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The future of the Seattle Running Club, continued

October 8, 2010

Following up on my previous post, here is some more news and stuff. I was tempted to post this to the club’s Facebook page, but I don’t know whether it’s appropriate (or even possible) to copy and paste 10+ paragraphs to a Facebook “wall.” (Can someone who actually uses Facebook clue me in?)

My notes on the September 27th meeting of the Seattle Running Club

Attendees included Julie Cassata, Greg Crowther, Mark Davies, John Guza, Mary Hanna, Michelle and Peter Kline, Adam Lint, Glen Mangiantini, Leslie and Scott McCoubrey, Krissy Moehl, Eric Sach, Win Van Pelt, John Wallace, and Blair Williams. Three children of club members were also present. Win reported that several others had emailed him with regrets that they couldn’t attend.

The meeting began with a brief review of the club’s origins and history. Scott McCoubrey said that when he bought the FootZone Capitol Hill (which became the Seattle Running Company), he also began hosting runs from the store, putting on races, and getting opportunities to sponsor local runners. From this confluence of events, the Seattle Running Club was born, and a synergy developed in which a common pool of people would patronize the store, show up at store runs, volunteer at SRC events, race in SRC jerseys at other events, etc.

Now that the Seattle Running Company has been sold, and Scott and Leslie are pursuing other professional opportunities, certain changes in the club are necessary. On the one hand, for example, the subsidizing of S. R. Club expenses by the S. R. Company is no longer possible. On the other hand, we can now capitalize on others’ new ideas and energy as Scott and Leslie (and also team manager Adam Lint) reduce their roles in the club. The overall purpose of this meeting was to start establishing the club’s leadership structure and priorities for the future.

A discussion of current and future club activities evolved into a consideration of what makes the SRC unique, i.e., what does it offer that other clubs don’t? There was general agreement that the club has a niche in trail running, which includes its production of trail races, organization of group trail runs, and other related activities such as trail maintenance. The importance of social cohesion to the club was also noted. There seemed to be some support for the idea of establishing regional hubs (North End, East Side, West Seattle, Capitol Hill) for club-supported group runs, as long as certain “umbrella” activities (races, weekend trail runs) bring together members from the different regions.

Regarding cross-country, the state of the club’s treasury is such that it will be unable to provide travel expenses for team members who wish to travel to the national club championships this year. This won’t be an issue next year, when the national meet is in Seattle. Beyond that, fundraising will be important if significant sponsorship of the cross-country team is to continue. In any case, the SRC will provide race entry fees for four upcoming meets (Emerald City Open, PNTF championships, regionals, and nationals) as well as spikes (the metal inserts, not the shoes themselves) and racing shirts. Also, our ongoing arrangement with Brooks Sports, which provides shoes and clothing for select athletes, should help us continue to attract and retain some fast runners.

Discussion then turned to the topic of “Who wants to be an officer?” Julie, Greg, John, Krissy, Eric, Win, John, and Blair all expressed a willingness to be involved in some capacity, although people’s interests are not necessarily aligned with the traditional positions of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. To take advantage of our different strengths and interests, it was decided that elections will be preceded by an Internet discussion and in-person meeting in which the offices to be contested (and corresponding job descriptions) are finalized. Club members are encouraged to “write your own job description,” i.e., propose creation of a position that you would like to do and would be good at.

The next meeting: Tuesday, October 19th, 6:30 PM, Bellevue

We had hoped to hold the next Seattle Running Club meeting at the Fleet Feet Seattle store, but this will not be possible due to a remodeling project. Club member Peter Kline has generously volunteered to host us at his Bellevue workplace, which has nice facilities for sketching out ideas on whiteboards, etc. Peter’s tips on the location, how to get there, etc. are shown below. The main focus of this meeting will be to settle on a slate of offices to be filled soon in club-wide elections, and to get a sense of who is willing to run for which positions. However, we will also continue our general discussion about the future of the club. If you are likely to attend the meeting, please RSVP to me (trappedinlab@yahoo.com; 206-290-8826) by the 16th so that I can give Peter an approximate head count.

DETAILS FROM PETER KLINE

I’ll reserve the large conference room so we have room to work, move around, and have some food (I’ll supply food and drink so people can come directly from work). Dogs can come too if they’re cool with hi-rise office space – they’re welcome!

The room can handle 40 pretty comfortably so the more the better. Head count estimate will help me get the right food supply.

Location: 601 108th Ave. NE, Suite, 2100, Bellevue. Key Center Building. The building is on the west side of 108th Ave. NE just north of the Bellevue Transit Center. Bus transportation to our office would be easy if anyone is interested in public transportation.

From 520 head south on 405 and take the NE 8th St. Exit, the 1st exit you come to. Head west. Go to 108thAve. NE and turn left, south. The Key Bank Building is the second building from the corner (right next to the Symetra building).

From I90 head north on 405 and take the NE 8th St. Exit. Head West. Go to 108th Ave. NE and turn left, south. The Key Bank Building is the second building from the corner (right next to the Symetra building).

There is plenty of free parking around the area on the side streets. There is paid parking in the building (I kind of like avoiding that parking because it’s expensive). There are lots with paid parking all around the area. And you can always park at Bellevue Square and walk the 4 blocks along the corridor to the Transit center to our building.

Come to the front door of the building on 108th to get into the lobby.

5 comments

  1. Hi Greg,Thanks for the posts about SRC. I live in the SF Bay Area, but have had the opportunity to get to know Scott and Les, and SRC, over the years. A fantastic club with great people, absolutely. I don't know if this is helpful at all, but I know plenty of unattached trail runners, including myself, that would probably enjoy being part of a running community. If I can help you and the club, please let me know. Thanks again for posting info about what is happening with the club. Also, I hope your running is going well!Mike


  2. Mike: My running is minimal right now due to Achilles/bursitis trouble, but I appreciate your message. The Seattle Running Club prides itself on inclusivity, so if bay area people wanted to join it, that would be fine with us…. I'm not sure how we could serve you effectively from up here, but perhaps you or others have ideas. One thing that comes to mind is that some SRC members are interested in "destination runs," i.e., trips to places where several scenic runs can be done over a long weekend or a few days. Maybe if we wanted to head to northern California, a local contact like you could help arrange details and join in? Just a thought….


  3. Would anyone be interested in some track work, maybe the greenlake track in the middle of the week?


  4. Chris: I'm flattered that you think my blog might be a good place to find training partners … but you may want to inquire elsewhere too. 🙂


  5. Greg,Please extend my thanks to yourself and all the folks that have been able to take the club organization so seriously. I would love to have some time to participate…my 14 month old and twins on the way (Dec) preclude a lot of things! Keep us posted and don't hesitate to ask for assistance – I can always spare a few hours!Thanks to all who keep it going!Adam Lamb



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