Re-discovery of running

Melissa-Perlman,-FF-Delray-Beach“I’ve been running since ninth grade when I joined the high school cross country and track teams. Running quickly became a family event. I took running as far as I could: winning two team and two individual state titles in high school, setting school records and being recruited to run in college. But, then the joy and success came to an end. I was no longer winning, hitting personal records or getting the adrenaline rush that I craved for so long. I quit my college team, moved on to focus on new interests and put my running career behind me. Then, in 2008, my life changed forever. My mom died after a two-year battle with breast cancer. The happy memories from high school racing, long car trips with my parents to track and cross country meets and the pride she and my dad had for me flooded my mind. I struggled with how to handle the emotion for a very long time. In 2011, I made the decision to return to running, to make training and racing a part of my life again and to revive those beautiful memories of my mom. I left my corporate job that I had held for seven years, started coaching alongside my high school coach and running miles with the team. The joy of running, of feeling fit and strong, and the drive to improve quickly returned. For me, running is therapeutic. It keeps me physically fit and mentally strong. It gives me goals that are a challenge and that take both time and hard work to achieve. Running has given me joy and heartache, has allowed me to personally grow and help others to grow, and ultimately has made me the best I person I can be at every stage of life.” – HOKA fan Melissa Perlman

The greatest honor of my life

Vincent-van-den-Hoed,-FF-Pleasanton-“My love of running has brought my dad and I closer together. In the last decade, we began running together. We ended up running a bunch of half marathons, but still at our respective paces. Then, with his 75th birthday approaching, he confided in me that he would like to run one more marathon and asked if I could help him train and keep pace. When I ran my first ultra, his roar of support around mile five kept me going the rest of the way, especially when the race became challenging. And now, he was asking for my help. It was truly the greatest honor of my life. In 2013, at the Napa Valley Marathon, we accomplished our goal, albeit a little slower than we had hoped. I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life.  Thank you, dad.” – HOKA fan Vincent van den Hoed