Aliso Viejo Middle School

Grace Kim Assistant Coach

Hi there…my name is Grace! I’ve been a runner off and on for the past 6 years. When I’m not running, I am busy designing costumes for dancers, stage performers and ice skaters. My daughter, currently an 8th grader, joined WeRock as a little 6th grader. We saw her confidence and stamina boost leaps and bounds after joining the program. She inspired me to join as an assistant coach.

One of my most favorite WeRock events is the 20-mile qualifier. I’m always amazed at how far each kid has come and love that we celebrate everyone at the end of the race! I can’t wait to see more inspirational kids run the OC Marathon!

Inna Platner Assistant Coach

Hi! My name is Inna and I am a brand new assistant coach with WeRock this season but I’ve been a huge fan of the program for many years and have joined many training runs as well as helped mark some race courses. I have been running for over 23 years (yikes!), starting with a few 5K races and quickly graduating to half marathons. Since moving to Orange County in 2013, I’ve discovered the thrill and beauty of trail running and now primarily run on many amazing trails we are so lucky to have here in OC. I don’t keep very good track of my races, but it’s something close to this:  half-marathon x 12, marathon x 5, 50K x 5, 50mi x 2, 100k, Ragnar Relay races x4. When I am not running or climbing mountains, I love to cook and create new recipes and adventure with my kids Sasha (11) and Nik (15). I am looking forward to an amazing season with WeRock, getting to know all of the runners and coaches and sharing some miles and conversations.

Paul Bonfonti Assistant Coach

My name is Paul Bonfanti and this is going to be my first year as a We Rock Coach.  Up until my early forties, my main sport was Ultimate Frisbee, in which I competed at the National Championships 9 times and the World Championships twice.  Back then, I ran a few races, but I always thought that running was a necessary evil to get in better shape, and when I stopped playing competitive ultimate, I stopped running regularly.   And then We Rock came along.  My daughter Nadia started last year, and I started running at some practices, and now I’m a coach, excited to train for my first ever marathon.

We Rock is just an amazing program.  Watching Nadia and her teammates develop from doing 1 mile to 26, and watching her determination and confidence grow has been amazing.   My daughter Sofia ran the trail program, and seeing her announce “I kind of love creek crossings” has been so much fun!  I can’t wait to be a part of encouraging the athletes to show themselves how strong they really are, and that they can do hard things.

My favorite We Rock race:

Definitely the 20 mile We Rock Race.  Last year I was an aid station volunteer and it was so great to see the kids at about the 8 and 12 mile mark seeing them push through the miles, and then to get to the end to see their pride when they finished!   I’m looking forward to doing it myself next spring.

Carolyn Luong Head Coach

Hi, I’m Coach Carolyn, and this is my second year as a coach. I’m a working mom and former couch potato. Now I am a runner, foodie, puzzler, and pickleball fanatic.

My History with WeRock

I have been involved with WeRock since 2017, as a parent, a spectator, a parent runner, and most recently as a coach. I’ve had two kids go through this program and have witnessed the extraordinary growth that takes place for every single person who touches this program. My running journey started just 5 years ago when a couple of parents asked me to walk a 5K to kill some time while we were waiting for our kids to complete a 10K. I have witnessed countless kids and parents break down barriers and achieve goals that they never thought were possible. This program teaches everyone important skills of goal setting, planning, perseverance, and hard work that they can take and apply to all areas of life.

It’s always fun to hear a coach’s race history!

I’ve completed two full marathons with WeRock and countless 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. I’m excited to work on my third full marathon alongside these remarkable kids as a coach in 2023.

Favorite Race

My favorite WeRock event is the WeRock 20 Mile qualifier. It is a private WeRock race event that will give the runners the confidence they need to know that they can conquer the full marathon.