2017 – 2018 Season Participant Guide
We Run Orange County’s Kids (WeROCK) is a nonprofit, community service organization that provides an after- school marathon training program for Middle and High School students in the Orange County, California area. WeROCK is registered with the IRS as a Public Charity under Section 501(c)3 and all donations made are tax deductible to the full extent of the law*. Tax ID #80-0209885.
This Participant Guide is provided so that student participants and their parents, coaches and adult volunteers may obtain the most effective and enjoyable experience from the WeROCK program. It contains important information about the program’s guidelines and requirements, as well as the conduct and level of commitment that are expected from these individuals while participating in the program.
Based on the idea that life is like a Marathon, the mission of WeROCK is to teach our participants the important life skills of goal setting, self-reliance, discipline and self-confidence through the design and delivery of instructional programs focused on the proper training for the sport of endurance running, as well as the completion of several long- distance runs, up to and including a 26.2 mile Marathon.
WeROCK is committed to providing:
Education and ongoing exposure to the most up-to-date health, nutrition and physical fitness information available, via the latest in medical research.
Training for our participants, their parents, coaches and volunteers to ensure that our student runners carry these life lessons with them into and throughout adulthood.
Support for our teams by involving the families and community members of the participants in the training, mentoring and motivation of our runners.
Encouragement to empower Orange County’s youth to accomplish goals well beyond their own initial personal expectations.
The intent of the WeROCK program is not to see how fast or how far a participant can run, but rather to teach our student runners how to set their own personal goals, devise a plan to reach those goals, follow the steps toward achieving the goals, and accomplish the task. Although most participants train for a 26.2 Marathon, WeROCK is a non-competitive program and participants may elect, after discussion with their parents or family physicians, to set a goal of running a distance shorter than a full marathon. For students who desire to complete only races of less than the full marathon distance, the coaches will tailor the training regimen to meet their individual needs.
Training for marathons and other endurance runs requires significant planning, personal discipline, and perseverance. Participation in the WeROCK program will help to improve not only the physical and mental fitness of our runners but also teach them to set and achieve positive goals, develop a greater sense of personal responsibility, and become healthier, more productive citizens both now and into their adult lives. The benefits that a participant can expect to receive from the WeROCK program are directly dependent upon the amount of effort and discipline that the runners exercise in following the training regimen and the guidelines in this handbook.
Medical Supervision is Not Provided
The WeROCK Board of Directors is comprised of experts in the fields of public education, traditional medicine, medical research, sports fitness & youth training, and in the delivery of youth-oriented and other non-profit programs. These professionals supervise the design and delivery of the training program, however, neither WeROCK as an organization, nor any of the members of its Board as individuals, provides any medical services to its participants. All participants must receive their medical care and supervision directly from their own personal physician. Program participants are also required to have a medical evaluation performed by a licensed physician prior to participating in the program. An original WeROCK Medical Examination and Clearance Form, signed by the participant’s licensed medical doctor, must be submitted no later than Friday, November 10, 2017 in order to remain in the program. Runners without a Clearance Form on file after this date will not be allowed to participate in any practices and/or races until the form is submitted.
Qualifying for the program
The WeROCK program is open to all male and female Middle and High School students in the Orange County area, ages 11 through 18, on a non-restrictive basis and without regard to race, creed, sexual orientation, religious belief, physical capacity or nationality. While the program promotes a team atmosphere to provide support and encouragement to the participants, there are no try-outs to qualify for the program and all results are measured exclusively on an individual basis, without the requirement for any minimum ranking in order to remain in the program. While we are confident that most participants will be able to complete a full marathon by following the WeROCK training program, it is understood that all participants are expected to work according to their own personal abilities and to set their own personal goals.
