USATF Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running Council Meeting Minutes

USATF Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running (MUT) Council Meeting
Meeting minutes by Traci Falbo.

December 3, 2015 – Meeting #1 2:30 PM, Houston, TX

1) Welcome – introductions and attendance (collect names, email of attendees at all sessions). Lindsay Toussant from National office introduced themselves with Karl Eagleman, and Jim Estes. Lindsay is responsible for team reimbursements/team events. (Addressed 12/3/15)
2) Minutes – review and approval of minutes from ‘14 meeting (Anaheim, CA). Roy Pirrung motioned to approve minutes, George Leaf, 2nd. All were in favor. (Addressed 12/3/15)

Introductions by all in attendance.
Nancy Hobbs (MUT Council Chair), Howard Nippert (MUT Council Vice-Chair), Richard Bolt, Traci Falbo, Edwin Roberts, Wayne C Davis, Tina Klein, Brent Ayer, Jim Peterson, Joe Prusaitis, Roy Pirrung, Joyce Prusaitis, Chris McWatters, Noelle Giannuzzi, Craig Yotter, Jim Gilmer, Annette White, Tom Derderian (NE president), Eric Blake, Andy Wacker, Peter Maksimow, Martise Scott, Doug Kotti, Andy Carr, Demertrio Cabanillas, Jim Garcia, Steve Taylor, George S Leaf, Ben Vail, Jon Molz, Terry Mullane, MM Merrill, Jim Estes, Bill Roe, Yen Darcy, Frank Lombard, Callum Neff, Lindsay Toussant, Karl Newman, Kate ?? (MT)

Jim Peterson Report (Addressed 12/3/15): (Sports Science), substance abuse report will be on official documents:
– Russian/Kenyan (Chebet-4 year suspesion) Scandal
– Nike OR scandal, but Rupp-most tested athlete in 2014 and clean
– USADA-use of performance enhancing drugs higher number than Diabetes Type I. PED’s not just restricted to athletes…people take for many reasons
– WADA-urging PED trafficing-should be criminalized -working with Chinese government
– Dietary Supplements-remain unregulated
– Energy Drinks-potential Blood pressure issues
– Gene Therapy-not much progress, but is up and coming
– Athletes responsibility for what goes in and out of their body
– WADA-Terry Cunningham-recidivism- usually if dope once, likely will recur
– Positive & Negative affects of PED’s can last longer than the 2-4 year suspension
– Mo Trafeh is suspended. Is still competing in non-sanctioned races, and is wanting to coach (needs to be listed on IAF list of coaches of PED’s)
– Italian coach-25 athletes on the list of investigation for PED’s
– Cryotherapy-studies indicate help relax, but feel better, doesn’t really help repair muscles.
– Concerns of concussion is bringing more kids to the sport of cross country
– Discussion of Mental toughness: Matt Fitzgerald book-How Bad Do You want it?, US Olympic Committee-mental training for performance

Long Distance Running (LDR) (Addressed 12/3/15):
– Nancy brought up new rules discussed at LDR meeting:
– new LDR rule 252-Trail Running Rule
– new MUT rule 254-Trail Running Specific

Nancy discussed snow running (with or without traction devices) will be worked into the MUT group (Addressed 12/3/15)
– Finances – budget updates for 2015/16
– Rules within IAAF – trail and mountain
– USATF national office – updates

– Recap of Exec Committee work through year – exec committee –Dalzot, Pirrung, Nippert, Hobbs, Bolt, Falbo, Wardian, Blake, King, Semick, Erholtz, Olsen. Review duties of council and exec committee. Generally Meeting 1x/month in regard to various issues. Jon Olsen is stepping down from the council at the end of 2015. Alex Varner and Joe Fejes will be added 1/1/16 officially. (Addressed 12/3/15)
– Social Media/Marketing Update – Richard Bolt (Addressed 12/3/15):
50k team is in Doha, Qatar. Social media since 2009-Twitter account, USATF MUT Facebook page, USATF 24-Hour FB page. Goal is to spread the word and promote the athletes. Raise visibility within USATF, and be “the” source of MUT, 8k followers on Twitter, 4-5k on FB, ATRA (American Trail Running Association) is a non-profit helping Mountain teams in fundraising. Helped connect athletes and races. Fundraising trail butter, ice bandanas. Various ideas of creative ways.

