Tag Archives: high school

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!

#NationalRunningDay

So if you missed it (I’m not sure how you could with Social Media today…), yesterday was #NationalRunningDay. National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. And boy did they this year!

Runner’s World put together a montage of some of the best posts about #NationalRunningDay. Some are pretty funny! Click here.

And how did I spend it?! Well it was definitely a unique day of running for me…but a great celebration nonetheless!

3:00am: Woke up and couldn’t sleep; decided to go to my gym downstairs and get in my morning run. 20 minutes of arms/lifting; 3 mile run on the treadmill; followed up with 10 minutes of core/abs and stretching.

6:30pm: Spanish River High School kids 4 mile run at Boca Raton park and a fun game of tag on the fields. With it being exam week, we had a super small showing (less than 10 of us) but we pulled out the Selfie Stick and some fun #NationalRunningDay and #IRunBecause signs and had some fun!

Here are the results…

  • 7 miles of running…
  • An awesome game of tag…
  • 30 minutes of weights and core….
  • A good stretch…
  • And fun with these AWESOME kids!

 

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

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!

Jewish Journal: “Runner returns to Maccabi Games”

Below is an article from the South Florida Jewish Journal!!! The reporter really did his homework and a fantastic job I have to say. Very thankful! And more excited than ever to head on over to Israel! Thanks David Schwartz and photographer Todd Roller who is just as amazing a talent!

Read the online version here: Jewish Journal: Runner Returns to Maccabi Games

Jewish Journal
Jewish Journal

Is that a workout or a spa experience?

Steph, Renata and Sydney sweating it out!

Today at practice, a few of the girls were suffering from pains and injuries ranging from hip discomfort to hamstring pulls and tendonitis. I was in the same boat feeling a little bit of the latter on my left foot. So I asked for permission to take a few of the kids with me to Infrasweat – the private infrared sauna studio in Delray Beach – that also happens to be one of my PR clients.

With the okay from Coach Rothman, me, Sydney, Steph and Renata headed north to Delray. Workout clothes and water in tow.  About an hour later – our workout was complete, we spent the time having fun and giggling, and yeah of course LOTS of sweating.

To remind everyone of the benefits of infrared saunas – especially for us athletes and health minded individuals – I have sourced some info below. Enjoy!

Infrared heat can greatly benefit the sore, damaged or tired muscles of a runner (or any athlete). The heat penetrates the muscles, increasing blood circulation and assisting muscle repair. Infrared heat will also help in the reduction of lactic acids, allowing tight and worn-out muscles to relax. The penetrating heat of the infrared sauna can also help ease the pain of a muscle sprain (after administration of cold and compression).

Just as infrared saunas help chronic pain sufferers (such as those withLyme disease and fibromyalgia), they can also help ease joint pain in athletes. The relaxation of the muscles controlling the joints and the increased circulation to the joints enhances healing and repair.

(Infrared sauna can be great for pre-workout warm-up as well. Heated muscle tissue exhibits increased flexibility, resulting in lower incidence of muscle-related injury.*)

An Open Letter to Drivers

Confirming that a driver sees you before crossing is critical to ensure one’s safety. Don’t cross until the driver acknowledges your presence. It’s the only way to guarantee they won’t hit the gas and hit you.

Dear Drivers:

When driving on the roads, please see the runners that must pass through a crosswalk and/or cross a street and acknowledge them. Don’t assume that you looking at the runners while wearing dark sunglasses through a glare-prone windshield is enough. Remember, you are in a large, metal vehicle. And they are simply in running shorts and a shirt.

I bring this up because over the past two weeks while running on the roads with my high school track team, driver after driver has stopped to give us the right away but never really acknowledged that we were there. They assumed stopping their car was enough. I’m not sure if they were angry, annoyed, or whatever, but they all stopped their cars and just sat there waiting for us to cross. Those that know me well, know that while running (especially with the team) I will wave my arms, yell, snap, or do whatever I have to in order to get a driver’s attention and then cross (and signal for the team to do the same).

Today, while crossing at the crosswalk at St. Andrews and Yamato roads in Boca Raton, there was a white SUV trying to make a right hand turn into Broken Sound Country Club. Even though we had the right away and the crossing sign said “go,” I made sure the kids saw the turning car and told them to wait to run in front of the vehicle. (Right hand turners are always the ones you have to watch out for when running/crossing.) The woman in the SUV was wearing dark sunglasses. She stopped her car but I still waved to make sure she saw us. She did nothing in return. She did not smile, wave okay, or anything. With her in sunglasses, making eye contact was nearly impossible. I continued to wave in hopes that she would do the same. She did not. Rather stared at me (and the group) and sat there. After another few seconds of waving and her directly staring, I was sure she was annoyed at us (but most importantly saw us) and we continued to cross.

The question is, why couldn’t she wave back? Why couldn’t she acknowledge us and confirm that she saw us? I am running across a street with numerous high school kids behind me. Is it too much to ask you to wave back and confirm you’ve made eye contact so I can be 100% positive that you see us? It’s dangerous on the roads…for cars let alone individuals (specifically kids) that are crossing streets. With all do respect, staring back at me behind a pair of dark sunglasses behind a glare-filled windshield is not enough.

Thank you for your time…Now and of course the 5 extra seconds we took earlier today while trying to cross the road.

-Melissa