Archive for the ‘SRC’ Category


The Seattle Running Club: proud provider of local zombie bait

July 7, 2011

Being president of the Seattle Running Club comes with certain perks. Mostly, I get some really odd emails that make me laugh. I got one yesterday about an upcoming EMP exhibit called “Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film.” I was about to delete this, since it was obviously sent to the wrong address, when I read: “As part of the marketing campaign for this exhibit, I’m collaborating with photographer Michael Clinard on a series of photographs. One of the photographs involves a zombie and a group of runners…. We are in need of some fairly fit looking ‘runner extras’ of all age groups to be in the shoot.”

So, could the SRC supply some runners for a zombie to chase? Our vice president pointed out that this type of activity isn’t really covered by our mission statement, but I said that we could help anyway. I just can’t resist lending a hand to a struggling zombie.

After all, who is better positioned than long-distance runners to relate to the feeling of being dead, or undead? Sure, some zombies walk through walls while most runners simply hit them, but we’re all kindred spirits.


Minutes of the June 9 Seattle Running Club board meeting

June 11, 2011

Location: Vino at The Landing in Renton (next to The Balanced Athlete).

In attendance: Greg Crowther, Mary Hanna, Peter Kline, Scott McManus, Eric Sach, Trisha Steidl, and Win Van Pelt.

Topics covered:

1. SRC’s inaugural Beer Ultra (and 5K-10K Run/Stagger/Crawl)

This free event, limited to club members and their families, will take place on August 6th starting at 1 PM. Participants will run a loop course that starts and ends at the home of club member Peter Kline, which is next to Bridle Trails State Park. A keg of high-quality beer will be available for rehydration, and lemon-lime Nuun — the flavor determined through extensive field testing to be most compatible with beer — will also be available. (We don’t yet have a soda sponsor, but will provide some for non-drinkers.) A nearby pool may be used as an aid station / recovery area for participants and their families. Participants will be asked to RSVP via an eVite. A course map will be distributed at the race. The race will be marketed in part via flyers at the July 9 Cougar Mountain race and at the White River 50. Flyers and other communications about the Beer Ultra should emphasize that this is not just an event for hard-drinking ultramarathoners! All club members are encouraged to come and attain the mileage and BAC that is appropriate for them.

2. Cougar Mountain Trail Running series

The SRC had a good presence at the 5-miler in May, with a booth (shared with The Balanced Athlete) and flyers. For the June 11 race, we will ask Eric Bone to highlight us more in his pre-race briefing and make small handouts to be given to racers as they check in.

3. McCoubreys’ move

The McCoubrey family is moving to Sun Valley, Idaho so that Scott McCoubrey can take a new position with Scott Sports. A subcommittee of Eric Sach, Peter Kline, and Win Van Pelt will look into an appropriate gift or tribute to thank the McCoubreys for founding the SRC and leading it for many years. The gift will be presented at the Cougar Mountain 50K on October 30.

4. Board and subcommittee assignments and changes

We continue to work on defining subcommittees and corresponding responsibilities. The departure of the McCoubreys leaves openings on the board; Danielle Hathaway and Trisha Steidl have expressed interest in these board positions, while Leslie McCoubrey’s current work as membership chair and treasurer will be redistributed among continuing board members.

5. Bylaws

The changes to the club bylaws, as suggested by Greg, Marlene, and Peter last month, were approved. In keeping with federal laws governing 501c organizations, board members need to submit conflict-of-interest disclosure forms. Win Van Pelt may help us handle this electronically with his DocuSign system.

6. Next Club Night at partner store

The next Club Night, at which club members receive 20% off all purchases, will be held Tuesday, June 28 at Fleet Feet Capitol Hill following the 6 PM group run. The theme will be “Highs and Lows at the Western States 100.” Club president Greg Crowther will moderate an informal discussion of this storied race; club members are encouraged to share their tales and/or ask questions of those who have been there!