– MUT Funding-supposed to get another 20,000 increase for 2016. Discussed funding concerns. AAC discussion-presentation by Traci Falbo this am (documents attached in the minutes). (Addressed 12/3/15):

– Brand Competition/USA Team Invitational: 12/5/15 (Altra, Hoka, Nike, NF, Salomon) @ TNF 50 miler this weekend. USATF requirement not required, neither US citizenship. Press release, Runners World article out. Getting some steam. Not through USATF sanctioned because we weren’t requiring citizenship/USATF membership. Bill Roe brought up there is precedence with green card athletes being able to compete at national level with club teams. (Addressed 12/3/15):

– Collegiate Running Association-Steve Taylor & Jon Molz Initiative to promote mountain and trail running to encourage younger runners to get involved earlier in the sport. Held 2 races: Loon Mountain race in Bend, OR (increase in participation number from 25 to 52 college athletes). Prize money for college students of all ages. Eligible by taking one college class. This year, the NCAA all-american became the trail championship winner as well. Indiana Wilderness Run occurred at White River Park on a new network of trails in downtown Indianapolis, IN. Last year $16k prize $$; 2016-$32k of prize money eligible for college students. Also helping students as an avenue to stay in the sport. (Addressed 12/3/15):

– Zero Tolerance policy – Teams and Championships: PED’s. Usage hasn’t been that predominant thankfully in the MUT group. At our national championships, could be drug testing. As well as international teams, could be tested. (Addressed 12/3/15):

– Team Staffs: Executive Committee selections: Mountain; 100km; 24 Hours. Named 2017 team and 2017 mountain champs already named. Staffs listed on Teams (USATF site under Mountain, Ultra, Trail), as well as criteria/standards to be on the team. Howard maintains 24 hour & 100k standards, 50 mile JFK, and 50 mile national championship. If you know of a performance that meets the criteria, please notify Howard. Both Mountain teams criteria is also listed as well as staff. IAU trail championship selection criteria listed (Cayuga RD will provide $1,000 for the male and female winner for airfare for 50 mile team). Eric Blake spoke in regard to resume spots to make up the remainder of the teams. Nancy brought up team size and course distance differences in regard to men/women. (Addressed 12/3/15):

– MUT at state and regional level – incorporating a MUT program at the state and regional level

– Runners of the Year – recipients named – awards announced at annual breakfast on Saturday; discuss process for 2016 awards and criteria. Someone to tabulate and take charge of this topic. Thanks to Joyce and Joe Prusaitis for providing the trail running awards. We had more people voting than ever this year. We welcome more people to participate in voting in the future. If someone is _______, email ______ to be added to the yahoo group email and receive important MUT information throughout the year. (Addressed 12/3/15):

– Liaisons – discussion of duties before, during, and after championships. Review process for getting medals, race numbers, back tags, finish tape and banners. Review expectations for generating PR, social media channels, event photography and distributing timely results. Discuss reimbursement and the process.
– Review bids for ’16 and beyond – anticipate bids from: 2016: 50km Trail; 30km Trail – Mad Moose Events July date; Mountain and team selection race – New England; 100km – Mad City
– Junior awards at championships – open/individual and team.
– Team initiative – TNF in 2015

Championships approved on at 2014 Annual Mtg:
Jan 26, 2016 Bandera 100k trail
Feb 6, 2016 Rocky Raccoon 100 mile trail
Mar. 6, 2016 Caumsett 50k road
Sep. 17, 2016 North Coast 24-Hours
Oct. 15, 2016 1/2 Marathon Bellingham, WA

Championships whose bids will be voted on tomorrow (Friday):
100k road (Mad city) – 2016
50 mile trail (Cayuga Trail) – 2016/2017
30k trail (Mad Moose) 2016
50k trail (Headlands) – 2016
100k trail: (Bandera) – 2017-2018
100 mile trail (Rocky Raccoon) – 2017-2018

Joe Prusitas is going to be taking over for Paul Kirsch for MUT Championship Chair.

