5 Questions With Runner, Competitor, PR Guru Melissa Perlman

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  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company BlueIvy Communications.

I am a Delray Beach resident and founded BlueIvy Communications just over 8 years ago! Our company is based in downtown Delray Beach. I attended high school at Spanish River in Boca Raton, left for college at Brown University in Providence, RI, and then came back to South Florida where I worked at Office Depot’s global HQ in the Communications Department for seven years. I launched BlueIvy Communications in June 2011 with the goal of helping small and medium sized businesses tell their stories, grow their brands, and secure positive exposure in the South Florida media. Today, BlueIvy has clients of all sizes, in a range of industries (non-profits, restaurants, retail, legal, health, and technology) based in cities across the country! We also provide services beyond Public Relations, such as social media, video, website and newsletter content, and much more!

  1. You are the Maccabi USA Half Marathon Chair. What does that mean? 

This is my first year as Maccabi USA Half Marathon Chair, which means I was responsible for recruiting Jewish athletes from around the U.S. to join Team USA’s squad, assigning team positions, raising money to support our trip to Europe, and being the lead point person for management and the athletes. I’m exciting about our Half Marathon team this year, which includes two NCAA Cross Country runners, one professional athlete, and a few very accomplished distance runners. I have been involved in the Maccabi Games for over 20 years now, competing in four Games (1997, 2013, 2015, and 2017), so having the role as athlete, captain and Chair this year is very rewarding and exciting for me. The Maccabi Games, or “Jewish Olympics” as they are often called, are the third largest international sporting event in the world and bring together Jews from more than 80 countries to compete in a variety of sports. Their ultimate goal? To build Jewish pride through sports – which as we all know, sports has a very special way of doing that for all religions, ethnicities and backgrounds. When we get on the court, field, or track – we are all athletes, doing something we love!

  1. How did you get into running?

I started running competitively my freshman year of high school to get in shape for soccer (as many future runners do!). I knew I had some talent in my genes because my dad was an accomplished sprinter, who ran at Penn State and competed at the Maccabi Games himself in 1973. I had a wonderful fun high school career under the tutelage of Rick Rothman, who also eventually became a Coach at the Maccabi Games, as a two-time individual and two-time team state champion. From there, I competed at Brown University for a few years before hanging up my running shoes to focus on career goals. At that time, I assumed running competitively was in the rear mirror. That was until, I returned to Spanish River as the assistant cross country and track coach – which quickly whipped me into running shape again! I applied and was accepted to the Team USA Half Marathon team for the 2013 Maccabi Games in Israel; I ended up winning an individual bronze and team gold, ran a personal best at the time, and was mesmerized by the sport once again! Fast forward – six years, and I’m still running strong!

  1. Where have you competed? What place has been your favorite? 

I have been so fortunate to compete in races all over the world, including Israel (Tel Aviv and Jerusalem); Berlin, Germany; Duluth, Minnesota; Sacramento, California; Boston, Massachusetts; Eugene, Oregon; New York City, NY; and on cross country courses and tracks around the country. My running career has stretched from age 13 to my current age of 37, and I hope it will continue for a long time! I’d say my favorite was 2013 in Tel Aviv, Israel during the Maccabi Games Half Marathon. It was my first time running as part of a team since I had quit my college team…it was my first time racing competitively with big goals since my mom had passed away in 2008…and it was a very emotional time. That race was tough and challenging in many ways – but I felt like I was running on a cloud by the end of it…and I ended up running a personal best by 9 minutes! To this day, that race is what I daydream of when I think of the perfect race!

  1. How can someone interested become involved in an upcoming Maccabi event? 

The Maccabi Games (aka the World Maccabiah Games or ‘Jewish Olympics), first held in 1932, are an international Jewish and Israeli multi-sport event now held every four years in Israel. The regional games – known as the European and Pan Am Games – take place every four years as well – but during off years. They also move around Europe and South America for each event. In 2019, the games will be held in Budapest, Hungary and Mexico City, Mexico. The Maccabi Games are open to Jewish athletes from around the world, as well as to all Israeli athletes regardless of religion. In 2017, the World Games brought together 10,000 athletes from 85 countries. Applications for the Games are accepted the year before each event. To learn more or to apply for the 2021 World Maccabi Games in Israel visit maccabiusa.com.

We also just hosted the first inaugural Maccabi Fun Run 5k run/walk in Boca Raton on June 23. This will be an annual event and it is both away to spread the word about the Maccabi Games and also to raise money for the South Florida athletes competing in the Maccabi Games this summer and future years. To learn more or to donate to the fund, please visit www.maccabifunrun.com.