For the safety of our student runners, and in order to be considered “ready and capable” of completing a full marathon, all participants must demonstrate their ability to complete all races at no more than a 16-minute per mile pace (roughly equivalent to an average, brisk walking pace). In order to achieve this pace, weekday practices should remain at no more than 15-minute per mile. Weekend practices are to always be completed at a 16-minute per mile pace. Participants will also be expected to complete an official WeROCK 20-mile Qualifying Run at a 16-minute per mile or faster pace. For those students who cannot meet these requirements, WeROCK, at its sole discretion, will determine whether or not the runner will be allowed to participate with the group in a Full Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K event as the Finale Race.
Participant Responsibilities and Expectations
WeROCK participants are required to adhere to the following guidelines. Students who fail to follow any of the guidelines listed below will be dropped from the program, without a refund of any payments already made.
- Be dedicated to your training program
Commitment to your training plan is a critical factor in gaining success. WeROCK team members are expected to follow the training program, as it has been designed, in order to avoid injury. To become properly prepared for the completion of a marathon, participants should attempt to attend all practices and complete all mileage listed on the training calendar. Runners who miss practices must make up the mileage on their own and report the mileage to their coach. Participants must show up to practice and races on time and prepared to run with water, nutrition, the proper equipment and a positive attitude.
- Don’t cheat
When you cheat, you only cheat yourself. WeROCK is a non-competitive program and all participants need to be honest with themselves and their coaches about how far they are capable of running. “Cutting the course” is never allowed. If you have concerns about the distances you are being asked to run, please speak with your coach rather than taking shortcuts.
- Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet including protein, fruits and vegetables, as well as avoiding sugar during the season, are also a required part of the WeROCK training plan. Breakfast, in particular, is a very important part of a successful long-distance run. Runners are REQUIRED to eat breakfast before all morning runs and races.
- Behave yourself at all times
The behavior of the student-runners who participate in the WeROCK program is a direct reflection on the reputation of the program itself and on the students who participate in it. As such, the guiding principle for all WeROCK runners is RESPECT. WeROCK subscribes to the “golden rule” of treating others the way you expect to be treated, and all runners must have the strength of character to behave responsibly in order to be allowed to represent the organization.
Respect takes on many forms:
Respect for Adults
WeROCK team members are expected to show respect toward adults at all times, whether participating in a sanctioned program activity or not. This respect includes following all rules and instructions given by the coaches and refraining from arguing or talking back. Respect must also be extended to your teachers, parents and all other adults within the community, at all times.
Respect for Yourself
Respecting yourself is an essential component of self-confidence and will play a key role in completing a marathon. We firmly believe that with the proper attitude and discipline, you can and will complete the WeROCK training program and cross a marathon finish line. Being confident, maintaining good grades, getting proper sleep and nutrition, and having high ethical standards are ”musts” for WeROCK runners.
Respect for your Peers
Whether or not you recognize it, every person you encounter has value. WeROCK runners are expected to show continued respect toward their teammates, classmates, neighbors and siblings and may not tease, taunt, criticize, put down or harass any other student, of any school or age, at any place or time. Bullying or fighting will be cause for immediate removal from the program without any refund of fees already paid. WeROCK team members must promote goodwill and show a positive attitude at all times.
Respect for the Community
Helping to keep our community a desirable and pleasant place in which to live is the duty of every WeROCK team member. Runners must show respect for property including their own equipment and the belongings of others. WeROCK will not tolerate littering, wasting water, causing damage to public or private property, or creating any nuisances in public.
- Have proper attire and equipment at all times
WeROCK participants are required to wear the proper attire and carry the necessary equipment that is appropriate for the activity of long-distance running.
Proper Equipment includes all of the following:
All WeROCK runners must wear shoes specifically designed for the sport of running. Our official Sponsor,
Road Runner Sports, offers discounts to WeROCK members and will be happy to assist you in purchasing running shoes that are properly fit to your feet. Running in any other type of shoe or sneaker can cause injury, therefore students who show up for practice without running shoes will not be allowed to participate on that day and will need to make up the miles missed.
