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About RCMP & Frequently Asked Questions (with Answers!)

Fall Season starts at the end of August

Fall Season registration will open at the end of July.
Fall Season: 24-26 90 Minute Practices + 1 Hill Practice: $675
Previous runners will have early registration. If you are a new runner/parent and want to be notified when registration opens, please email Coach Scott: scott@runclubmenlopark.org

We had 73 girls and 58 boys from 20+ different schools train together this past spring.


My Girl/Boy Hasn't Done Any Kind of Running - Can They Participate?

Many of the kids in the program are beginner runners and everyone is a first-time runner at some point. The program does not require any previous running experience. Many kids have gone from beginner, first-time runners to multiple season, experienced runners!


My Girl/Boy Already Loves Running - Is This Program for Them Too?

We have EVERY skill level of runner on the team including those who have won multiple age-group Cross-Country & 5K races. Run Club Menlo Park is a running club registered with USA Track & Field. Depending on your child's level of interest, there may be opportunities to compete in USATF local, regional, and national cross-country and track competitions.


Does My Girl/Boy Need to Attend Both Days Each Week?

I strongly recommend that your child attend both days as that's the BEST way to make meaningful running progress. Sometimes we have flexibility to make schedule adjustments (especially for kids doing a second sport), but those who can attend all practices will have preference for program spaces over those who cannot. But, please feel free to reach out to us with your schedule and situation. We've made space for kids who have busy, varied schedules in hopes they will join us full-time for the next season!


Your Runner NEEDS to Attend Practices

I know this may seem repetitive, but once signed up to participate in the program, your runner needs to attend all practices. We only practice two days a week, so doctor, dentist, and other appointments need to be scheduled outside of our practice times. If you cannot attend practices regularly, this program is not for you. We build upon each practice to extend our endurance and speed over the course of an entire season.


Third Day of Training for Advanced Runners

There are opportunities for advanced runners to attend a third day of training which Coach Scott encourages. This information is provided in the registration information by email and at the beginning of each season.


Practice Days

We hold practices on Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays and Fridays. Your runner needs to attend two days a week. We used to have separate days for girls and boys teams, but since the workouts are completely identical regardless of team, we've since had a mix at all practices which has worked out very well and is fun. The best two days to get a mix of all the workouts are either: Mon/Wed, Tue/Wed, Tue/Fri, or Wed/Fri - in other words, we do the same practice on Mon/Tue and then the same practice on Wed/Fri.


2nd Graders (and even younger runners)

Coach Scott has had a number of 2nd graders (and even younger runners) participate in the program with very good success. Kids younger than 3rd grade should be very much "Activity Inclined" or have previous running experience otherwise they should wait until 3rd grade to join.


Weather: Heat, Rain, Air Quality

Runners run in all kinds of weather conditions. We run in the rain and the heat. The exceptions to this are: 99 degrees is our upper limit for practices. While we could run in that kind of heat, there is no training benefit so practices are cancelled when the temperature reaches 100 degrees, but Coach Scott will still be at the practice site on those days for runners who still need a place to be during a scheduled practice. Rain: We run in 'light' rain because it's fun to run in the rain and good experience. If it starts to rain harder, we will go under cover or into the Encinal large/small-multi until it passes. IF there is thunder or lightning, practice is immediately suspended and we head indoors until it passes. Air Quality: On rare days when the local air quality is poor (AQI 100 or above), we will be in the large/small-multi instead.


Carpooling

We have had very good success with parent carpooling from other schools. We usually set that up between participating parents just before the start of each season.


Special Needs Runners - Can They Participate?

Coach Scott has coached three girls and one boy with autism spectrum disorder and one boy with cerebral palsy with success. Two of the girls and one of the boys successfully completed their 5K runs with one of the girls having completed six seasons and TEN 5K runs with the team.

Amazing Giada Finishing her Practice 5K

Coach Scott's Running Philosophy

Coach Scott is a United States Track & Field certified Cross-Country Specialist running coach. Coach Scott's had two different running experiences in high school (New York State Cross Country Champion 1984) and College (NCAA Division I - Dartmouth College). My high school coach focused on running a reasonable number of miles combined with a heavy emphasis on high-intensity intervals. My college coach focused on much higher mileage (~100 miles week) which came at the expense of injuries (at one point I had 4 stress fractures at the same time). My personal view on running is that the future of running lies with the former (heavy emphasis on high-intensity interval training) because it gives my runners the most for their two days of practice each week (speed and endurance) while avoiding unnecessary injuries. At this age, I also focus on combining games/thought (social-emotional) activities with the running assignments to keep the running as fun as possible and to 'trick' my runners into paying less attention to how much running they are doing and being surprised by how much they can accomplish.