7. Website

Glen Mangiantini and Joe Creighton continue to work (mostly behind the scenes, for now) on a new and improved SRC website. Mary Hanna said that the site could do a better job of explaining why our club is a good one to join. Let’s not be afraid to list our friendly people as a primary asset! People should look over the site and suggest improvements in wording. Also, we should consider putting together a “member workout calendar” that continues to emphasize the Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday runs but also says, “Club members can also frequently be found at the following workouts….” This will help people who are looking for additional options, such as track workouts.

8. Other items

SRC needs a new banner; the old one says “Seattle Running Company” (not S. R. Club). Eric Sach knows someone who makes good banners cheaply.

Fleet Feet Capitol Hill owner Dustin Shinholser is moving back east to take a new job with Fleet Fleet and is turning the Capitol Hill store over to Brian Morrison. Given Brian’s long history as a SRC member and friend, the mutually beneficial relationship between Fleet Feet and SRC is expected to continue.

Mary Hanna has some good leads on possible new team members. Win will check in soon with Destry Johnson and other team leaders.

Club member Scott McManus is a distributor of Herbalife products and asked the board to consider allowing him to give a one-hour seminar to club members. Due to time constraints, the board did not vote on this proposal at the meeting.


Minutes of the May 12, 2011 SRC board meeting

May 16, 2011

(These were written by Greg Crowther because secretary Julie Cassata is on sabbatical.)

Location: Nuun, directly above the Fleet Feet store (911 East Pine Street, Seattle).

Attendees: Francis Agboton, Greg Crowther, Marlene Farrell, Danielle Hathaway, Peter Kline, Eric Sach, and Win Van Pelt.

Greg ordered way too much pizza, as usual. Next time he will take orders in advance and include a dairy-free option.

The first race in the SRC’s Cougar Mountain trail running series is on Saturday the 14th. SRC’s “big-tent” philosophy will be evident in that Eric Sach and Scott McCoubrey will have canopies that the SRC can share with The Balanced Athlete and Scott Sports. Several SRC members will volunteer at the race and/or the trailwork party afterwards. (More are always welcome!)

The board approved the addition of Kevin Rindal’s chiropractic clinic (InHealth, PLLC) to the list of SRC’s partners/sponsors.

Greg, Marlene, and Peter are meeting on Friday the 13th to revise the club’s bylaws.

Greg wants to formalize the club’s loose subcommittees so that the “Contact” page of our website will say, “For inquiries about club membership, contact XXXXXXX. For inquiries about club events, contact YYYYYYYYY. Etc.” An attempt was made to define these subcommittees, and they will be posted at once finalized.

Danielle gave the board an update on her social media efforts. She has looked at the results of the recent membership survey and senses a need for more outreach and communication, including more information on what our competitive team members are up to. A plan was made to recruit people to share semi-regular updates on various aspects of the club, mostly via Facebook.

Win Van Pelt noted that Club Northwest president Ed Haywood is interested in convening representatives of various local running clubs to explore opportunities for synergy. The board indicated its approval of this, and a post-cross-country-race potluck in the fall was suggested as a possible inter-club activity.

The SRC and Cougar Mountain races are featured in the special trail issue of Runner’s World, available at newsstands through the end of May. Check it out!

Planning of the SRC’s inaugural “Beer Ultra” continues. It is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 6th near Bridle Trails State Park, with an “aid station” at Peter’s house. It will be a free noncompetitive race limited to current SRC members and their families. Eric Sach will get a beer sponsor. A community pool will be reserved for family members who don’t wish to participate in the run itself.


And the SRC’s new slogan is . . .

March 14, 2011

At the Seattle Running Club’s December board meeting, I suggested that we hold a club-wise slogan contest. It seemed like an easy, fun way to continue contemplating and defining what we stand for as a club.

Three months later, I must report that the process was not as easy or as fun as anticipated. But at least it’s finally over!

Our initial solicitation of slogan ideas drew about 20 responses. At the January board meeting, we whittled those down to four finalists: “Climbing Mountains Together Since 2003,” “If It’s Rainin’, We’re Trainin’,” “Together We Can,” and “Running Redefined.”

