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AATRA meeting minutes* September 29, 2001

(site of the inaugural Danielesque Trail Runs - 23K and 46K)
White Ranch Open Space near Golden, CO

Meeting called to order at: 12:15 P.M.

1. Attendance: June Anderson, Buzz Burrell, Adam Chase, Theresa Daus-Weber, Elinor Fish, Michelle Fox, Elliott Henry, Nancy Hobbs, Doug Laufer, John Mitchell, Dawn Olsson, Penny Rosenfeld
2. Minutes from last meeting (July '01) - final minutes unavailable for the meeting, thus deferred until next meeting to allow time for board review.
3. Finances - Doug - Profit and Loss statement presented for the period January 1 through July 30, 2001. Cash balance on 1/1/01 was $2686. Cash inflows $24,404 less outflows of $13,318 resulting in  $13,772 cash on hand. Of course there has been activity in both income and expenses during the past two months and an updated report will be prepared for the year ending 12/31/01. The majority of expenses are for printing, postage, phone, and the 2001 Mountain Athletics Trail Running Challenge Series (which also resulted in a huge portion of the income through entry fees and sponsorship). The income is primarily through memberships - corporate, individual, club, and race, donations, and sponsorships.
4. Website - Elliott - from September 1 through September 28 a total of 4,500 unique visitors to our site. The most popular access is the calendar (this has been consistent since the website was introduced), followed by the shoe review, the main state page (navigational tool for trails by state), and the Ultimate Guide to Trail Running book information. Adam thanked Elliott for a wonderful job on the website. We encourage submissions for the website including personal trail running/race stories, product reviews, race results, etc.
5. Newsletter - Nancy - we continue publishing a quarterly newsletter (approximately 500-600 copies per issue) though it has been scaled down a bit (8 pages as opposed to 12) since we have included Trail Runner magazine as a benefit to members. We continue to include a calendar of events. Our members get a lot of current print information sent directly to them. In addition, all AATRA members receive Footnotes (quarterly publication of the RRCA of which AATRA is a member club). Submissions are encouraged for the newsletter including Fishin' Tales (stories about trail running adventures) that should be submitted to Danelle Ballengee at danelle@colorado.net.
6. Sponsorships - Adam and Nancy - Mountain Athletics by Timberland was our largest sponsor in '01 serving as the title sponsor of the first trail running challenge series that was held in conjunction with 3 of the 5 NORBA National Championship events. Sites included Park City, Utah; Mammoth Lakes, CA, and Mount Snow, Vermont. Since MA has been absorbed by Timberland and will not be a separate brand starting in '02, we are looking for another title sponsor for the series. Dates and sites will be announced by NORBA later this fall. We were very pleased with our relationship with NORBA this year and hope that we can secure sponsorship to keep the events alive in '02. We are open to any sponsorship ideas.
7. Membership - our membership stands at approximately 350 including renewals and new members. Our renewal rate is about 80% or more. The memberships we get are split between Trail Runner magazine advertisement (about 40%), website (about 30%), newsletter (about 10%), and renewals.
8. Event involvement 2001 recap - Mt. Evans Hill Climb on June 9; Barr Trail Mountain Race on July 15; Mountain Athletics Trail Challenge Series on July 1, July 22, August 19; Danielesque Run on September 29. AATRA has also had a presence at some snowshoe events. We will continue to support trail, mountain, and snowshoe events. If any events are interested in teaming up with AATRA, contact Nancy.
9. Elections for board positions - the slate of officers include president, vice president, secretary, treasurer. Additional board positions include trail advocacy, website, and at-large positions. Adam Chase, Danelle Ballengee, Doug Laufer were confirmed for another term as president, vp, treasurer respectively. Brian Metzler will take on the secretary slot and Eric Black will move to an at-large advisory post. Elliott Henry has agreed to continue as our webmaster. Ellen Miller heads up trail advocacy, and Tom Sobal, and Bart Yasso are advisors to the board.
10. Old Business
a) Age grading/defining courses - Doug - there was a recommendation from Bob McAndrews (avid and competitive age group trail racer from Colorado Springs) to consider age-grading standards for trail and mountain running similar to road racing standards that have been introduced. There was discussion that the process would be difficult to set up and monitor since trail and mountain races vary so widely from event to event and region to region. In fact, there is at times controversy over the road race age-grading since these events vary as well although distance is more constant than in trail/mountain events.
b) Standards for race directors - guidelines and/or sanction from AATRA - Nancy - at our July meeting we discussed the adoption of standards for trail and mountain races that would benefit runners, race directors, and potential sponsors. We further discussed a sanction process by AATRA for races nationally. The following minimum standards were suggested:
Number of aid stations on course as relates to distance (and/or time of event)
Well marked course - map and description provided to all participants
Medical support (safety plan)
Course marshals (vary with remoteness of the course)
Accurate scoring and timing - results
Permits secured - public/private
Insurance certificate

