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Minutes of the SRC’s Sept. 8 board meeting

September 12, 2011

Board meeting of the Seattle Running Club

September 8, 2011, 7 PM, Vino at The Landing

In attendance: Greg Crowther, Mary Hanna, Danielle Hathaway, Peter Kline, Eric Sach, Trisha Steidl, Win Van Pelt, and John Wallace III.

1. Postmortem discussion of Fat Glass 50K

Participants were happy with the event, and so was Ranger Mary of the Bridle Trails park, thanks to a lot of work on Peter’s part. The main concern was the low attendance. This was attributable to limited advertising, belated finalization of the race date, and a conflict with Seafair. Next year we should be able to grow the event by making changes/improvements such as the following: have a sign-up site that is more official than a Facebook event page; charge people a nominal fee ($10?) to get them to commit to the event; open registration to club members first and then to everyone else a few weeks before the event. A tentative date for 2012 was identified as the weekend of August 18-19 (the weekend after the Cougar Mountain 13-miler and the weekend before the Cascade Crest 100). With this date, the event could also serve as a lead-in to cross country season (people could come out and do 2-4 laps as a long run).

2. Club officers and November elections

Departing treasurer Leslie McCoubrey asked longtime SRC member John Wallace III to replace her. This change was approved by the board, and John will serve at least until the elections at the November board meeting. John gave us a brief report on some bookkeeping numbers. We currently have $2100 in our account, with $700 more to be deposited tomorrow and some Northwest Runner debts still to be paid off.

Citing personal issues, Greg Crowther said that he would not be able to continue as president beyond November. Vice president Win Van Pelt is not interested in the presidency either, so someone else will have to step forward!

3. Cross country

SRC has a long history of subsidizing cross country races in part because of how these races bring together diverse club members to compete as a team. This year we will cover team members’ entry fees at the following races: Eastside Runners 5K (Sept. 25), Emerald City (Oct. 1), PNTF (Nov. 6?), regionals (Nov. 19?), and nationals (Dec. 10 at Jefferson Park in Seattle). We will have a SRC team potluck after the Emerald City meet at Lower Woodland Park on October 1; Marlene is willing to spearhead this. We will need new singlets at nationals to be in compliance with the new USATF rules on uniforms, which dictate that team logos on the front be no larger than 40 square centimeters in area, with lettering no larger than 4 centimeters in height. (This raises the question of whether we should have one logo for nationals and another for everything else, or one new logo for everything.) We might be able to get some new uniforms for a minimal cost through Brooks, but that won’t be settled until October. Brooks has a new arrangement with Russell Athletic that allows them to dye clothing via sublimation in small batches quite cheaply.

The board had a general discussion of the future of our cross country (XC) program. Getting to the national club meet is a very expensive proposition ($6,000-$8000) when it isn’t held in the Pacific Northwest. Options include doing some serious XC-specific fundraising, having people pay their own way to nationals, melding with another club, skipping nationals (except when held locally), and discontinuing XC altogether. (The last option is less attractive, as Brooks would probably like us to continue competing at the local cross country races.) Win suggested that the XC team meet at the end of this season to make decisions on what to do.

Win also suggested that it would be helpful to have a weekly workout plan to give guidance to XC runners who want it. Trisha volunteered to provide this.

Mary suggested that our website make it easier for people to get involved in XC: “Interested in XC? Here’s the link to join the club; here’s the link to join USATF; here’s the link to our weekly workouts….”

4. Fundraising

Both our XC program and the club as a whole could benefit from fundraising beyond what we take in from events and membership dues. Various ideas were tossed around. Could XC runners earn funds toward nationals by volunteering at events? Should we send a large group of people to Road Runner Sports, which pays a price-per-head fee for group visits? Trisha raised $4000-5000 for her Seattle U. teams with a silent auction 4-5 years ago; Danielle’s sorority has raised $4500 per year with a pie-eating contest. Eric suggested that the club could offer to match any fundraising done by the XC team. Above all, it seems that the club needs a fundraising chair, who should probably come from the XC team.

5. Attracting new members / membership benefits

There is a Seattle Mountain Running Group on Facebook whose interest in trail running is similar to ours. SRC members like Eric Sach and Trisha Steidl have interacted with SMRG people to see if they might want to join SRC as well, but interest appears limited so far. Perhaps interest would increase if we became better at articulating and delivering clear benefits, e.g., 10% discounts at Fleet Feet and The Balanced Athlete, which will go into effect once membership cards are mailed out. It was also suggested that during a “membership drive” we could offer a special deal such as 15 months of membership for the price of 12.

Speaking of membership cards, these could be prepared electronically and emailed to people (who would then print them out) rather than being sent via U.S. mail (unless people specifically choose that option and pay for postage). They could be made to look nice using PhotoShop or a similar program. They need to say “INDIVIDUAL” or “FAMILY” as appropriate.

The membership form is currently quite complex, with options to sign up or renew for 1-5 years as an individual or a family. John Wallace really liked the form he developed a year or two ago and will take charge of the form revisions.

6. Other items

Seattle University will be bringing 33 people to Cougar Mountain for 2 hours of trail work and invasive plant removal on September 12, with all hours going toward the SRC’s fulfillment of its contract with King County Parks.

Win suggested that Sunday runs be devised as preparation for specific ultra races, i.e., “if you’re going to do race X, go on trail run Y to experience similar terrain and conditions.” If we connect with some races, they could feature us on their websites. Win and fellow board member Blair Williams can work on this.

The next Club Night will be October 6 at The Balanced Athlete. Current club members (and anyone joining that night) will get a 20% discount on all items. We will also use that evening to promote our cross country program and membership in general. More details will be arranged soon.

Greg reported that free trials of the Alter-G anti-gravity treadmill are available through rundoctor.com, and that Eric Bone’s event production company is now renting and maintaining the SRC trailer previously kept by the McCoubreys.

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