Tag Archives: Cross Country

Spanish River HS Represents at Maccabi Games in Israel

Maccabi USA will bring a team of 1,100+ athletes who will be part of the 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries, participating in 43 different sports at the 20th World Maccabiah Games, which will take place July 4-18, 2017 in Israel.

So it’s pretty impressive when seven of those US Team members come from Spanish River High School in Boca Raton – and are part of the school’s legendary Cross Country and Track program.

The Palm Beach Post noticed and stopped by a team practice yesterday to photograph the athletes and coaches. Here they are:

  • Rick Rothman: Current assistant cross country/track coach at FAU and former Spanish River High head coach of cross country/track; will be the coach of the Open Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Team at 2017 Games
  • Doug Horn: Current Spanish River High head coach of cross country/track; will be co-coach of the Open Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Team at 2017 Games.
  • Melissa Perlman: Assistant cross country/track coach at Spanish River High; former Spanish River High track athlete; is captain of the Open Women’s Half Marathon team at 2017 Games.
  • Jordana Kimelman: Former Spanish River High runner and current student at Florida State University; will be competing in Women’s Open Half Marathon at 2017 Games.
  • Jake Noonan: 2017 graduate of Spanish River High who will be entering Indiana University in the fall; was captain of cross country and track teams; will be competing on the Junior Track and Field Team at 2017 Games.
  • Alex Kline: 2017 graduate of Spanish River High who will be entering the University of Florida in the fall; was four-year member and captain of cross country and track teams; will be running on the Junior Track and Field Team at 2017 Games.
  • Rylee Pustilnik: Just completed her freshman year and is a state-ranked current member of the Spanish River High cross country and track teams; will be running on the Junior Track and Field Team at 2017 Games.

Running Camp – Summer 2017 – High School Runners

It’s the third year of Run Republic Running Camp and I can’t wait! If you are a high school student, a runner, and like to travel, this is the trip made just for you! We run, we hike, we kayak, we see the amazing beauty of the United States, and we have a lot of fun! Learn more and join me and my crew on one of two amazing planned Summer 2017 trips.

2017 Summer Trips have been announced and include:

  • California Adventure (June 9-16, 2017): Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, Visit Alcatraz, White Water Rafting, Kayak Lake Tahoe, Hike Yosemite Park, and Explore Monterey and Silicon Valley.
  • Carolina Trails (August 1-8, 2017):Segway tour of the City of Atlanta, Explore Stone Mountain, White Water Rafting and Zip Lining, Hike through DuPont Forest to Waterfalls, and Explore French-inspired Biltmore Estate.

Past Run Republic Running Camp trips have included the following destinations:

  • Colorado and Utah (Summer 2015): Snowshoeing in Loveland Pass, UT; Water rafting in Glenwood Springs, CO; Hiking Zion and Arches National Parks; and Frisbee and Zip Lining in Park City, UT.
  • Nevada, Colorado and Utah (Summer 2016):
  • Oregon, Washington (Summer 2016): Track Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR and Weekend in Seattle, WA and along the Northwest Pacific Coast.

About Run Republic Running Camp
Run Republic Running Camp was created by two current high school cross country and track coaches with the goal of merging the typical college-campus based summer running camp with the modern, mobile and exciting teen tour. At the core of Run Republic is running. But beyond that, it offers participants mentorship, training, travel, adventure, friendship, education, fun and excitement. The Run Republic mission is to create memories, experiences and bonds that go beyond running and will last a lifetime!

Learn more about Run Republic Running Camp at www.runrepubliccamp.com. Follow Run Republic Running Camp on Facebook and on Instagram.

Attention: High School Runners; Summer 2016 Running Camp Dates & Locations Posted

Run Republic Camp Post Card
Last sumer, seven student-athletes from Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Florida, traveled to the beautiful mountains, trails and valleys of Colorado and Utah to run, build up their summer mileage for fall cross country and experience the United States’ unparalleled mountain region – all while having an awesome, fun time!

It was all a part of the inaugural Run Republic Running Camp for high school students, which merges the concept of a typical summer running camp (running multiple times a day, bonding with peers, and learning new skills, while staying in the dorms at a college campus) with the super successful and adventurous teen tour (which keeps campers on the go constantly and involves lots of exciting adventure).

“We believe we have created a running camp experience unlike any other,” said Run Republic Running Camp co-founder Doug Horn. “At the core of Run Republic is running. But beyond that, we offer our participants mentorship, training, travel, adventure, friendship, education, fun and excitement. Our goal is to create memories, experiences and bonds during our trips…that go beyond running and truly will last a lifetime!”

Horn, who is the head coach of the Spanish River High School cross country and track teams, founded Run Republic Running Camp with his assistant coach Melissa Perlman. Both Horn and Perlman are accomplished mid- and long-distance runners who ran in high school and college and continue to compete today.

Summer 2015 attendee Andres Parada, a senior at Spanish River High School added: “I’ve been on several teen tours throughout the U.S. and Canada, and Run Republic was by far the best. It was very similar to other teen tours, but when you add in the running, closer friendships are built and the experience somehow means so much more!”

While the summer of 2015 trip featured an itinerary that ranged from snowshoeing in Loveland Pass and water rafting in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to hiking Zion and Arches National Parks and playing Frisbee in Park City, Utah, the 2016 summer trip selection promises to be even more diverse and exciting.