Running shorts or running tights are required when running with the team, at both practices and on race days. All WeROCK team members must purchase their own solid, BLACK shorts or tights with no stripes or other markings. You may not wear jeans, casual wear or cut-offs to practice or to races. WeROCK recommends that you choose running clothing specifically designed to keep moisture and perspiration away from your body. If you forget to bring your BLACK running shorts or tights to practice or to races, expect to sit-out on that day.
Shirts and socks
Participants may wear either the official WeROCK training shirt or their school PE shirt during afterschool practice runs. If you choose to do so, wearing a specifically designed running jersey to practice is acceptable, however, please do not show up for practice in your school clothes. On weekend practices runs and on race day, the official WeROCK team jersey is REQUIRED. To avoid blisters, socks are required at all times, and WeROCK recommends moisture-wicking fabrics rather than cotton blends in order to reduce the possibility of blisters, rashes and other injuries.
In order to present the proper appearance when representing our organization in the community, all runners will be required to wear the official WeROCK uniform to all races. Race-day jerseys will be provided by WeROCK and all team members must wear solid, BLACK shorts or tights with no stripes or other markings. Uniforms must be kept clean at all times. Additionally, all runners participating in WeROCK sponsored events must have an approved race bib which may not be altered in any fashion. Runners not wearing the official WeROCK uniform on race day will not be given their race bib and will not be allowed to participate in the event.
Cold weather gear
On cold weather days, student runners may wear sweats or warm-ups to practices. BLACK running tights and long- sleeve running jerseys are also permissible. On rainy days, a garbage bag or waterproof poncho is recommended.
WeROCK runners are required to wear, at all practices and races, a basic digital wrist watch with a stopwatch feature. These can be purchased for as little as $5 at discount stores such as Target, Wal-Mart and Big Lots.
Nutrition and Hydration supplies
Proper nutrition and hydration are necessary components of the sport of running. All WeROCK runners must purchase a reusable water receptacle which allows you to easily carry water and fuel while running. We recommend either a hand-held or belt style water bottle holder. Some participants may also prefer the back-pack version. Regardless of the type chosen, you must bring your hydration pack filled with water and fuel with you to all practices and races in order to avoid dehydration. WeROCK also recommends the consumption of running fuel every hour during practices and long distance runs. Participants who show up for practice or races without their own water and running fuel will be sent home.
Parent Responsibilities and Expectations
Parents of WeROCK participants are required to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Ensure that their student-runner follows all of the expectations listed above
- Meet all deadlines published on the program calendar
- Have their student-runner examined and given medical clearance by their family doctor
- Ensure that your child has the proper shoes, clothing; fuel AND WATER at each and every practice and race.
- Fulfill an Aid Station Volunteer requirement. – Parent participation in the program is mandatory and each runner’s family will be required to volunteer at least twice per runner at a weekend aid station. In addition, parents are required to volunteer for a least one “additional task”.
- Provide or arrange for transportation for their student runner to all practices and races. Due to budgetary limitations, WeROCK will not be able to provide transportation to any of the program events.
- Pick their child up promptly after practice. Weekend practice pick-up time may vary based on the pace of your runner. Please arrive 15 minutes before their estimated finish time to ensure you are on time.
- Will not use alcohol, tobacco or drugs in the presence of WeROCK members.
Parents who do not adhere to these guidelines will have their student runners dropped from the program, without a refund of any payments already made.
Attendance and Training Schedule
A complete practice schedule will be provided to all participants at the beginning of the season. Due to circumstances beyond the control of WeROCK, the schedule is subject to change without advance notice. Regular attendance at all practices and races is necessary in order to properly prepare for the completion of a marathon.
Practices will be held, rain or shine, on the following days:
Three times per week, after school at your school site (or other nearby location as determined by your coach).
Actual times, days and locations will be determined by your coach. On most every Saturday there will be a training run, with the mileage of these weekend runs increasing as the season progresses. Races are generally held on weekends, and some events may take place on Sundays.
