AATRA meeting minutes
March 8, 2003
Called to order at 1:10PM
Attendance: Danelle Ballengee, Eric Black, Adam Chase, Adam Feerst, Elliott Henry, Nancy Hobbs, Julie Hudetz, Doug Laufer, Michelle Lyman, Ellen Miller, Craig Perringjaquet
Minutes from last meeting (October '02): Adam motion to approve, Doug second, all in favor.
Finances - Doug - Profit and Loss statement distributed for year-end 2002. Revenues and expenses down from 2001 (Timberland supported the 2001 Mountain Athletics Trail Running Series). Anticipate more revenue from race support in 2003. Adam had a question about membership costs to Trail Runner magazine and if we could adjust or eliminate those (approximately $2000 per year goes to Trail Runner for subscriptions - $10 for every member). Adam and others questioned the response we get from the ad in Trail Runner and the value to AATRA. Adam will talk with Running Times publisher Carol Lasseter-Rice and Jonathan Beverly about adding a relationship between AATRA and Running Times. Nancy will visit with Duane Raleigh with Trail Runner to see if we can reduce our fee for the subscriptions.
Website - Elliott - updates - banner advertisements: Elliott tracks the hits (average over 5,000 per month) and stated that the calendar (Nancy has approximately 1000 events with confirmed dates in the database and about 1400 total) is the number one visited page followed by the fall shoe review. Adam will work on getting another shoe review up on the page. Elliott gets a lot of requests to put corporate/business logos up on our site with a percentage back to AATRA based on people who purchase items from their site. Part of the problem is that we don't know many of these companies or the products they sell. We have had a policy that we will deny these requests. If a company or business wants to become a corporate member, they can do this to support AATRA at $100/year and have a link to their site from our home page under corporate members. If anyone has philosophical issues with a corporate member or request, we can discuss it as a group. Nancy got a request from a PAC of sorts - 20/20 vision - who put out information on pollution controls, and environmental issues. We agreed at the meeting that we wouldn't include anything political on our site. There was a question about cancelled events, Collegiate Peaks is cancelled and probably Turquoise Lake 20K as Tom has moved to Salida. Nancy has suggested to Tom at one point that perhaps AATRA could take over the race. Nancy will visit again with Tom about this option. Adam says that Running Times is working to include a section of trail races separate from their road race calendar. Elliott asked who he should send email requests about magazine subscriptions and AATRA memberships. Those should go to Nancy.
Newsletter: Nancy reported that Trail Times continues to be quarterly with the next issue in April. Anyone interested in submitting an article should do so. Eric is going to Catalina Marathon and will work on a story for either April (spring) or July (summer). Jim Freim has agreed to write some more articles. Ellen will write an article about trail maintenance for summer or fall issue.
Membership - updates: Most memberships are currently coming from the website, great renewal rate - about 70%, more members using Active.com to register, about 40% or so come from Trail Runner magazine ad, the rest come from distribution of forms at events and personal mailings. One of our new corporate members Robert Allen with SoCal Trail Runs is going to include AATRA membership forms with his brochures for additional distribution. We need to pursue more relationships like this.
Surveys: As we agreed at our last meeting, we keep the results internal and share with corporate members and those who request a copy when they complete the survey. Our first survey of the year was on plans for the New Year. The March/April survey relates to trail running tours and camps. We get between 100-300 responses on each survey. When we track where people respond from Colorado is still tops in responses followed by California. Corporate members can request input (supply questions) on surveys.
AARC (American Association of Running Clubs) - insurance, membership: AATRA joined AARC in January, but we are still members of RRCA as well through their annual convention in April. The second AARC meeting will be held in Georgia (where the administrative office is) sometime in June. Nancy may attend if it seems appropriate. AARC has the same insurance policy as RRCA did. Our non-profit status remains active under RRCA umbrella, but will fall under AARC umbrella retroactive to the date the request was filed with the IRS. Nancy will send AARC logo to Elliott for our website.
