American Trail Running Association introduces new partner program

American Trail Running Association introduces new partner program

Written by Nancy Hobbs, December 15, 2015

Colorado Springs, CO — The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) has introduced a new platform for vendors and suppliers to connect with and support trail race directors through its Event Standards Partnership Program.

ATRA introduced its Event Standards Program in 2012, and is now poised to include vendors and suppliers to further assist trail race directors in meeting ATRA’s 15 criteria necessary for staging a safe and well-organized event.

Adam W. Chase, ATRA president, remarks, “It has happened to me and I hope it hasn’t and won’t happen to you, thanks to ATRA’s Event Standards Program: You train for months, taper, and travel to a race at great expense, both financial and the cost of time away from family and work, only to encounter a poorly marked or tragically mismeasured course or some other race director failure that ruins the whole event; a gross error that could have been easily avoided with careful preparation and focused execution.”

Adds Nancy Hobbs, ATRA executive director, “This is a great tool for race directors new to the sport – either first-time race directors, or road race directors adding a new component to their race organizing résumé – as they can learn what is necessary to stage a well-run event and therefore, by following and adhering to the criteria can stage a safe and successful event. Likewise, seasoned trail race directors can brush up on their skills and have a check list on hand for their event planning. Adding vendors and suppliers as part of ATRA’s Event Standards Program will further assist race directors in selecting quality products as part of event planning.”

The new Event Standards vendor partnership platform will result in a win-win for race directors who will have a portal to find vendors for the many services necessary to stage a successful event and receive a discount for said services from the vendor. Vendors will benefit from being introduced to trail race directors via the ATRA Event Standards Program, as well as the trail running community at large.

“Equally important, is providing a check list for race participants – both newcomers to the sport and seasoned trail racers – so they know what to expect from trail races they enter,” says Hobbs. “Further, insurance agencies and permitting organizations can benefit by knowing what a trail race should provide to its participants.”

Vendors interested in participating in the program should contact Nancy Hobbs at

ATRA’s Event Standards Program dovetails well with ATRA’s Rules on the Run initiative at:

event standars orange

Overview of ATRA’s Event Standards Program:
The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) Event Standards Program is designed as an educational resource for race directors and race participants. The program, first introduced in 2012, is comprised of 15 criteria necessary for staging a safe and well-organized event.

This is a great resource for new or experienced race directors as they can learn and/or brush up on what is necessary to plan for and stage a well-run, safe, and successful trail event. Race participants also benefit because they will come to expect consistent and well-run events that meet ATRA’s standards.

Additional organizations involved with race production also benefit from ATRA’s Event Standards Program. Permit organizations know what a trail race should provide to their participants. Companies providing insurance have an understanding of event standards and expect a checklist or related documentation to refer to should a claim result from an issue/accident at a trail race.

Volunteers and spectators can learn more about what goes into the planning and organizing of a trail race.

ATRA’s Event Standards Program also dovetails with ATRA’s Rules on the Run initiative – principles of trail running etiquette that foster environmentally–sound and socially-responsible trail running.

ATRA’s Goal
To create partnership opportunities between race directors and vendors to ensure safe and successful trail events through the support of ATRA’s Event Standards Program.

Benefits to Race Directors:
• Build credibility for their event;
• Secure event insurance;
• Promote their event;
• Grow their race participant field, or learn to manage limited entry fields;
• Secure quality swag and amenities for race participants;
• Procure items at discount;
• Work with permitting organizations;
• Engage race participants in sustainability efforts, trail building, trail repair and maintenance.

Benefits to Vendor Partners:
• Be introduced to trail race directors by way of a valued and trusted resource – ATRA;
• Promote ATRA’s Event Standards Program specifically to events which are on trail, or in the mountains (ATRA has a database of more than 1000 race directors) – for many vendors, this is a new target market;
• Provide products or services to a new, targeted audience in an organized and efficient manner;
• Maintain visibility on ATRA’s website.

To that end, ATRA will share our event standards with as many trail race directors as possible as well as educating potential trail race directors, race participants, volunteers, spectators, and permitting organizations about the program. Additionally, offering a vendor partnership platform will result in a win-win for race directors – they will have a portal where they can locate vendors for the many services necessary to stage a successful event and receive a discount for said services from the vendor. Vendors will have an increased and enhanced visibility among a new client base.

ATRA will promote partners in the ATRA Event Standards Program in the following ways:
• Press release to announce each vendor partnership.
• Vendors already included in the program will be listed in each release.
• Direct outreach to ATRA’s database of events/event directors through social media, and e-mail, with a plan for direct mail piece in 2016. The database includes some 3,000 confirmed event dates (the entire database includes more than 6,000 events).
• Editorial in ATRA’s quarterly newsletter Trail Times. (E-mailed to 1,000/issue with articles posted on ATRA’s website in the Trail News section).
• Ad in ATRA’s monthly e-blast. (Mailing list of approximately 10,000 with a 20-25% open rate)

The partnership program has several components:
• Social Media sharing – announcements will be made to feature events who secure the ATRA Event Standards Program label.
• Articles generated for publication and promotion through ATRA’s website, Trail Times quarterly newsletter and monthly e-blasts – announcing partners and races who sign up for the ATRA Event Standards Program.
• Incentives to those who participate in the program – for instance, discount for race amenities and services and assistance with promotion of their event.
• Events meeting the standards set forth in the ATRA Event Standards Program will be highlighted in ATRA’s online calendar listing.

Join ATRA in this partnership effort. An annual investment is requested in the amount of $1,000, which also includes the benefits of ATRA’s corporate Switchback Membership. Additionally, a discount is requested from participating vendors (suggested minimum of 5-10% to incentivize purchase), on services/product available to race directors participating in the ATRA Event Standards Program.

Nancy Hobbs
Executive Director, American Trail Running Association
PO BOX 9454
Colorado Springs, CO 80932
(719) 573-4133
nanohobbs at gmail dot com

Richard Bolt
Director of Online Marketing, American Trail Running Association
richardbolt at trailrunner dot com

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American Trail Running Association Overview: ATRA is a non-profit 501 (c ) 3 corporation founded in 1996, whose mission is to represent and promote trail and mountain running. It is a membership-driven association with corporate, race, club, and individual memberships available. Some of its programs include a comprehensive online calendar, a quarterly newsletter – Trail Times, and monthly e-blasts with current information about the sport, and an Event Standards Program for race directors instituted in March 2012. ATRA is a member of USA Track & Field, Road Runners Club of America, International Skyrunning Federation, IMBA, 1% for the Planet, and a founding member of Running USA. ATRA is managed by a board of directors and welcomes feedback. Contact