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Igniting Your Life...
Spark is more than a running club. It is an attitude that drives us to live our life with passion

Want to Join Spark?
The 2016-2017 Club Membership window for Fall and Winter is now closed.

If you would like to join in Spring/Summer, please email us and we'll add you to our registration list. Space is very limited. The club is open to boys and girls grades 6-12 in Bethlehem. 

Mission
Spark Running Club promotes and encourages youth running as a competitive sport that drives youth to strive for bigger goals, guides them to be better people and develops them into stronger athletes.
Vision
Spark Running Club's vision is to "Ignite the Lives" of 6th-12th graders in their communities nationwide and to motivate and inspire youth to become productive adults who make a difference in the world. 
Run to Live
"I ran and ran everyday and I acquired a sense of determination that I would never, never give up no matter what else happens. The triumph cannot be had without the struggle." - Wilma Rudolph
  1. Ice Cream Run
    May 2015
    Ice Cream Run
  2. Glow Run
    July 2015
    Glow Run
  3. Underbridge Run
    June 2015
    Underbridge Run
  1. Candy Charge
    Nov 2015
    Candy Charge
  2. Turkey Trot 5K
    Nov 2015
    Turkey Trot 5K
  3. Spark Skyzone Holiday Party
    Dec 2015
    Spark Skyzone Holiday Party
What We Believe
The best way to predict the future is to create it. Set goals. Make a plan. Work hard. Be relentless in chasing your dreams. Your momentum creates the door upon which opportunity knocks and then you'll kick down the door! 
#sparkproud
  1. Bigger Goals
    Dreaming Big requires planning & goal setting. As part of our process, we set S.M.A.R.T goals in health & happiness, school, family & friends, running, and fun.
  2. Better People
    At Spark, we work to improve ourselves every single day not just in running but in all aspects of our life based on our foundational principles that guide our actions.
  3. Stronger Athletes
    To become stronger, we focus on fun, speed, strength, endurance, flexibility, coordination, nutrition, form, and mental toughness. What we do today makes us better tomorrow.

Core Values

S - SET GOALS: Create annual written goals in running, school, family, friends, experiences & fun, and health & happiness.

P - PERSEVERANCE: Persistence in achieving goals. Overcoming challenges. Being accountable. Always improving. Being better than yesterday.

A - ATTITUDE: Do your best. Think positive. Believe in yourself and your teammates. Be respectful. Use good manners. Have fun!

R - ROLE MODEL: Do the right think when no one is looking. Be on time. Be prepared. Good behavior. Good student. Contribute to your school and community.

K - KINDNESS: Having compassion, gratitude and empathy. Treating others the way they wish to be treated. 

Meet Our Coaches
At Spark, we believe in developing the whole person regardless of their running ability. We are much more than a running club. Our motto is "Igniting Your Life"- we strive to be that "spark" that jumpstarts hopes and dreams and creates an environment for achievement through goal setting, hard work, and persistence. Our focus is to create bigger goals, better people and stronger athletes based on our foundational principles
Head Coach Kathy Frank​​
  
With a MBA in business, Coach Frank has a full time career of over 20 years in medical sales and management. She lives in Hanover Township with her husband, Jud Frank (a long time coach in various sports at the youth, high school, and college levels and Math Department Chair at Liberty High School), and her sons, Casey (9th Grade) & Cole (8th Grade). For more than nine years, she served as an active volunteer in youth football and baseball. In 2014 and 2015, she was a volunteer Assistant Cross Country Coach at Nitschmann Middle School and became Head Coach in 2016. Coach Frank has a passion for making a difference and wants to inspire youth to create a life they love while making a difference.

Running:
From middle school to high school and through college, Coach Frank ran indoor track, outdoor track, and cross country. During those years, her bread and butter was sprinting and middle distance racing. She competed in many events including: 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M, 4x100M Relay, 4x400M Relay, 4x800M Relay, High Jump, 100M Hurdles, 400M Hurdles, and Cross Country. Coach Frank experienced many up and downs in her own running career which helps her relate to the challenges faced by her youth runners.

Coach Frank’s accomplishments in running include: 
Middle School: Hershey National Track & Field Youth Program: 200M Dash Local Champion, District Runner Up, and 6th in the State. 800M Dash Local Champion, District Champion, and 3rd in the State. 
High School: 400M Dash Two Time Schuylkill League Champion, District 11 Champion, and State Finalist: 8th in the State.
College: Member of the Moravian College Hall of Fame and 3rd in the Nation 1993 Division III Cross Country Team. Member of the Division III 4X400 Relay Team that won the Penn Relays.
  
Jeanne Reilly, PMA®-CPT, Fletcher Pilates® Adjunct Faculty
Jeanne earned an MA in Psychology and spent 17 years in management, development, and coordination of training for business and non-profit sectors. A fitness advocate whose Achilles injury brought her to Pilates, Jeanne suffered pain and difficulty in moving that quickly responded to the Pilates work. As strength and endurance returned, she determined she would learn everything she could from the best teachers she could find, and become a Pilates teacher, herself.