Event involvement for 2003 - Swift Skeedaddle Snowshoe events January 5 and March 8; Mt. Evans Hill Climb on June 1; Barr Trail Mountain Race on July 13; Danielesque Run in October. Doug discussed Barr Trail involvement and that some of the committee members of the race want to work with other non-profits and not AATRA although AATRA has provide support, permits, insurance since the inception of the race in 2000. Doug suggested that we approach BTMR with a flat fee option as opposed to receiving 25% of the proceeds. AATRA is not in the business of selling insurance to races. Doug will listen to various options posed by the BTMR group at their next meeting on March 12, but AATRA group wants to stay at the same level of involvement as last year (AATRA provides support, insurance, permit and receives 25% of proceeds).
USATF Relationship - championships (local association, national): Nancy reported that a USATF Grand Prix of mountain/trail racing in Colorado was proposed for 2003, but no one is in place to organize the effort this year, perhaps for 2004. However, there are several CO association championships including a 25K and 50K trail race in Leadville in July, a 10K trail championship in Vail (that will also serve as a Teva US Mountain Running Team Selection Race) in June, a USA Mountain Running Championships (the first ever) in Vail in July with the Vail HillClimb, and a trail marathon in September in Colorado Springs. In addition there will be a USATF Colorado cross country championship on October 4 in Boulder. There are several USATF associations nationwide organizing trail and mountain championships including New England, North Carolina, Indiana, California, and New Mexico. USATF has hopes to provide more benefits to mountain and trail runners and these championships are just one avenue to pursue. All of the championship events are organized independently.
Women's Fitness Grant - Moving Comfort: Nancy received information on a new grant program through Moving Comfort for beginning running programs for women. Nancy is looking at putting together a beginning trail running booklet for women including running your first ultra. The deadline for submissions is mid-April. If we dont receive a grant for this, Nancy will pursue other options for publication. Nancy will also pursue other grants for AATRA.
Mountain Runners of the Year: Jonathan was tasked with this initiative, but has recently relocated to Arizona and may not be as involved with AATRA. Danelle and others suggested that with the USATF Mountain Running awards we're probably covered especially because anyone can provide a nomination for the USATF award. The USATF nomination process is announced in October and the recipients are announced in December. This past year USATF added masters mountain runner awards.
Standards for race directors - guidelines or sanctions from AATRA: Nancy distributed a draft list of sanctions for review. The reason for the sanction from AATRA is to establish some uniformity and to help athletes choose races that adhere to specified standards and parameters. Participants need to know what to expect from an event. The difficulty is in the implementation of the sanctions. We discussed various options including having race directors request a sanction from AATRA. As long as the event adheres to the specified standards, AATRA can provide a sanction to the event. We talked about adding a list of the sanctioned events on the website. This becomes a challenge for races or race directors that we know nothing about. We could provide a sanction to first year events provided we know something about the organizers. We can list the sanction criteria on line as a check list for race directors. Anyone who has feedback on sanction criteria should send ideas to Nancy.
Snowshoe - Updates from Danelle, Adam, others: The US Snowshoe Championships will be held in Salt Lake City on March 29. Adam reported that Tom is the only race director he knows not adhering to the new snowshoe guidelines. Others are conforming to the standards set out by the snowshoe association (USSSA).
New business: Ellen will keep us posted on possible trail closures due to drought, etc. Adam Feerst might write an article about starting a trail running group. Adam Feerst asked if we could include a link under clubs to his trail group instead of the link under trails. Elliott will facilitate this. There was discussion about a trail running series in Summit County, but it will probably not happen in 2003, but in 2004 more likely. Adam Chase discussed his adventure at the SnowGain - like orienteering/rogaining on snow.
Next meeting - October 2003: the next meeting will either be held at the Danielesque Race on October 4, or in Boulder at Adam's house in conjunction with an annual potluck/run. We'll update on the website and in our newsletter on time and location.
Meeting adjourned at 2:30PM (Adam moved to adjourn, Doug second).
(notes submitted by acting secretary Julie Hudetz)