A vote on the finalists revealed a deeply divided club. “If It’s Rainin’, We’re Trainin'” edged “Running Redefined” for the lead, but no slogan received a majority of votes. (My own offering, “Climbing Mountains Together Since 2003,” was generally rejected as making us sound like a bunch of hikers.) Various board members wanted to accept the outcome as is, hold a run-off between the top two, or scrap the process and start over with new choices. We eventually settled on holding a run-off election, the results of which were, no joke, an 18-18 tie! OK, board, now what? A majority of board members drew upon their wisdom to make the firm, final decision that . . . I, their president, should pick the winner. Having put this whole process in motion, it was up to me to put it to rest. I guess that’s fair.

Anyway, without further ado, I’m pleased to announce that the new slogan of the Seattle Running Club is: “Running Redefined.” While I like both of the leading choices, “Running Redefined” avoids the Seattle-is-rainy cliche and accurately summarizes my overall sense of the club. When I first joined the SRC many years ago, I was a fairly typical road marathoner. Since then I have discovered the joys of trail runs and ultramarathons while meeting a slew of interesting people, some of whom have been remarkably supportive of me. The SRC has indeed redefined running for me, and for many others as well, and now we have a slogan that reflects that. Congratulations to board member Phil Kochik for submitting the winning entry.


How many ways can I say this?

January 14, 2011

We had a really good SRC board meeting last night, with lots of animated discussion of the club, its affiliated stores, and the meaning of the word “rally.”

One item that was finalized was the selection process of the club’s Brooks-sponsored competitive team for 2011. Because applications are due on January 31st, we’re trying to get the word out as quickly as possible. For my part, I’ve posted this news to the club website and club Facebook page, tweeted about it from two accounts (@trappedinlab and @seattlerunning), and sent emails to three overlapping groups of people.

Maybe I should change my voice-mail message too?


Join me at Fleet Feet on Dec. 28

December 23, 2010

Am I just kidding myself, or does this crudely photoshopped image have a certain charm to it?

club night flyer draft


The future of the Seattle Running Club, part 4

November 1, 2010

Dear club members,

The window for nominating people for positions on the club board is now closed. The final slate of nominations is as follows:
* President: Greg Crowther.
* Vice President: Win Van Pelt.
* Secretary: Julie Cassata.
* Treasurer: Peter and Michelle Kline.
* At Large: Francis Agboton, Marlene Farrell, John Guza, Mary Hanna, Phil Kochik, Scott McCoubrey, Eric Sach, Glen Weissman, Blair Williams.

At the October 19th club meeting, it was decided that we would have up to eight at-large positions on the board. As it turns out, we now have nine nominees for these eight positions. The current board members (president Scott McCoubrey, vice president Win Van Pelt, secretary Leslie McCoubrey, and treasurer John Wallace) have been advised of this matter and have agreed that, rather than having the nine people duke it out for the eight slots, we will simply welcome all of them to the board.

The next club meeting will be on Tuesday, November 9th at the Fleet Feet store (911 East Pine Street). An optional store run at 6 PM will be followed by the meeting at 7 PM and then an optional social hour and feeding frenzy at Piecora’s (1401 East Madison Street) at about 7:30. A tentative agenda for the meeting is as follows:
* Election of new board members
* Preliminary planning of frequency and format of future board meetings (e.g., can some meetings be held online to facilitate greater participation?)
* Brief discussion of club mission statement
* Brief discussion of what the club’s other immediate priorities should be

Since none of the seats on the board are being contested in this election, an electronic voting option now seems unnecessary and will not be offered.

I look forward to seeing many of you on the 9th.



The future of the Seattle Running Club, part 3

October 22, 2010

(Background: part 1; part 2.)

Eventually there will be a section of the SRC website where meeting minutes are archived, but for now, here’s the latest.

whiteboard at end of SRC meeting

Greg’s summary of the October 19, 2010 meeting of the Seattle Running Club

Attendees included Eric Bone, Julie Cassata, Greg Crowther, John Guza, Peter Kline (host), Leslie and Scott McCoubrey, Win Van Pelt, Glen Weissman, and Blair Williams.

