Archive for the ‘SRC’ Category


The once and future ultrarunner

October 25, 2013

To read my latest blog entry, head on over to


2013: SRC turns 10

January 1, 2013

The Seattle Running Club celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

The club is asking people to share their favorite memories of the SRC and founder Scott McCoubrey, so here are a few relevant links:
* how Scott inspired me to become an ultrarunner (2005)
* Scott named Mountain/Ultra/Trail Contributor of the Year by USATF (2008)
* my profile of Scott for (2011)
* photo of Scott and me (2012)

Thanks, SRC!


From the SRC blog: “The race of his dreams”

August 4, 2012

Joe Creighton asked me to write something for the Seattle Running Club blog about Sage Canaday’s course record at the 2012 White River 50, so I did.


Crowther as Bateman

July 24, 2012

Joe Creighton has posted his interview of me on the Seattle Running Club blog.

The interview included a photo shoot, which gave me the chance to impersonate Jason Bateman in one of his “bealeaguered straight man” roles.

Me with raised eyebrows

Bateman with raised eyebrows

Me looking skyward

Bateman looking skyward

(1st and 3rd photos by Terry Creighton; 2nd photo from; 4th photo from


Minutes of Feb. 9 SRC board meeting

February 29, 2012

Update: As of March 12, the minutes of the February 9th SRC board meeting are now posted to the SRC website, as future minutes will be.


Minutes of November SRC board meeting

November 19, 2011

Julie Cassata is back from her summer-long adventure and has resumed her secretarial duties for the Seattle Running Club. Thanks to Julie for the following minutes.

* * *

2011-11-09 Seattle Running Club Board Meeting

Location: 7pm at Nuun office, 915 E Pine St, Suite 401, Seattle, WA (in the Oddfellows building above Fleet Feet). Optional group run at 6pm at Fleet Feet, 911 E Pine St.

In attendance:
John Wallace
Danielle Henty
Francis Agboton
Greg Crowther
Trisha Steidl
Julie Cassata
Win Van Pelt
Eric Bone

Officers and board members were officially declared as follows.
Officers (4):
• President: Win Van Pelt
• Vice president: Danielle Henty
• Secretary: Julie Cassata
• Treasurer: John Wallace
Board members (9):
• Francis Agboton
• Marlene Farrell
• Sara Malcolm
• Mary Hanna
• Greg Crowther
• Trisha Steidl
• Joe Creighton
• Blair Williams
• Eric Sach

Sunday Run / site update:
• 6-15 people come out for the Sunday trail runs, on average. There are 221 members of the SRC meetup group, which focuses on the Sunday run.
• Sunday run location is most often at Cougar Mountain, where there’s a variety of possible routes. The run can be in a different location from week to week. Check meetup site for Sunday run location. The location should be posted by mid-week.
• Some Sunday runs will be focused on preparing for upcoming trail races, such as Bridle Trails and Chuckanut.

Membership cards and discount at sponsor stores:
• John is going to make pdf’s of each member’s membership card. Once completed, each member will receive their membership card by email, also informing them that they receive 10% daily discount at sponsor stores, Fleet Feet (Seattle), and the Balanced Athlete (Renton) when membership card is presented either on a mobile device or paper printed card. (Coordinated with Julie.)
• Once electronic cards are created and sent via email, we’ll announce the member discount on the website, facebook, twitter, and meetup.
• John will look into Vistaprint for printing cards for new members. The stores will have blank cards on hand and fill out when new members come in to retrieve their club tshirts.

Club night at Fleet Feet Seattle:
• It is Fleet Feet’s turn to host this quarter’s club discount night, but we may have a club night at each sponsored store in honor of the holidays. Members get 20% off their regular priced purchases.
• Danielle will discuss with owner Brian Morrison to finalize date. December 13th is potentially a good date.
• Emails with membership cards, and general daily discount announcement will occur before Club Night so members can plan their holiday shopping accordingly.

Website update:
• Glen Mangiantini is working on a number of tasks on our online membership database.
• Joe Creighton is continuing work on the new website design.
• Win plans to create a Picasa album of SRC general photos that Joe C. will place into the current website.
• Past board meeting minutes should be archived on the new website. For now, we will continue to post them on Greg’s personal website, and provide a link on the current website.

Other discussions:
• Win submitted information on the club to NW Runner magazine. Trisha will get updates to NW Runner throughout the year. Contact Trisha if you have any update or article ideas.
• The Competitor magazine is another place where we can have club write-ups, photos, articles, etc.
• The new website can have a link to an external wiki page where members can post their planned and completed races, to log their events and to see what events other members are participating in. Francis volunteered to monitor this aspect of the website when it is up and running.
• Julie and Danielle to look into whether or not we can “Invite all” to the events we post to our facebook page, so messages are sent out to everyone that likes the club, so people are aware of the events without visiting the facebook page. Danielle thinks that can be done for a facebook group, but not for a facebook page, which is what we currently have.
• Bridle Trails Winter Running Festival will be January 21, 2012.
• Board members should submit photos of themselves to be included in the board page of the website.
• Julie may offer a PCT slideshow / discussion at the March Club Night.
• Club membership scholarships are acceptable for cross country runners that need financial assistance.

Next meeting:
• January date yet to be determined. Meeting will coordinate with end-of-the-year cross county celebration.
• Location yet to be determined. If not in the vicinity of Renton, the next meeting will resume the Renton – Seattle – Renton – Seattle pattern. Possible places for the meeting / celebration include a community center, church, apartment commons room, or house.
• Board will meet before the celebration for a short meeting.
• The focus of the next meeting will be to discuss club revenue.
• Fundraising ideas for 2012 cross country season will be discussed with teammates at the celebration.
• Team members can be polled regarding whether they prefer Thursday or Sunday for the celebration using a poll.


