The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) is capitalizing on a common thread woven throughout this year’s sessions during the 4th annual US Trail Running Conference (held September 28-October 1), in Estes Park, Colorado, that thread: community. As such, we’re proud to announce that for 2017 ATRA’s theme will be – Community: Building Trail Running Connections.
“Community is about sharing ideas, attitudes, and common interests among trail runners,” said ATRA executive director, Nancy Hobbs. “Our trail running community is made up of kids, adults, elite-level competitors, mid-packers, newcomers to the sport, and every age and ability in between. We embrace equality and fairness in sport and support sustainability and the mutual respect for the environment. We look forward to growing our trail running family, and by focusing on community, our planning for the coming year will be greatly enhanced.”
Adds ATRA president Adam W. Chase, “After a divisive 2016, the nation will really need to pull together to tackle 2017. What better way than to celebrate our shared love of running and nature, getting off roads in our pursuit for higher fitness. The trail running community has always been great, ATRA just wants to embrace that greatness.”
Over the past 20 years, ATRA has created many programs to educate and inspire trail runners and will continue to expand programming in 2017. Existing programs include Event Standards for trail race directors, a monthly email newsletter, a monthly race director newsletter, a quarterly newsletter Trail Times, and the soon-to-be-released Trail Running Camp Standards.
New in 2016, was the launch of Trail Towns feature articles in April. For 2017, we will continue to showcase small towns throughout the U.S. focusing on their wonderful and inviting trail systems as well as their trail-centric culture and vibe evidenced through local eateries, independent coffee shops, and craft brew pubs. Read all our Trail Towns articles at https://trailrunner.com/trail-news/category/trail-towns/.
A new program to be introduced in early 2017, ATRA Trail Ambassadors. Each month, ATRA will highlight a trail runner, race director, or club member who has built trail running connections and created community, whether in their own region, or national in scope.
Also in 2017, we will publish more articles about technology in trail running, as well as results and analysis from trail runner surveys we will conduct through the year.
Expect to see our team members at even more events and races in the coming year. We want to hear from trail runners and learn about local challenges and opportunities, whether it is working to develop a race course, starting a new trail running club, or creating an anti-doping event policy.
Richard Bolt, Director of Online Marketing says, “In 2016 we’ve heard from more and more runners about why they run off-road and what they’d like to read on our website. For 2017, we’re committed to building more and better resources for trail runners, race directors and brands both online and on the trails.”
“We ask you, our trail running community, to spread the good work the American Trail Running Association is doing, and contact us with your ideas to help build connections with individuals, groups, events, and your favorite brands,” said Hobbs.