MOUNTAIN: (Addressed 12/3/15):
– World Mountain Championships – Wales-Callum Neff discussed possible course in 2018 for bid. Has only had one North American championship in the past. 2 juniors: Allie Ostrander (won) & Levi (2nd) performed well and gave us more press. Connection to high school & college cross country. 2016 Selection Criteria – champs in Bulgaria September 2016 on uphill course
– WMRA World Long Distance Championships – USA Team report 2015 – Richard from Zermatt – team for Long Distance Championships 2016 – 5 men/5 women/1 staff – Slovenia. Peter discussed being on the team via resume. 2nd American, 15th (Peter), 20th (Mario). Podium amazing experience, but funding difficult.
– Youth International Cup – Czech Republic 2016; no youth for 2015 team
– NACAC Mountain Champs (12th in Canada 2015) – selection 2016 team. (2016 host Mexico in July) North America, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean. Richard discussed it as a good development program.

ULTRA: (Addressed 12/3/15):
– World Championships 100km – Winschoten 2015; team selection for 2016: (now every other year events, because sponsors/race venues pulled out. Had trouble securing venues). (100k now even years)
– World Championships 24 Hour – Italy 2015; team selection Criteria – 2017 IAU 24 Hr- TBA 100k (now every other year events, because sponsors/race venues pulled out. Had trouble securing venues). (24- Hour now odd years). Standards were adjusted in 2015. Qualifying window 18 months prior.
– IAU Trail Championships – recap 2015 France; team selection 6th edition in Portugal, Oct 29, 2016. World Mountain championship is growing. Ultra trail is big in the world, but small on federation level. There is a lot more progress which needs to be made for top tier ultra trail. First World Championship ever. Lots more attention has come since the first World Championship. Down the road, this will likely draw the most sponsors and most money. Challenges IAU/IAAF brining championships to brands.

Ultra Trail issues discussed: Callum Neff discussed Canadian issues. Canadian runners get zero funding. Mountain teams are separate from Athletics Canada. Wants to discuss standards in regard to marathon. (Addressed 12/3/15):

Standards: When creating standards: look at auto-qualifiers from comparable courses with good field of competition and highlight our national championships by having auto-qualifiers. (Addressed 12/3/15):

– IAU 50km Road Championships – 2015 team selection and report; 2016 – selection criteria. First World Championship ever. Races are gaining legitamcy.
– IAU label designation – events in USA with this label
– IAU (International) Meeting 2016 – every other year .Updates from Lin Gentling, IAU Americas Rep in annual report.

– Snow Running – updates/rules
– Collegiate Running Association – updates from Steve Taylor
– Records – update from Andy Carr (including course at USA 50 Mile Champs and noteworthy performance also the ages 80+ for records at 24 Hours, etc.) Juniors and record-setting performances in the ultra category

(Addressed 12/3/15): Motion to recess from Doug Kotti, 2nd from Demertrio Cabanillas.

Friday 12/4/15, 9AM-12:50pm Session
Came to order 9:10AM
Attendees: Edwin Roberts, Joe Prusaitis, George Leaf, Carl Grossbard, Ed Neighbour, Chris McWatters, Steve Taylor, Joe Sarver, Mark Dennett, Douglas K Kotti, Jason Bryant, Eric Blake, Noelle Giannuzzi, Yen Darcy, Wayne C Davis, Verity Breen, Phil Greenwald, Peter Maksimow, Richard Bolt, Nancy Hobbs, Howard Nippert, Traci Falbo, Roy Pirrung, Andy Wacker, Gary Morgan

Review Championship Bids Awarded Previously:

Bandera 100K Trail: Jan 9, 2016
Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Trail: Feb 6, 2016
Caumset Park 50K Road March 6, 2016
North Coast 24 September17-18, 2016
Lake Padden 1/2 Trail October 15, 2016
Moab Trail Marathon November 6, 2016

World Long Distance Mountain Champs June 15, 2016
World Mountain September 4, 2016 Bulgaria
IAU World Trail October 29, 2016 Portugal
100K Road TBD
50K Road Doha TBD
NACAC Guadalajara, MX July 24, 2016
Youth International Mt. Running Cup, Czech Republic (June)

100k Road April 9, 2016
Bid forthcoming from Tim Yanacheck (pending proper documentation)
George Leaf motion, Ed Roberts 2nd Approved (no dissention) PASSED

100 Mile Trail Champs: February 4-5, 2017 February 3-4, 2018
Rocky Raccoon Chris McWatters present packages for 2017/2018
$4000 Prize packages
$1000 for 100 Mile Trail “Best”
Motion Ed Roberts, Second Carl Grosssbard (passed) (no dissention) Awarded for 2017/2018
Additional Discussion of RD responsibility for Liaisons (lodging, food, etc) and explanation of what 500$ application fee covers.