In the event that any practices or races are missed, participants must make up their mileage within the week that it is missed and report the mileage to the coach. Regardless of whether the mileage is run as scheduled or made up, the Coach will have discretion to determine when and if a particular WeROCK participant is ready to undertake any scheduled races including, but not limited to the Marathon. Missing two Saturday practices in a row will automatically put the runner on possible suspension of the next scheduled race. We are not an independent study program.
It is unfortunate when a runner is unable to participate in a race due to illness, injury or life circumstance, however, race shirts, medals and goodie bags will be given ONLY to those runners who actually participate in the event and complete the distance on their own power.
The tuition for the 2017-2018 WeROCK training program is $700 and includes weekly training and coaching sessions, a WeROCK training Tech-top, a basic WeROCK uniform, monthly nutrition & sports clinics, and ALL race entrance fees. Tuition paid is non-refundable, and all full tuition payments include a $250 tax-deductible* donation to the WeROCK general fund. There are two different payment plans available:
A. Single Payment Plan – If choosing this plan, a single-payment of $700 is due no later than September 29, 2017.
B. Two-Payment Plan – Under the two payment plan, an initial payment of $400 is due no later than September 27, 2017, with the second payment of $400 due no later than February 1, 2018.
Payments must be received by the due dates specified above. If any installment payment is not received by the payment due date, all services, including, but not limited to race participation, practices and special events may be withheld by WeROCK until the amount due is paid in full. Installment Plan Agreement must accompany first payment.
Late registration ends on November 10, 2017, after which time the program will have progressed too far for any additional runners to begin participating.
In order to help individual runners defray or completely cover the costs of their tuition, WeROCK plans a number of fundraising events each year. Although participating in the actual activity of raising funds is optional, all WeROCK team members and their parents will be asked to assist with the organization and delivery of these fundraising events. Regardless of a runner’s planned participation in the Fundraisers, fundraising proceeds will be credited to the second or later installments of program tuition. All WeROCK participants must make their initial tuition payment by the September 29, 2017 deadline.
Scholarships may be available, on a limited basis, dependent upon the availability of funds received from outside grants and donations. If you are interested in providing a Scholarship for a runner who cannot afford the program, please let us know. Scholarship forms due by September 29, 2017.
Individuals who do not have the financial resources available to pay the entire program tuition may submit a Scholarship Request Form to ask for a partial Scholarship, however, no guarantees can be made that any Scholarships will be available during the course of the year.
WeROCK is a non-profit, public charity and relies heavily upon donations in order to deliver its important and life changing program to its participants. Donations are tax-deductible under IRS rule 501(C)(3)* and can be made easily on the WeROCK website at www.WeRunOCKids.org. Donations are always greatly appreciated.
*Check with your paid tax-preparer regarding your personal tax situation.
Participation by non-members is Prohibited
WeROCK training runs are designed for WeROCK team members and their parents only. Due to insurance limitations, we cannot take responsibility for other students who have not registered for the program or who do not have the appropriate paperwork on file. Adults are always encouraged to run with the team, both after school and on weekends, however, friends, neighbors and relatives of our participants who are not adults are prohibited from running with the team.
Any parent wishing to run with the team must have a signed Waiver and Release of Liability Form on file, prior to participating. Parents may also take advantage of group discounts and preferred race entrance opportunities by joining the WeROCK team along with their child.
For the safety of our student runners, and in order to be considered “ready and capable” of completing the races, all participants must demonstrate their ability to complete all weekend practices and races at no more than a 16-minute per mile pace (roughly equivalent to an average brisk walking pace). Weekday practices are to be completed in a 15-minute mile pace. For those students who cannot meet this requirement, WeROCK, at its sole discretion, will determine whether or not the runner will be allowed to participate with the group in any race including, but not limited to the marathon.
WeROCK IS NOT A SCHOOL DISTRICT SPONSORED PROGRAM
Help Us Rock!
Please Help us Rock by submitting a donation via this paypal link. Every dollar helps further our mission, so donations of all sizes are appreciated.