Tag Archives: disney

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