KIDS RUN CLUB”

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RUNNER’S EDGE BOCA RATON, RUN FOR FUNDS FLORIDA AND THE CITY OF BOCA RATON PARTNER TO LAUNCH “KIDS RUN CLUB”

Kids Running Program Open to First through Sixth Graders; Kicks Off on Tuesday, September 30, 2014

WHAT: Runner’s Edge Boca Raton is partnering with The City of Boca Raton and Run for Funds Florida, a school and organization fundraising/event management business, to launch a highly requested Kids Run Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Runner’s Edge Boca Raton and Run for Funds Florida will provide the coaching and training for the kids and manage all logistical needs for the 10-week program; The City of Boca Raton is the official sponsor. The Kids Run Club will culminate with all participants running in the Boca Raton Holiday Mile, which takes place in East Boca Raton on December 3, 2014.

WHO: The Kids Run Club is open to first through sixth graders or kids ages 7 to 11. Lacey Chimienti, a teacher and track coach in Boca Raton and a weekend Runner’s Edge Boca Raton employee, will coach the program; she will be assisted by Runner’s Edge owners (and runners) Tom Vladimir and Carol Virga.

WHEN: The program kicks off September 30, 2014. Practices will take place every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:45pm to 4:45pm from jake runningSeptember 30, 2014 through December 2, 2014.

WHERE: Countess De Hoernle Park aka Spanish River Athletic Facility, 1000 NW Spanish River Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33431.

DETAILS: To participate in the Runner’s Edge “Kids Run Club,” please call Runner’s Edge Boca Raton at 561-361-1950 and/or email Coach Lacey at lacey@runforfundsflorida.com to sign-up to receive details on registration. The cost of the Kids Run Club is $75 for residents and $93.75 for non-residents.

About Runner’s Edge Boca Raton
The Runner’s Edge was founded in 1996 by Tom Vladimir and Carol Virga. It is South Florida’s largest running store with about 4,500 square feet in Boca Raton. Runner’s Edge carries all major running footwear brands including Nike, Brooks, Asics, Adidas, Saucony, Pearl Izumi, Mizuno, Newton, Innov8, Five Fingers, among others. The Runner’s Edge staff consists of current and former high school, college and professional runners at all levels; all are also trained in professional running shoe fitting. Runner’s Edge was recently awarded the prestigious award for “50 Best Running stores in America.” Learn more at www.RunnersEdgeBoca.com.

Palm Beach Live Work Play: “Perlman Wins Gold In Israel”

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PERLMAN WINS GOLD IN ISRAEL

Aug 05, 2013

Palm Beach Champions at Maccabi Games

Hannah Pierce(Maine), Melissa Perlman(Boca),Emily Mossler(Indiana), Samantha Lee(Oregon) with their Gold Medals

PALM BEACH COUNTY ATHLETE WINS GOLD, BRONZE AT 19th MACCABIAH GAMES IN ISRAEL 


Melissa Perlman, a 31-year-old Boca Raton resident, returned home to South Florida this past week with some extra hardware. The Public Relations executive (owner of BlueIvy Communications – a PR and communications firm based in Boca Raton) and Assistant Cross Country and Track Coach at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton secured an individual bronze medal and team gold medal while in Israel competing on behalf of Team USA in the 19th Maccabiah Games.

Read the full article here: http://www.palmbeachlwp.com/news/play/perlman-wins-gold-in-israel/.

Boca News Now: “Boca PR Star Medals In Maccabiah Games”

 

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Boca PR Star Medals In Maccabiah Games

by BocaNewsNow.com Staff • 

Melissa Perlman returned from the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv with both a Gold and Bronze medal.

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Leading Boca Raton Public Relations Executive Melissa Perlman is back from Tel Aviv with a bronze medal and a gold medal, both earned during a spectacular performance in the Maccabiah Games.

Perlman runs BlueIvy Communications and is the assistant cross country and track coach at Spanish River High. She secured an individual bronze medal and team gold medal while in Israel competing on behalf of Team USA in the 19th Maccabiah Games.

Read the full article here: http://bocanewsnow.com/2013/08/05/boca-pr-star-medals-in-maccabiah-games/.