AATRA Meeting Minutes
* October 5, 2002 *
Golden, CO

Called to order at 11:20 a.m.

Attendance: Jim Branson, Elliott Henry, Nancy Hobbs, Shane Holonitch, Steve Holonitch, Doug Laufer, Dave Mackey

Minutes: Doug motioned to approve the minutes from the last meeting in May. Elliott seconded the motion, unanimous approval.

Finances: Doug distributed a quarterly financial overview with data through August 2002. Revenues to date are $7, 426 while expenses are $4,934. The most significant line items on the expense side are the newsletter, meeting costs, magazine subscription for members (Trail Runner magazine), and donation to the 2002 Teva US Mountain Running Team. Doug is pleased with our financial picture. Asked whether we need to file income tax forms with the IRS, Doug did some searching and has found that we shouldn't have to file since we are below the minimum filing requirement of $28,000 even with the income from the Barr Trail Mountain Race (since the net is about $1000 after distribution to the nonprofits).

Website: Elliott provided website updates including monthly and daily traffic to the site. Last month we had 4,493 home page hits which translates to 150/day with the most reviewed page being the calendar followed by The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running information, shoe reviews (which need updating), and state trails. The way most people get to our site is through a search engine using "trail running" followed by "running shoe review." We continue getting requests from companies for banner advertisements, but they are interested in providing us with a percentage as opposed to a flat fee. The percentage is based on the number of units sold - we would be credited if someone goes from our site to the company site and makes the buy. We would prefer to work with events or groups that give us a flat fee like the Aspen Grove Trail Race. The race director asked us to put a link to his site from our home page menu bar that would go directly to his race and we charged a flat $25/month. We also list all of our club, race, and corporate members on the home page with a direct link to their website. This requires an annual membership of $50 for a club or race and $100 for a corporation.

Newsletter: We continue to publish a quarterly newsletter with the next issue coming out within two weeks. Nancy asked if anyone had articles to include in the next issue. We encourage article submission and also Fishin' Tales - stories about trail running experiences - from anyone interested in sending something in. Word counts anywhere from 250-3000 words are accepted. Stories are always subject to length and editing.

Membership: We run between 250-300 members with a fabulous renewal rate. We have had many members stay with us for five or more years. We continue to have corporate, club, and race memberships as well as individual memberships. We also encourage corporate partnerships at greater levels for calendar sponsorships and website involvement. We get the majority of memberships from our ad in Trail Runner magazine as well as from the web and of course renewals. We often distribute newsletters or information brochures at events, which reap some memberships.

Surveys: We are getting close to 300 responses per survey. The results from surveys have been posted to the website. We feel that the information we collect is of value to companies and individuals. For future surveys, the information we collect will only be distributed to our board members, corporate members, and those respondents to the surveys who supply an email address. Hopefully we will generate some new corporate members that want to receive copies of our survey data.

RRCA involvement: The RRCA has been in some transition lately with its new executive director and his policies. We are members of the RRCA and receive our insurance from the RRCA and our 501 (c) 3 non-profit status under their umbrella. We will continue our membership with the RRCA for 2003. The other alternative for insurance is USATF, but it doesn't cover director and officer's liability, nor does it cover meetings, fun runs, or low-key club events. The RRCA insurance covers all of this and there is also an additional rider for equipment (which we don't have except for a tent).

USATF Relationship: Theresa Daus Weber (who wasn’t able to attend the AATRA meeting as she is pacing her sister in an ultra in Arkansas) and Nancy were appointed to the newly formed mountain ultra trail committee within USATF Colorado. The next meeting of the USATF Colorado Association is October 9 in Denver. Theresa has awarded the High Mountain Institute 25K and 50K the Colorado USATF Championship next July (7/19/03) in Leadville. The race director filled out the necessary bid forms and submitted them to Theresa and USATF Colorado for review and the bid was accepted. This will be Colorado's first USATF State Championship in the trail and ultra distance. Doug wondered if there would be a conflict with the BTMR on the previous weekend and we felt that there would not since the events typically get 50-75 runners, plus both the BTMR and the HMI events are doable on back-to-back weekends by many runners. For the first time this year the USATF MUT Council will award championships on the national level for the trail and mountain discipline under the marathon distance (one of each). Ultra distance championships on both road and trail have been awarded for several years. Bid forms are available at www.usatf.org or by contacting Nancy who has the forms on file. All bids are due by November 1. Bids are also being accepted through November 1 to host a USATF Mountain Running selection race. We held three selection races for the Teva US Mountain Running Team in 2002 and will do the same in 2003. There is a chance we may award a fourth selection race for men's selection only since the men receive more positions (6 plus alternate) than the women (4 plus alternate). Junior team members will again be selected based on resumes. All bids for national championships or to host a selection race will be reviewed and awarded at the annual USATF convention December 5-7 in Kansas City, MO.

