Bulletin # 3

posted Sep 21, 2008, 11:06 AM by PMS Coach   [ updated Sep 21, 2008, 11:11 AM ]
Dear Piedmont Middle School Parents and Cross Country Runners:
First, I wanted to make sure everyone knows that the meet scheduled for Monday (Sept. 15) has been cancelled by the host school.  We will have a regular practice instead on Monday, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at Witter Field.  Our first meet will be on Thursday, September 18 (Thursday) at Martin Luther King School in Berkeley and directions are attached.  The drivers to this meet will receive information in a separate e-mail from me. 
At the end of this message is a list of the kids who have indicated to me they plan to run in the meet, if there are any changes, please let me know.
Attached is the "Show of Interest" form for the remainder of the season, I would like this back by September 22 or sooner.  The kids will have the opportunity to run at Golden Gate Fields in Albany on October 27, a unique venue for a race.
I would briefly like to review transportation plans for Thursday's meet, and please share this with your child.  While I have told the kids what to do and where to meet already, reinforcement helps.   The last bell on Thursday is at 3:05 p.m. and we need everyone running in the meet to leave school promptly and walk up Magnolia Ave. toward Piedmont Park.  The parent drivers will be waiting for the kids in the diagonal parking lot adjacent to the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Ave.  The kids can either change into their running attire at the meet or wear it under their regular clothing, changing into it prior to their last period.  They should wear running shorts or something similar and a t-shirt.  Our team t-shirts will be handed out this week at practice.  Please note, there is no practice on meet days, if your child is not running in the meet, they should go home after school.   Either a team parent coordinator, a Rec Department employee or a cross country coach will be at the parking area checking in the drivers and checking in the kids and putting them into the cars.  Since the 6th graders will be running first, we want to seat them in the cars first before the 7th & 8th graders.  The meet starts at 4:15 p.m. and I will be at the race site monitoring things and if possible trying to delay the start until our 6th graders can get there. 
Due to traffic conditions, the kids may arrive with little time to warm-up, and if they do miss the start of their race they will have to run in the 7th & 8th grade race.  Unfortunately, the meet director may not be willing to hold up the meet just for us, if the other schools are there, but we will do the best we can.  The important thing is to give the kids the race experience and make it fun for them. 
To give you some idea of the meet timeline, here is my best guess, based on past experience:
  - 4:15 to 4:30 -- 6th grade boys race
  - 4:30 to 4:45  -- 6th grade girls race
  - 4:45 to 5:05 -- 7th & 8th grade boys race 
  - 5:10 to 5:30  -- 7th & 8th grade girls race
Once the 6th graders are done with their race, they are free to leave, or they can stay and cheer on their teammates.  I expect the entire meet will end around 5:30. The driver who brought them to the meet will take them home unless the parent/guardian comes to the meet to pick them up.  I hope as many of you that can will join us for the meet.  If you have any questions, about the meet or the logistics, please let me know.
Plans for this week are, practices on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Please note, Wednesday, 9/17 is a minimum day and the kids get out of school at 12:40 p.m.  There will be practice that day at 3:30 p.m.  That day the 6th graders have a special event, "Bonanza."  If your child goes to this event they should not attend practice because that is too much time in the sun and they will already be tired, so please cooperate and have them go home after this activity.  This recommendation is based on past experience, practice is of little use to them when they are already in a very fatigued state.  On Wednesday, the kids will be running to "Mulberry's" where they can buy a treat with their own money.
Also, if your child is scheduled to run the "PE Mile" on a meet day and they are running in the meet, they should let the PE teacher know.  It is okay for them to jog the PE mile and not run all-out.  The teachers understand this and it is okay, as they will have other opportunities to run the PE mile for time.
A brief re-cap of last week, it was a good week for practicing and the kids did some good workouts.  We ran a "time trial course" to try and simulate what a cross country course is like, and I discussed with some of the groups of kids the meet format and how cross country scoring works, i.e., low score wins, first 5 finishers are your scorers and the other runners "off set" the runners from  the other schools.  A bit complicated but I think they get the general idea.  The important thing is participation and trying your best.  I have had teams win a championship by just showing up and finishing, so that's why having  5 runners is important.  Note, we are still accepting new kids into the program and we still need 6th, 7th & 8th grade girls.  I appreciate those kids who have brought their friends to check out practice this past week.      
Finally, for the first time we had several kids who reached the "Bronze" level of the mileage incentive program and the kids received a medal for their effort.  In addition, every child who attended practice received a "Super Athlete Kit" courtesy of Togo's sandwiches.  On Thursday, we had a pizza party at the end of practice and we would like to thank Rustica Pizza for donating several pizzas for the party.  If you have any questions, let me know.  Thanks.
Len Goldman