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, and that Eric Bone’s event production company is now renting and maintaining the SRC trailer previously kept by the McCoubreys.


Me and Scottie McC

August 12, 2011

My first firsthand exposure to ultrarunning came in 2001, when I paced William Emerson through 20 miles of the Cascade Crest 100. We spent most of our time walking and got slightly lost, and I tripped and fell a lot. I tentatively concluded that ultrarunners are crazy.

I helped William again at the 2002 White River 50, and it was totally different. Being a mere 50 miles, much more runnable, and exquisitely organized by Scott McCoubrey and his team, White River was a race I could imagine doing someday. Charlie Dresen’s video (part 2) includes some great snippets of winner Nate McDowell, who made a strong impression on me as he galloped into the Skookum Flats aid station at sub-6-minute pace, seemingly unperturbed by the 43-plus miles already covered.

By 2004-05, I had started to compete in ultramarathons. An account of those early months is included in a Northwest Runner article about the 2005 World Cup 100K. The article mentions Scott McCoubrey’s role in leading me (and many others) to explore trail and ultrarunning, but it’s hard to capture Scott in print (though Heidi Dietrich gave it a good shot in a 2008 article for Puget Sound Business Journal). You really need to talk with him in person to understand how engaging, inspiring, and friendly he is.

For this reason, I’ve spent the last year wanting to do a Scott video (the next-best thing to an in-person encounter). After shooting some footage at White River two weekends ago, adding some royalty-free music, and assembling everything in Microsoft Windows Movie Maker, I’m finally done. I hope the video and companion article convey what a special person Scott is and how much he has contributed to the running community here in Seattle and around the world.


Big party weekend

August 6, 2011

Last night I was at a party hosted by my boss, and today I’ll be at the Seattle Running Club’s “Beer Ultra” (though I won’t be running or drinking).

Here’s an anecdote from last night.


Minutes of the July 14 Seattle Running Club board meeting

July 16, 2011

Location: Nuun (in the Oddfellows Building on Capitol Hill, above Fleet Feet).

In attendance: Francis Agboton, Greg Crowther, Danielle Hathaway, Peter Kline, Phil Kochik, Eric Sach, Trisha and Uli Steidl, and Win Van Pelt.

Topics covered:

0. Pizza math

Greg finally managed to order the right amount and flavors of pizza. This was highly satisfying to him, and perhaps to others as well.

1. Board vacancies

The McCoubreys’ departure for Idaho left two open spots on the board of directors.  Danielle Hathaway and Trisha Steidl were elected to these positions. They and the other board members will sign conflict-of-interest disclosure forms (as required of all US nonprofit corporations) to be distributed by Greg.

Leslie McCoubrey remains the interim treasurer at the moment, but a new treasurer will need to take over by the end of the month. Greg and Leslie are talking to a candidate who seems like a good fit. Francis has experience with bookkeeping and will help oversee the new person.

2. White River 50

This will be the McCoubreys’ final year directing White River.  Discussions with possible successors are pending.

Scott McCoubrey is looking for a couple of additional volunteers to help with course scouting and marking on July 28-29. Please email him ( if you would like to help with this. Volunteers for all other facets of the race are also appreciated; please contact volunteer coordinator John Wallace ( if you can help. Eric Sach is working on rounding up gels and supplements for the race; Greg may donate his personal collection, since he is months if not years away from being able to go on a gel-worthy run.

3. Fat Glass 50K and membership growth

Planning of the August 6th “Beer Ultra” continues.  This free event is open to everyone, though participants are encouraged to join the SRC if they are not members already. Please RSVP at the Facebook event page unless you’re an anti-Facebook person, in which case you can RSVP to Among the many awesome perks of this race: someone will be there taking photos, and they will not try to sell them back to you — you can have the images for free!  Greg will finalize a simple event flyer that can be printed and distributed at our partner stores, at White River, etc.

One possible source of new SRC members is the Seattle Mountain Runners, a Facebook group with a seemingly insatiable appetite for trail running. Let’s continue making friends with them, and let’s try to get as many of them as possible to attend the Fat Glass 50K and the next Club Night at The Balanced Athlete (tentatively scheduled for September).

4. Shirts for club members and others

A lengthy discussion was had on whether new club members should continue to receive shirts automatically, whether shirts should be received in the mail or picked up at our partner stores or both, and whether additional club shirts should be sold at the stores. (The Balanced Athlete can do this; Fleet Feet  might be able to if the Fleet Feet logo is on the shirt somewhere…. Eric will talk to Brian Morrison about these rules and about screening logos onto the batch of shirts that he is currently holding.)

We will try to modify our membership form so that it has fewer options overall but includes a “mail the shirt to me for $5 extra” option.  We might also consider making the shirts in a different color each year so that people will want to collect them all.

5. Tribute to the McCoubreys

Eric will talk to the parks regarding this semi-secret project. Win will talk to possible providers of materials. Danielle will talk to a possible artisan. Depending on the ultimate cost, we may donate some race proceeds, put out a call for donations on Facebook, and/or add a “make a donation” option to membership renewals.

6. Cross-country season

Leslie has mailed a check to Greg so that the SRC can be current on its PNTF/USATF dues. A preliminary schedule of cross-country races is posted to our Teams page, with the first race being Sundodger on September 17.

7. Next meeting

There will not be an official board meeting in August. However, board members and competitive team members will probably hold a meeting at Brooks, the club’s primary corporate sponsor.