Event involvement for 2003: In the past AATRA has organized a series of events for Timberland (2001) and has had involvement with the Mt. Evans Hill Climb, The Barr Trail Mountain Race, several snowshoe events, and the Danielesque Trail Runs. We will also be supporting a first-time event held in conjunction with the Durango Marathon (October 13) - a fun trail run on Saturday, October 12 (with some promotional support). Thus far in 2003 we have received requests from Mt. Evans Hill Climb (early June event), The Swift Skedaddle Series (Silverthorn in Jan, Frisco in Feb), and the Danielesque Runs (October). AATRA typically provides administrative support, additional insured certificates, promotional support (website and newsletter), and permit assistance to the events. Someone on the AATRA board must be involved with the participating events. We will support all the events that have requested support to date and review others that put in a request. Events that request our support provide a donation to AATRA.

Old Business

Mountain Runners of the Year: Jonathan was unable to attend the meeting, but will provide details on the mountain runner of the year program for review. We will either get this program going before the end of 2002 or start the awards in 2003.

Standards for race directors: In an effort to provide some uniformity for events to help race directors, participants, industry representatives, it has been suggested that an organization develop some sanctioning guidelines for events. Nancy had lengthy discussions with Ann Trason (ultrarunner and race director), our board, and other athletes about such a program. Nancy distributed a draft of sanctions listing the following criteria:
1)    Safety - Monitoring runners - check in at race start; communications on course
2)    Course - marking, map - accuracy
3)    Results - timely, accurate
4)    Awards - type, distribution
5)    Logistics - insurance, permits
6)    Entry limits - adhered to? Reason for limits may include: safety, environmental impact, course logistics, assessed by permitting organization
7)    Entry Brochure/website
Issues facing sanction criteria include ranking and evaluation. It has been suggested that AATRA provide a Standardized Ranking: Perhaps a 1-4 rating scale for the various aspects we are reviewing. (Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor) and for evaluation, we enlist Field Testers: Provide feedback from runners about events. AATRA would provide the "AATRA-sanctioned criteria" and we would have the event participant evaluate based on criteria and include a paragraph overview of the event. This information could funnel through Nancy and be included on our website and the event could also include an AATRA logo as a sanctioned event on their entry materials. We would like to get the program in place in 2003 and request feedback from our members and board on the criteria.

Snowshoe: The only updates we have is that snowshoeing is growing in number of events nationwide and a US team of four athletes and press person will travel to an event in Italy in January to participate in an international snowshoe event. The USSSA endeavors to get snowshoeing on the Olympic calendar in the future.

Teva US Mountain Running Team 2002: We had decided in May to provide $1000 support to the team and Nancy would like to provide $1000 in addition to the funding we have already provided in support of the team (approximately $350). We approved supporting the junior team with the $1000 to help offset their travel to Austria (tickets ranged in price from $750 -$1150 and some athletes had clubs provide some funding support as well as $525 each from the Teva support). Nancy will distribute the funds and copy the board.

New business:

Dave reported that he has been discussing with Rich Cook and the BOEC (Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center) putting on a snowshoe race in February or March. Dave will let the board know how the planing comes along.

Next meeting: Several dates and sites were looked at for the next meeting including holding the meeting in Colorado Springs (since many board members are in the front range) an event at a snowshoe race - either a Swift Skedaddle (Jan/Feb), the Beaver Creek Snowshoe event (April), or at the BOEC if Dave starts and event there (Feb/March). We'll keep everyone updated through email and on the website.

Meeting adjourned at 12:05p.m. (Thanks to Dave Mackey for taking notes as the acting secretary)