Tag Archives: USA

Maccabiah Games Recap: Bronze Individual Medal; Team Gold!

2Well, I have returned from Israel after three weeks…and spent the last day catching up on rest, unpacking, doing laundry, and reminscing on my time overseas. I have to say that the experience was unlike anything else. I had the absolute BEST time in Israel as a member of Team USA in the 19th Maccabiah Games. I had high expectations of everything – yet somehow the experience was better than anything imagined. I’ll keep this short but wanted to share some of the highlights:

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Team USA: The most amazing group of people and athletes ever. To have the opportunity to be back on a Track team was an experience in itself. It felt like college running again, but with the maturity that only comes with age. The mindset of a competitive runner is so unique and to be part of that addictive and passionate atmosphere again was really cool and inspiring. (So much so, I have a few new goals and plans for myself and my running/racing this Fall and onward.) The Half Marathon team specifically was my famiy while there. I cannot begin to describe how much fun I had with my group. I truly feel so lucky that our group was hand picked and put together….and I know we will be friends for a lifetime to come. First reunion is already planned for October!

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Israel: Wow! It may have been my third time in the country, but the tours, the views, the places never get old. I love that place. And to have the opportunity to see it with a new perspective on life – was a privilege. I cannot wait to go back again (4 years!)!

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Family: It was a brief visit…but I had the opportunity to see my family while there for a day. My dad’s brother moved to Israel when he was in his 20s, joined the Israeli army, got married, raised a family and lives there today with the family. I got to see my uncle, aunt, three of my cousins as well as one of their wifes and kids. It was an amazing lunch and I am so thankful I had the time to make it happen!

Competition: Ah the competition. I said coming in that my goal was to medal and finish under 1:30 in the half marathon. But you say a lot when you have goals…and hopes. To finish the race in a 1:29:31 and to win a bronze individual medal and team gold medal was beyond my greatest expectations. The race was hard (hilly and humid); my body barely held up (still can’t put on sneakers to this day…because of how damaged my feet got – blood blisters and cuts on my heels); but my mind kept me in it…and my legs listened. I will tell you that the last 4K (a half marathon is equal to 13.1 miles or 21K) was rough and I had to do a lot of talking to get myself through it. On a personal note, I have to thank my mom (in heaven) for getting me through a lot of it. Most of my talking was to her…and apparently she listened. 🙂

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Special thanks to all those who supported my trip and experience monetarily with donations! And special thanks to my family for their support, my Spanish River team that sent me texts and facebook messages before and after the race, my high school coach Rick Rothman who was on-site and gave me the best pep talk ever, Jordana Kimelman – who despite having to race the next day and being sick – was there in full force  to take pictures of Team USA and to help me post-race, my Team USA girls who were there for me throughout the race as running partners and water passers, Rob Fellman and Coach Smolka for giving me the opportunity to be part of the Maccabiah Games, and so many more!!!!

Maccabiah Games – Israel 2013

And the official countdown can being. I leave for New York July 9; Israel July 10th; and then race on July 23rd in Tel Aviv! It is starting to feel a little realer to me! Not in the super super prep and excited mode quite yet but I am sure that will come when July arrives. Maccabiah USA has also starte to send information, details and uniforms! Here is what I have so far:

  • ARRIVALS (July 10, 2013): The 1100 plus USA athletes will arrive in Israel and start meeting one another. Besides Coach Rothman (who is coaching the Junior Track team) and Rob Fellman (Track Chair and athlete), I do not know anyone! I don’t even know anyone from the half marathon team – so this should be quite exciting!
  • ISRAEL CONNECT (July 11-16, 2013): We get to see Israel and all it offers – well not all – but a lot! Including: Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, Masada, Bedouin tent dinner, Yad Vashem, and much more!
  • TRAVEL TO TEL AVIV WITH HALF MARATHON TEAM AND OTHER OPEN SPORTS TEAMS (July 17, 2013): This is where the two weeks of competition period beings. (I won’t be running until July 23 so I will have lots of time to see Israel
  • half marathon coursevisit with family, meet the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s partners in the region, and do some work for BlueIvy Communications!
  • HALF-MARATHON RACE (July 23, 2013): The race will take place in the evening at 8:00pm, when it could potentially cool to around 90 degrees and 90% humidity! Luckily I am from Florida so am sorta used to it! Picture of the course included below.
  • TEL-AVIV TO NEWARK TO FLORIDA (August 1, 2013)

I will share pictures in the coming weeks – and of course during the games you can follow me on my facebook page (www.facebook.com/melissaperlman). Not a friend? Just request me!

Still interested in supporting? I am still a ways away from my goal – so any little bit helps! Visit my donation page here: http://friendraising.towercare.com/Markslist/campaign/display/profile.do?campaignId=10591

More details provided to me on the Maccabiah Games: 

We represent the USA’s best Jewish athletes. Since the Games started 80 years ago, only 6,000 USA athletes have participated, many former, current or past Olympians.  Our track and field teams over the years are fewer than only 500 participants- (many are blind copied on this email.)  You are in the company of: Dwight Stones (announcer and US Olympian), Ken Flax (current NCAA record holder, US Olympian), Deena Kastor (current USA marathon record holder and USA Olympian), Irv Mondschein (USA Olympian). Jews are a small minority in the world (.25%) yet we make up of over 3% of Olympic medals. As per Adam Sandler, “not too shabby.”

Attention Jewish Athletes: Here’s Your Chance to Make the “Olympic” Team

I wrote a week or so ago about my personal return to Israel in 2013 for the Maccabi Games. I will be competing as part of the Women’s Half Marathon and couldn’t be more excited! Looking to add to my four bronze medals from my first foray into International competition in 1997. Read the full blog post I wrote here.

In honor of the Maccabi Games and for my Examiner West Palm Beach Running & Fitness writer position, I interviewed Rob Fellman, Chairman of the Maccabi USA Track & Field and Half Marathon. I’ve known Rob for quite some time. He’s also a fellow former Spanish River High School athlete. (Small world, huh?) Anyway – here’s the full article where you can learn more about Rob; how he first got involved with the Maccabi Games; how you can potentially make the Jewish Olympic team; and how you can support the athletes and organization! Read the full piece here.

And as always, please share with friends and family who may be interested!

Interested in supporting my personal trip to Israel? Visit my fundraising page here.

Thanks!

South Florida: Your Olympic connection may be closer than you think

With the 2012 London Olympics less than a week away, states and cities around the United States are clamoring for their very own hometown stars. And Florida is no different. So let’s get to it. Who’s who in the Olympics? Who calls Florida home? And who gives us the best chance of ‘bumping into a gold medalist? Consider this a Florida fan’s guide to the Olympics.

  • The United States Olympic Committee announced its 530-member team (of course with some last minute changes apt to happen).
  • 31 of the 530 (or 5.8%) call the Sunshine state home; many more have roots on Florida.
  • The majority of the Florida athletes are competing in sailing, followed by track and field, swimming, and tennis.
  • The most famous of the Floridans include Olympian Ryan Lochte from Daytona Beach, and Sanya Richards-Ross from Fort Lauderdale. Lochte is a six-time medalist in swimming and is favored in the 200-meter freestyle. Richards-Ross is a track star (formerly of St. Thomas Aquinas High School) and favored in the 400 meters.

To see a full list of athletes with South Floridaconnections (including the sport they will compete in; their personal South Florida connection; the country they are competing for; and exactly when you can see them compete), view my recent Examiner article here.