We have three rules at Run Club:

  • The First Rule of Run Club: Have Fun!
  • The Second Rule of Run Club: More Running/Less Walking... over the course of a season.
  • The Third Rule of Run Club; When Someone Else is Talking, Everybody Else is Listening.
Over the course of a season, we are learning how to run at our own pace which means, at first, we won't be able to run 100% of every practice. The thing that Coach Scott 'yells' out at practices most often is, "Slow Down - Too Fast, Too Early". Correct rest pace is just as important as correct interval pace. Over the course of the season, we learn how to run longer with less or no walking at all.

Coach Scott loved racing and has a strong commitment to providing racing opportunities to his runners by creating a pressure-free racing environment. We attend races as a team and race together. We're not chasing places but rather setting a time for ourselves to beat in future races.

If Run Club had a "mission", it would be simply to give kids a positive experience with running so that they are either inclined to continue doing it or open to returning to it later in life.


Coach Kristi

Coach Kristi has been coaching at Run Club since Fall Season 2022. She is a fully Safe-Sport certified USA Track & Field coach with even more sheer running experience than Coach Scott! She has run 55 marathons including 5 Boston Marathons. Since age 45, she has qualified for the Boston Marathon in every marathon she has raced. She has coached kids and adults for over 10 years and continues to run on a daily basis even having been training for another marathon this spring. Coach Kristi is also a USATF certified Cross-Country Specialist coach.

Coach Kristi focuses on running basics combined with steady encouragement. She loves empowering kids to run. Running with meaning takes (and teaches) intention, passion, awareness, purpose, strength, and perseverance. It’s good for the body and mind. She has been a fantastic addition to our team!


About Our Fees - How Do They Compare? Financial Aid & Refund Policy

RCMP is the least expensive MPCSD after-school program available and the only one under $20/hour. Fall Season 2024 will have 26 90 minute practices plus one "hills" practice. See the comparison below (rates taken from MPCSD/Homeroom online course catalog):

Does not include hours coaching at races!
All race entry fees are also covered by Run Club!

After School Program: Per Hour
Run Club Menlo Park:  $16.88
Kassirer Sports       $23.25
Pickleball:           $24.45
Tennis:               $24.45
Hi-5 Sports:          $28.00
Mad Science:          $29.88
Chess:                $30.10
Basketball:           $31.85
Cheerleading:         $32.25
Flag Football:        $32.88
Hip Hop Dance:        $34.00
Martial Arts:         $34.00
Ukulele:              $34.00
Yoga:                 $34.00
Cooking:              $34.50
Soccer:               $34.84
Robotics:             $38.25
Guitar:               $42.45
Skateboard:           $45.13
Crafting:             $48.50
Mathletes             $51.00
Woodworking:          $51.50
In addition to practice hours, many hours of coaching at races are included for free (Spring 2024: 2 & Fall 2023: 8). Compared to other USATF youth running clubs, RCMP is half the cost (e.g. Team Onalysis San Francisco costs $1,300 for the Fall 2023 cross-country season).

In general, fees are refundable before the season begins. Once the season has begun, we do not generally issue season fee refunds. If you have concerns in this area, please communicate with Coach Scott before the start of the season.

We can provide FSA receipts upon request.


Nate Lipscomb Memorial Scholarships (Financial Aid)

Thanks to the Nate Lipscomb Memorial Scholarship fund, Run Club is able to provide financial aid to those runners who otherwise could not afford to participate in this program. Runners with financial needs can still run and race to their full potential as the scholarship funds extend to cover their travel costs should they qualify for regional and even national competitions.

Thanks to this fund, we are also able to express our deep gratitude for our MPCSD teachers and administration by providing an automatic 50% scholarship for their children who participate in the program. Run Club Menlo Park supports our teachers and administration!

Nate Lipscomb, who passed away in 2022 of a sudden heart attack, was a Menlo Park resident since 2007, father of two MPCSD students (Jackson & Mateo), and husband (Rosie). Nate was also an accomplished lawyer at YouTube who was widely respected. Nate took care of his family and those around him with dedication, love, humor, and respect - many of the same themes and values we teach at Run Club practices. Nate leaves a legacy of deep caring for everyone around him and through this scholarship fund for many future runners including his son, Mateo, who currently runs for Run Club's very first boys team.


Two Background Screenings & SafeSport Certifications for Coaches

Run Club Menlo Park utilizes the California Live Scan service which is required by the Menlo Park City School District to provide background checks on all coaches. All coaches are also given a background screen check done by USA Track & Field. In addition, all coaches have been SafeSport certified by the US Center for SafeSport which is also required for USA Track & Field coaching.


COVID-19 Vaccinations

All Run Club Menlo Park coaches are vaccinated against COVID-19.