100 Km Trail Champs: January 7-8, 2017 & Jan 6-7, 2018
Bandera 100k Chris McWatters present packages for 2017/2018
$4000 Prize packages
Motion Ed Roberts, Second Carl Grosssbard (passed) (no dissention) Awarded for 2017/2018
Additional Discussion of RD responsibility for Liaisons (lodging, food, etc) and explanation of what 500$ application fee covers.

50K Trail Champs: August 27, 2016
Tamalpa Headlands 50K
Approved thru Executive Committee
Howard (Liaison) and Richard spoke on behalf of the event.
$5000 for top 3 men and women 1200, 800, 500
George Leaf Motion Second Roy Pirrung Awarded for 2016

50 Mile Champs: June 4, 2016 and June 3, 2017
Cayuga in Ithaca, NY
$7000 total 1500, 100, 500 1-3 and 500 top masters
Motion Roy Pirrung Second: Peter Maksimo. Awarded for 2016

30k Trail Champs: July 30, 2016 July 29, 2017
Pikes Peak Ultra (Bear Creek Park) Colorado Springs, CO
minimum $2000 prize for 1-5
homestays available
Discussion whether 1 or 2 years awarded since relatively new race.
Motion to accept 30k bid Ed Roberts. Second: Traci Falbo. Awarded for 2016 and 2017

Mountain Running Champs: July 3, 2016
Loon Mountain Ski Area, New Hampshire
Proposed distance 10k for men and women
$1000 prize money, hoping to have $3000 prize money
Discussion of course distance, (world champs is an uphill year Bulgaria 11.8k 3780’ of climb for men and 8.8k 3360’ of climb), course profile of Loon is up, some down, and flat (2014 total climb: 10.6k 3000’ for men & 7.7k 2780’ for men). Will sort out the exact course distance later with RD, as he is flexible in distance.
Richard made a spreadsheet back to 2007 in regard to matching national champs vs. world champs; 7/8 ours have been shorter by non-trivial distances. Historically our national champs have been 5-6 min shorter for men. Collegiate Running will have their race concurrent with this race (provide $6000 for collegiate runners. Discussion is also the same weekend as track trials, potentially taking away athletes competing in OR (5k/10k/steeple).

Jim Garcia made the motion to accept the bid if at least $2000 in prize money. Roy Pirrung Second. Bid Approved provided $2000 prize money.

50k Road Champs: March 5, 2017 and March 4, 2018
Caumset, NY (also 25k concurrently)
RD: 10 year…very successful. Continues to get more elite runners. Best times have been on this course.
airport transfers, hotel, food post race
$2000 total prize money and additional $1000 if break AR
Don’t have official bid (he presented with 3 years last year)
Motion accept bid once written as presented Roy Pirrung, Second Traci Falbo. Bid Approved once presented as verbally discussed.

50 mile Road Champs:
Door County required USATF membership for everyone. His numbers have been dropping there. Currently don’t have a bid from Door County. Do have a fantastic bid from Tussey Mountainback. To be fair to Door County, do we defer this? Tussey’s bid is $5000 in prize money. 5:28 CR men, 6:24 CR women, some limited travel funds, rooms up 20 athletes up to 4 nights. Just received bid last night. 82% gravel. Not entirely road. Note from Door County yesterday…interested in providing a bid.
Motion made to table bid for the executive committee after Door County submits a bid by Jason Bryant. Second Howard Nippert.