Other Considerations:
Awards - top 3 overall and/or 5 or 10 year increments for age groups
Entry fee guidelines - based on survey response
Charitable contribution(s) - what causes does the event support
Entry Limits - due to logistics/course set up/safety.  
We will review the criteria at our next AATRA meeting and plan to adopt guidelines in '02.
c) Snowshoe Updates - Adam - Danelle and Adam attended a snowshoe meeting in February '01 organized by snowshoe race director Mark Elmore, NY. At the meeting discussion flowed about how to better organize snowshoeing in regard to racing calendars, size restrictions for snowshoes, promotions, etc. Mark Elmore has an extensive race calendar for snowshoeing '02 as does the Western Mass Athletic Association (many are sprint distances up to 10K). Colorado hosts numerous snowshoe events, most at ski areas ranging from 5K-20 miles or more. AATRA has discussed the snowshoe competition size/dimensions at great length with no resolution. Expect continued discussion at meetings and on our website.
d) Support for the 2001 US Mountain Running Team - At our July meeting the board allocated $500 to the US Mountain Running team and agreed to revisit the budget at our September meeting to see if we could contribute a total of $1000. After budget review, it was agreed to donate $1000 to the US Mountain Running team. The US Mountain Team, like the US 100 K Team relies on individual donations, sponsorships, or personal funds to cover travel to the host city of the competition. USATF provides uniforms. The $1000 will be distributed equally among the US Mountain Running team members.

11. New business
a) World Mountain Running Veterans Championships - new in '01 under the sanction of the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA). The event was held on September 22 in Poland with 502 starters. Kitzbuhel, Austria has bid to host the event on September 21, 2002, and Czech Republic and Scotland are bidding to host the event in 2003. The distances are typically between 8K and 12K depending on the age group (women veterans are age 35 and up, men 40 and up). Any veteran athlete is eligible to participate in the championship event. This year there were no US athletes in the competition, but some athletes have indicated interest for 2002 (the Veterans Championship is one week after the World Mountain Running Trophy which will be held Sept 13-15 in Innsbruck). There is individual competition only, but the country with the most "points" receives a special acknowledgment
b) Alaska to host the 19th annual World Mountain Running Trophy  - The Alaska Mountain Runners will organize the 2003 World Mountain Trophy events in Girdwood located about 35 miles from Anchorage. There will be an open race in addition to the Trophy events that include junior men, junior women, senior men and senior women. This is the first time the U.S. will host the event and only the second time the event is to be held outside Europe (Malaysia hosted in '99). Look for updates on the competition in Trail Times, Trail Runner, and on our website.
c) Permit Issues - letter/support for PA race (PA State Game Commission has curtailed events in the area). AATRA has provided letters of support for race directors that are having difficulty in securing permits for events on regional, state, and/or national park land. The letters from AATRA present the positive benefits of trail running as well as the safety measures that race directors utilize for events and the protection of the environment and concern for fragile ecosystems. A race director in PA has requested support and we are reviewing the case.
d) Danielesque Run - Thanks to Penny Rosenfeld for hosting the first Danielesque 23K and 46K Trail Runs. A super location, great course, and unique, personal awards. Adam extended thanks to sponsors Helly Hansen, Clif Bar, and Ultima.
12. Next meeting - May '02 - Boulder run/brunch at the home of Adam Chase. Date TBA - visit website or check Trail Times for updates.

Adjourned at 12:49 P.M.

AATRA meeting minutes * July 15, 2001 (compiled on Oct 5, 2001 from notes)
(following the Barr Trail Mountain Race awards ceremony)
Soda Springs Park, Manitou Springs, CO

Called to order at 1:15 (approximately)
1. Attendance - Eric Black, Elliott Henry, Nancy Hobbs, Doug Laufer
2. Minutes from last meeting (October '00) - approved.
3. Finances - Doug - Profit and Loss statement reported.
4. Website - Elliott - will review calendar placement on the site.
5. Newsletter - smaller issues in '01, but still 4x per year. Need input from board for articles, etc.
6. Sponsorship - Mountain Athletics by Timberland - Nancy reported that MA provided $10,000 for the Trail Series plus product (shoes for top age group finishers/shirts for all registered runners).
7. Membership - approximately 300. A great renewal rate. Even split from web/renewal/magazine.
8. Event involvement - Mt. Evans Hill Climb on June 9; Barr Trail Mountain Race on July 15; Mountain Athletics Trail Challenge Series on July 1, July 22, August 19; Danielesque Run on September 29.
9. Old Business
a) Age grading/defining courses - Bob McAndrews idea - Doug will review with Bob and report at our next meeting.
b) Standards for race directors - guidelines or sanctions from AATRA. Much discussion of putting standards together for uniformity in the sport. This will help athletes select events, and provide race directors with a model.
c) Snowshoe Meeting in NY - Updates from Danelle and Adam. Nothing to report.
d) Permit Issues - letter for Maine race, Peter Keeney, race director in Arcadia National Park - the letter was sent to the national park supervisor supporting trail running and benefits.
10. New business
A) Website - Elliott is working on some new ideas for the website. We need to better manage the data for the calendar, and include all of AATRA supported events in a separate box or highlight.
B) Mountain Running Team - approved $500, we will revisit budget at next meeting to provide up to $1000.
11. Next meeting: September 29, Golden, CO following the Danielesque Trail Runs 23K and 46K
Adjourned at 1:55PM.