On Friday, Nov. 8, select members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s Eagle Regiment made their way to Miami to perform at the Waterford 5K. The band cheered on the runners at the start and finish of the popular race.
At 6:45 p.m. the 3.1-mile race commenced inside Miami’s Premier Office Park. The race, which was open to all age groups, promised an enjoyable night complete with an assortment of food from various vendors, musical entertainment and a special Family Fun Zone. Additionally, the race’s organizers ensured there would be dramatic lights to jazz up the dance floor. In addition, there were glow-in-the-dark gear giveaways and custom-designed souvenir t-shirts.
Along with other musical entertainment such as Tony the Hit Man DJ, MSD’s Eagle Regiment took the opportunity to make a special appearance. They arrived at the race around 5:30 p.m to set up their instruments before their performance. In exchange for performing at the race, the band program received a generous monetary donation.
Throughout the 3.1 mile course, the band entertained and cheered on racers. They played cadences and stand tunes during both the beginning and end of the race. The course began on Blue Lagoon Drive, looped around 2 buildings and ended on NW 62nd Avenue at approximately 9:30 p.m.
Only around 50 students were chosen to participate in the 5k performance due to a home football game on the same night, which required members to stay back and support the team. Most of the students who went to the 5k were seniors, however, a few students in other grades also attended.
“Although everyone else wanted to show their support at the football game, I was excited to go somewhere new and do the things I like to do and just perform and have fun with it,” junior Jessie Shteif said. “My favorite part of the day was definitely getting to explore the place.”
All the Waterford race participants received a commemorative race medal. Runners who finished the race received a medal and a matching custom ribbon. The top 3 finishers in each age group received a custom medal complete with a matching ribbon. The overall top 3 men and top 3 women finishers received Glass Awards. These awards enabled participants to showcase their hard work in their completion of the strenuous race.
The band was selected to perform because the race organizers wanted to do something special for the senior band members. The organizers first researched the Eagle Regiment band and then contacted their band director, Stephen Rivero.
When asked what he hopes his students will gain from the experience, Rivero replied, “Exposure. Spreading the word about all the positive things happening at MSD.”
Students were gifted a 5k medal for performing. They were also decked out in glow sticks and allowed to go through the bouncy houses and obstacle courses at the site.
“I had so much fun performing and getting to enjoy myself with friends, and on top of that, the food was great,” senior Amanda Brotton said. “My favorite part of the day was getting to use the bounce house with my friends because it made us all feel like kids again.”
The selected students were happy to support the runners and even had a fun time themselves.
“My favorite part of the day was performing with the rest of the band while the runners ran the 5k. We had great energy while we were playing and it was awesome to get to hype up them up as they ran,” senior Amanda Manausa said. “Playing at this event was absolutely amazing and enriching. It’s great to support people as they do something so self-rewarding.”
The Waterford 5k is only one of many events in store for the Eagle Regiment this year. The next big step for the Eagle Regiment is their Florida Marching Band Championships set for Saturday, Nov. 23 at Daytona Stadium in Daytona Beach.