SNOW RUNNING Discussion:
Track and field sees “snow running” as something different than what USATF does. The way to approach is “Trail running with appropriate footwear for snow” with guidelines for such appropriate footwear.
Will Snow running at some point want funding and resources?
Base it off equipment for the conditions.
Rules committee see things compared to track and field (section on guidelines, language for rules in relation to trail running from IAAF, making sure wording changed so not requiring whistles or safetly blanket. Instead, RD can specify what equipment may be needed. Nancy talked to Vin Lanna, who was concerned about insurance regarding poles and other things. Can look to the outside for insurance if needed. L&L (broad definition of MUT, because was still existing as subset of LDR…now has jurisdiction of MUT events)
Howard brings up discussion about funding. Do we include this subgroup? We are already in a shortfall…Do we add? We are only discussing a national championship, not wanting funding. Snow running is often what “trail” runners do in the winter. Run on the same trail, but which is snow covered.
Discussion in regard to phasing them in. 2016 event is in Ogden (not USATF). Bill Roe discussed endorsing the event.
Andy brought up part of USATF regional linkage vs. national linkage. Worried about asking for funding and adding something new.
Basically just looking at a run with snow equipment. Not looking at a world team, funding or whatnot.

Phil Greenwall from Rules committee:
separate trail and snow. (combining them together got thrown out in Rules).
Exclusively Trail: IAAF language. go see rule 242 (for start). Aid stations-too complicated so simplified…Shall be sufficiently spaced out so autonomous, but taking in account for health and safety. Trail races (definition) on variety of terrains within a natural environment, sections of pavement have to be less than 20%, no elevation/altitude specifics required. Course marked well enough to not deviate from it. Can recommend safety equipment to avoid issue of distress, may use hiking poles, such as hiking poles. Wording- “may” is permissive, “should” is a recommendation, “shall” is obligatory. Medical standard stuff. Race assistance only at aid stations. 254 or 252 (rules)

Status of snowshoes. L&L Bill Roe…language that wouldn’t disallow snow shoes. If allowed, then we add rule 257 to write snow shoe language.

Discussion of snow shoe races, sanctioning races, insurance. Phil suggests getting himself, Bill, and Nancy together.

Motion to recess until 2:30 by George Leaf Second Traci Falbo.

Friday 12/4/15: Afternoon 2:30-4:50 Raintree Room
Attendees: Ben Vail, Virginia Schman, Wayne C Davis, Mickey Pisitelli, Chris McWatters, Larry Alsevda, Joe Prusaitis, Carl Grossbard, Jason Bryant, Howard Nippert, Traci Falbo, Nancy Hobbs, Richard Bolt, Edwin Roberts,

Jack Wickins Athlete Biz:
Former USATF Board Member
Bring visibility of top athletes to fans.
Hardcore fans already there, but many fans don’t know much about it.
Web platform– Goal: Best athlete centered platform of all sports
Started 1.5 years ago
Personal web presence for athletes. Personal stories, pictures, videos, blogs
Most athletes have significant needs for income. Empower athletes for income opportunities.
Market talents (tips, coaching, appearances, etc)
4 health care companies express interest in hiring athletes
For example: coach teenagers who want to lose weight.
A year ago, specific to track and field. Traci and Roy inquired about M.U.T. athletes to join. Now Traci Falbo, Camille Herron, Maria Dalzot, Joesph Gray, and Pam Smith involved/have pages.
Free to invited athletes
New feature: each athlete may have own store on their page (shoes, apparel, sponsor) to promote what they like via Running Warehouse. Athletes get 5-10% commission on items bought thru the page from their site. So far, 50 athletes have “Store” set up.
More ideas to come.
Total number of athletes 135
Limited now to top 20-25 ranked M.U.T. people (World Championship Team members offered, as well as Notable National Championship performances have been invited)
Write regular column “Track Shorts” which describes weekly performances (story, photos, anecdotes)
Create summary weekly about post for the week.

Records Report (Andy Carr)

107 LDR Pending marks– Approve more than to defer to next time
57 approved. 5 denied
26 ultra marks 23 approved
Ultra marks get proper paperwork to get marks certified
Camille Herron 50 Mile mark– course not record standard, but USATF keeps “bests” (non-record standard course but beats current standing American Record)
Joe Fejes 6 Day Needs Course measurement certificate
Zach Bitter no paperwork came from RD
Master’s 12 Hr mark “pending” to Approved
Records all available on Document Library-

80+ year old record for 24 Hours
Bonafide competition-
If no record exists for an age group, is there a policy for how far one must run in order to be considered.