Trips for the summer of 2016, which are open to all high school cross country student-athletes, are as follows:

  • Colorado, Arizona, Nevada (June 10-20, 2016)
  • Track Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon and Weekend in Seattle, Washington (June 30-July 10, 2016)
  • North Carolina Trails (August 2016-dates to be finalized soon)

Itineraries, dates, and costs are posted at www.runrepubliccamp.com. According to the founders, spots are limited, so sign up TODAY!

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

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!

Footlocker Cross Country National Championships 2012

The national championships of high school cross country took place today in San Diego, CA. The best 40 girls and best 40 boys from across the country who individually qualified through their respective regional meets raced hard! It was truly inspiring to watch and I recommend everyone watch the taped web casts from the event. You see it all: hard racing, endurance, mental strategy, toughness and speed. Often these races show us who the future stars of cross country and track and field will be.

2012 Footlocker Cross Country National High School Champions!

Congratulations to the winners as well as everyone who qualified. Learn more about the event here.

A Distance Runner’s Strength

On Monday afternoon, one of our runners – a senior girl – did something she had never done before. She won a major high school cross country invitational race. To make it even more special, it was our own school hosted Spanish River Invitational. The girl is Ellyn and her win was extra special for a number of reasons.

Ellyn had a rough year last year (as she admits to during a PB Post and Sun-Sentinel interview which I’ve included below). Nearly six-feet tall as a 17 year old and running over 35 miles per week, Ellyn had trouble keeping her body at a solid and strong weight. As a result, her junior cross country season ended early and the damage was tough for her to handle. However, rather than falling in the win or wilting under the stress and pressure, Ellyn did something we could all take a lesson from…

Ellyn spent her junior track season building up strength. Then she spent this past summer building up distance and base endurance. And at just her second real meet of the 2012 High School Cross Country season, she won. She won with a strong, gutsy performance. And all who watched were just as impressed as those who know her and her story well.

Distance running is tough. Cross Country and Track are two of the hardest sports. There is no coasting, there is no cheating, there is no “just getting by.” You feed your body poorly – you’ll eventually do poorly. You skip your runs, it will show in your meet performance. Similarly, you put in the work and you take care of yourself – and your body will reward you. Our sport is sorta like life. And when you have champions like Ellyn break through and take a big step in the right direction of their personal journey, you can’t help but be proud!

Read the full article from yesterday’s paper (following Monday’s win by Ellyn). Also congrats to the entire Girls Cross Country team that won the overall team title at the 2012 Spanish River Invitational.

 

An Oxymoron? Good Pain

I read this great piece in Women’s Running Magazine on good pain verses bad pain and had to share it with my own readers! I’ve been talking a lot about these two and how a runner needs to understand the difference in order to push themselves to improve but know when to back off.

At the start of every high school cross country season, you get a lot of new runners to the sport that have never pushed their bodies like this before. What 15 year old (before they join a cross country team) has ever run a 35-plus mile week before? Done mile repeats at tempo pace (six times in a row)? And then followed it all up with 25 hill climbs on a massive trash mountain? I bet very few…

And as a result, these new runners push themselves (like they should) and feel the lactic acid build up in the legs, the pain in their muscles, the trouble catching their breathe, and so on. This is all “good pain” as we call it. It’s the stuff that makes you better – that is if you push through it.

However, at the same time, some runners feel different pains – pulls in their hamstrings, sore knees, shin splints, and serious trouble catching their breathe to the point of hyperventilation…These are what we call “bad pain” in some cases. (I’d say shin splints are a bad pain – but one that us runners know we have to push through…and keep running – on the grass or softer surfaces whenever possible.)

I tell my students all the time – know your body. Don’t quit a workout for “good pain” because then you’ll never reach your potential. At the same time, tell us (your coaches) when you have bad pain so that we can adjust if necessary. And by adjust I mean – send you to the pool or bike for a workout; and in worse cases, send you to the doctor to get checked out.

Anyway – here’s the article…and let me know what “good pain” feels like to you!?

Womens Running: The Difference Between Good and Bad Pain

Sun-Sentinel: Delray Man Promotes Adult Cross Country

Great article on my Coach Rick Rothman from Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida, and the great things he is doing for USA Track & Field as well as the sport of Cross Country in general. Proud to have been his student as well as his current colleague!

Enjoy! And thanks to Marlene Roberts from the Sun-Sentinel for taking the time to get this information out there.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Delray Man Promotes Adult Cross Country

Other recent articles about Coach Rick Rothman

Coach Rick Rothman Named 2012 National Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year

I am so very proud to announce that my high school coach, my mentor and my friend Coach Rick Rothman, has been named the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) 2012 National Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year. The award, which was bestowed upon him last night in Fargo, ND, celebrates Coach Rothman’s three decades of commitment to the sport, his athletes and running in general. I can speak from experience and say that Coach Rothman deserves this award more than anyone else. His dedication to his runners is unparalleled. We (I include myself in this sentiment) are and always will be his first priority. I truly believe he helped mold me into the runner I was (back in high school and that I’ve always continued to strive to be) and the person I am. Thank you Coach Rothman from the bottom of my heart!

Read the full article that I wrote about him for the West Palm Beach Running & Fitness Examiner here. And please share around. He deserves not only the award but all the recognition that comes with it as well!