Having completed the Fletcher Pilates Comprehensive Program in January 2010, and the Fletcher Pilates Advanced Intensive Course in March 2014, Jeanne is recognized as a Fletcher Pilates Professional Teacher. Upon successful completion of the Pilates Method Alliance exam in 2012, Jeanne received the Certified Pilates Teacher designation. In addition, Jeanne completed a course of study in 2013, at the Yamuna flagship studio in New York City, qualifying her as a Certified Yamuna Body Rolling Practitioner.

Pursuant to her studies, she opened her studio, Meant To Move, in Bethlehem, PA. Early education, and her career in psychology and training, provides a strong base upon which Jeanne's love for learning and teaching Pilates rests. She's thriving on it, and is able to communicate her joy in mindful movement to her clients
  
Assistant Coach Dave Weikert
Coach Weikert is an avid runner and skier who enjoys all things outdoors.  A Certified Financial Planner™ with Market Street Financial Advisors, LLC, he is part of a privately owned independent wealth management firm.

Coach Weikert volunteers as an Alpine Patroller with the National Ski Patrol and is a Pennsylvania Emergency Medical Technician. Coach Weikert also serves as Board Treasurer of Spark Running Club. He and his family reside in Bethlehem.
  
Assistant Coach Trevor Van Ackeren
  
Coach Trevor grew up in Bethlehem and was a stand-out student-athlete at Liberty before attending Princeton University where he studied sociology. Coach Trevor was a multi-time Academic All-American in college. His passion for running, teaching, and coaching led him to pursue graduate studies to earn a master's degree in education, something he is currently working to complete as a student at Cedar Crest College. While his future plans involve teaching secondary social studies, Coach Trevor currently works at Aardvark Sports Shop and is in his fourth season on staff with the Liberty HS boys basketball program.

Running:
Coach Trevor officially started running as a 6th grader at Northeast Middle School, but his multi-sport background has had him running for as long as he can remember. He was the winner of the Hurricane Invitational his 8th grade season. As a student at Liberty he earned 17 varsity letters competing in cross country, soccer, football (1 season), basketball, and track. Coach Trevor was a part of 10 District XI championships including 2 team and 2 individual titles in XC as well as 2 relays and 2 individual titles in track. He earned all-state honors in track on 4 occasions. He was the top student-athlete in his high school class by winning the 2007 Wendy's High School Heisman.
                                                                                                       
As a collegian, Coach Trevor was a part of 7 Ivy League team titles (xc/indoor/outdoor) and was the Ivy League champion in the mile and the 1000m, while also running on several Ivy League record-breaking relays. Some of his favorite running moments were the 3 Princeton victories at Penn Relays during his junior and senior seasons. As a graduate student running for the University of Texas at Austin, Coach Trevor contributed to a top-10 team performance at xc nationals and went on to win a Big XII team and individual title in the 3000m Steeplechase during outdoor track season. Trevor was an NCAA All-American on the track and holds lifetime bests of 1:50 (800m), 3:39 (1500m), and 8:46 (Steeple).

After college Coach Trevor ran professionally for two seasons with the famous New Jersey-New York Track Club. He continues to train and compete at an elite level to this day and is transitioning from middle distances to the truly long distance races of 10k-marathon.
  
Assistant Coach Kathy West
  
Coach Kathy West is a kindergarten teacher at Hanover Elementary School.  Those little kids keep her pretty busy, so she makes sure that she runs almost every morning before school.  Her son, Owen, is a third grade student at Hanover and loves playing soccer. 

Coach West did not start to run until she went to college.  She ran for Gettysburg College and finally found a sport that she excelled in.  She loves that she can still run competitively at 42 years old.  Coach West has run tons of road races, too many to count - everything from 5ks to marathons. She keeps track of the fact that she has run 10 marathons, 4 of them being the Boston Marathon.

Up until this year, Coach West taught on the south side of Bethlehem. This is where she started a running group for girls and boys in third through fifth grade.  It was a wonderful opportunity to bring her love of running to those children.  Together they ran in several kids races, volunteered at a local races, and ran with the Lehigh Universities men’s and women cross country teams.
Coach West is looking forward to working with all the fellow runners who are a part of the Spark Running Club! 
  
Assistant Coach Raisa Kochmaruk
  
Coach Raisa began running with her mom when she was about 11 years old. There was always an open invitation to join her Mom on her runs, and although she could barely run a mile, Coach Raisa enjoyed the conversation and feeling as if she was working on her 'toughness.'

Coach Raisa had found that she was incapable of scoring a goal in soccer and her mom suggested joining Nitschmann's running club for sixth graders. She did - and she practiced all summer. In 7th grade XC, Coach Raisa was thrilled to have found a sport that she could actually do, and that she loved. Coach Raisa has run XC for 6 years. This spring will be her fourth year of Track. The seasons are intense and exhausting for her, but also incredibly rewarding. She learned a ton about her own willpower and she’s met *most* of her closest friends through Nitschmann and Liberty Cross Country.

Under great coaching from Liberty Coaches Webs and Tannous, Coach Raisa has earned two League and one District title, and two District runner-up titles. She placed 12th at states in her junior year and 11th at States this year – her senior year. There are many nuances to training and coaching that make a world of difference - and Coach Raisa enjoyed picking up a few of these while running for coaches who she’d consider friends as well. Coach Raisa is thrilled to now be a coach on Spark and looks forward to getting to know all the young runners. She hopes they find their own reasons to love this sport and become receptive to all the little life lessons running can impart.