Junior Recognition of ultra records
Part of the record, but not broadcast

Recommendation of Council that “We do not promote or condone records or National Championships” for athletes in Junior division
Need to write rule change to change wording from “All Divisions” to “Men’s and Womens LDR and Masters”

Rule 267 Events in which records are recognized.
Jason Byrant will take on project to rewrite rule with help of Andy Carr, Joe Prusaitis and Howard Nippert

Begun process of more rapid ratification of records. Not just done at Annual Meeting, but can be done at any point during the year. Posting records much more often (3-4X per year) to post ratified records. (At closing session, records get “reported” rather than “voted on” as records committee “ratifies”. General closing session is just notified.

Bonafide competition:
Case by case basis.
In general, must have 3 competitors in the event to be considered bonafide competition.

Nancy opened discussion to State, Regional, Mountain, Ultra, and Trail items.

Joe Prusaitis- Speak on South Texas M.U.T.-
Owned 1 race per month during the year. 5K to 100 Miles. 2 categories (Ultra, and Sub-ultra)
Required anyone in series USATF member. Anyone run race, but only points went to USATF members.
Membership grew in South Tx .
Created awards system including 30 other races. Membership grew 300 people that year.
Third year- 6-700 people.
LDR in South Tx now reproducing series to increase their membership
Race Directors don’t have any additional work. Series points are allocated based on finish at specified races by Joe who runs series. Clubs compete against each other and individuals vie for series points for series awards.

Jason Bryant (North Carolina Assoc)
LDR series which they rolled M.U.T. into series as “trail/mountain” race. LDR series was in existence. Jason (North Carolina ) is LDR chair. Jason attended NC USATF meeting and was appointed for his work with NC race directing.

Associations have requirements for accreditation and if someone will do the legwork, it will often be welcomed and sometimes provided some resources.

Networking and piggy-backing off existing races with USATF helps both causes.

Richard Bolt – Initiative at WS 100. Thru ATRA.
Google Maps of things other than roads. Google opened program to outside organizations. Borrow “trekker backpack” and proposal accepted to track the backpack the entire WS 100 course. Partnered with BOD of WS for permits, irunfar for feature stories. Athletes will join and make 3-4 day trek. Will be there at WS with Google backpack. Application for use of backpack available on Google website.

U.S. Trail Running Conference- Estes Park, CO. All trail running (Wednesday, Thurs- Fri- Race director days), Sat- Sun- Trail athletes. Vendors, Shoe companies, raffle for shoes

Carl Grossbard (Greater Long Island Running Club- GLIRC)
3 races used to determine top Ultra Runners of the Year
Long Island Association and Pres GLIRC
4500 members in Long Island Association

Ed Neighbour New Jersey- awarding two state championships to races in NJ. Ed is LDR division chair and takes M.U.T. assignment. Also President of NJ Association.

Rich Bolt- Oregon Association. No program in M.U.T.
Showed up at annual meeting of association. Started Oregon Mountain Running Series. Can work within existing structure of races to develop attraction to M.U.T. athletes into USATF.

Doug- South Carolina– State Association 3-4000 members. Large Youth presence. More parents not allow kids to play football. Track is growing. Mountains in South Carolina- As well, coastal area to “midlands” lots of trails, state park system. Hills in norther part of state.

Noelle Giannuzzi- Florida M.U.T. Chair- Persistent meeting people to convince people that USATF joining in is beneficial. North Florida has nice trails. Tallahassee, Everglades- nice trails
Getting races sanctioned in FL, with ideas of M.U.T. Association Champ and perhaps future National Championship.

Women’s LDR Secretary Camille Herron and Tony Migliozzi wins IAU World 50Km World Championship and was recognized during Womens LDR meeting and Men’s LDR meetings, as well as AAC meeting.

IAU Labeling program discussed. Guidelines for events. Relates to funding for IAU World Champs — value for the marks. Gold-silver-bronze labeled. Bronze is free (fill out paperwork). Importance of the label — qualifying performances. Specifics on the website. Lin Gentling is the America’s Rep to the IAU and can be contacted for help applying.
IAU and WMRA meetings held in Monaco in January of each year.

Motion to adjorn Noelle Giannuzz, Second Chris McWatters.