The top priority of this meeting was to make progress toward electing new club officers, as our longtime president and treasurer (Scott and Leslie McCoubrey, respectively) are stepping down. After some discussion, those present agreed that we would elect a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer, plus up to eight “at-large” board members who, as the club continues to evolve, may eventually have more specific duties and titles (membership chair, social chair, marketing director, events liaison, etc.) corresponding to their areas of interest.

The roles of the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer were discussed. Approximate job descriptions are as follows.

PRESIDENT: Provides “big-picture” coordination of the club. Runs the board meetings. Preserves and refines the club’s vision and mission.

VICE PRESIDENT: Fills in for the president when he/she is unavailable. Helps ensure smooth transitions from one administration to the next. Otherwise serves in the manner of a board member at large.

SECRETARY: Oversees communication with club members, including processing of new memberships. Writes and distributes minutes of board meetings. Works with the webmaster (assumed to be a separate person) to keep club web pages updated and accessible.

TREASURER: Uses software (e.g., QuickBooks) to track money coming into and out of the club — mostly event registration and membership fees, event expenses, and donations. Prepares budgets for future events (not currently done, but we can dream…).

Having defined the board of directors as the four positions listed above plus up to eight at-large positions, we then accepted preliminary nominations for these positions. Additional nominations may be emailed to Greg Crowther ( before November 1, 2010. While any club member may nominate any club member (including yourself), you’re encouraged to talk to potential nominees before nominating them so that we can avoid “Shermanesque statements.”

A decision was made not to publicize the nominations already received so as to encourage additional nominations. In other words, we don’t want someone to decline to run for a position simply because someone else has already been nominated. If you are absolutely dying to know who has been nominated so far, get in touch with Greg. The finalized slate of nominations will be announced on November 1.

Elections will be held at our next all-club meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, November 9 at the Capitol Hill Fleet Feet store (formerly the Seattle Running Company). All members are invited to participate in the usual Tuesday night store run, which starts at 6 PM. Elections and general discussion will start at 7 PM; nominees need not be present to win. At around 7:30 we will head over to Piecora’s, as the Tuesday night runners often do. Those unable to attend the elections in person will have the option of submitting their ballots via email.

Aside from club officers and elections, several other issues were also discussed. Rather than providing an exhaustive summary, I will just mention two items: (A) we need to prepare a club vision/mission statement ASAP, and (B) eight volunteers are needed for the final Cougar Mountain work party of the year (October 30, 9 AM, Sky Country trailhead). People interested in the work party should contact Scott McCoubrey (


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 (; 206-290-8826) by the 16th so that I can give Peter an approximate head count.


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.


The future of the Seattle Running Club

September 23, 2010

Members of the Seattle Running Club continue to churn out impressive performances. For example, at the Super Jock ‘n Jill Half Marathon on September 6th, Uli Steidl placed 3rd (1:07:32) and Travis Boyd 7th (1:09:32). On the women’s side, Trisha Steidl was 8th (1:25:27) and 49-year-old Mary Hanna 14th (1:29:50). Glen Weissman took 4th in the concurrent “4+ mile run.” At the Sundodger cross-country meet on September 18th, our top performers were Marlene Farrell (7th in the women’s open 6K, 22:10) and Uli (10th in the men’s invitational 8K, 24:28).

Despite good race results and continuing support from Brooks, the future of the SRC is largely uncertain. Club founder and president Scott McCoubrey is reducing his involvement in the club, so new leaders and new plans are needed.

To get things rolling again, the SRC is holding a meeting on Monday, September 27th at 6 PM at The Balanced Athlete (in Renton, at the south end of Lake Washington). We’ll be discussing the fall cross-country season, electing new officers, and starting to chart a course into 2011 and beyond.

If you have a connection to the SRC, either as a current or past member or as someone who might be interested in joining in the future, please come to this meeting.