Men's Long Distance Running Executive Committee
November 29, 2007 (USA Track & Field Annual Meeting)
Attendees: Executive Committee Members: Glenn Latimer (Chair), Mark
Winitz (Secretary), Philip Greenwald (Treasurer), Fasil Bizuneh, Dan Browne,
David Coyne, Matt Gabrielson, Max King, David Martin, Tomy Sitton, Allan
A quorum was present.
Guests: Tyler Abbott, Jim Estes, Fred Finke, (Al) Humberto Hernandez,
David Katz, Bob Latham, Dave Milner, Edwardo Torres, Joe Vigil, Scott
Christensen, Brian Jones, Scott Simmons
Men's LDR Chair Glenn Latimer convened the meeting at 11:09 a.m.
- Introductions: The Chair introduced the athletes present (Fasil Bizuneh,
Dan Browne, Matt Gabrielson, Max King, Edwardo Torres) and confirmed
that all athletes present want to continue as athlete representatives on
the Executive Committee. Edwardo Torres will assume a spot on the
Committee as of January 1, 2008.
- Agenda Amendments/Additions: The Secretary asked for any additions or
amendments to the agenda. The agenda was approved without any additions
- Approve Minutes: The Secretary asked for any amendments to the 2006
Executive Committee minutes. The minutes were approved without any
- Continuing the MLDR Path: The Chair reported that our men's long
distance runners and teams had a very good year. The depth in the men's
LDR ranks continues to grow and other countries are taking U.S distance
running very seriously.
- Men's Marathon Olympic Trials: The Chair reported that the U.S.
Olympic Team Trials-Men's Marathon in New York City was a success,
overshadowed by sadness as Ryan Shay is no longer with us. The times and
performances were superb. Allen Steinfeld commented that a major city
has brought attention to the Trials that it deserves. He said that USOC
sponsorship branding issues prevented the New York Road Runners Club
from achieving all of its goals. The NYRRC spent $1.2 million on the
Trials event in a net loss endeavor. Discussion followed.
The Chair thanked the Executive Committee for its efforts in a
successful Trials. Fasil Bizuneh said that the exciting atmosphere and
course was a factor in athletes competing well. Dan Browne said that he
"felt like a rock star" as a Trials participant competing
before so many people. He said that television coverage similar to that
secured for the NYC Trials is essential for raising the profile of road
The Chair requested the Executive Committee's opinion regarding whether
MLDR should continue a process of bidding for future Men's Olympic
Marathon Trials or simply award the event to a major city like Boston,
Chicago, or New York City because of its resounding success. Dan Browne
mentioned that if it is awarded to New York City, he would like to see
the Trials a part of the main New York City Marathon race to raise its
profile even more. Phil Greenwald said he felt that there are other
events that could do an equally good job and expressed concern about
loss of focus on American runners and the Trials if the Trials are held
simultaneously with the NYC Marathon.
David Katz, who designed the Trials course, said the event was
technically perfect. He recommended holding it in the same way
(dedicated race and course) where the focus is entirely on the Trials
athletes. Joe Vigil recommended going back to New York without a bid
process, and suggested no change in format, saying that our athletes
deserve dedicated attention and that they must concentrate on their own
race instead of running with foreign elites. Ed Torres said he would
like to see other cities given a chance to bid-with an option of going
back to New York if no bids meet specific criteria. No action was taken.
- Headphones/MP3 Players (non-agenda item): Fred Finke reported that he,
and others in the national office, are receiving criticism from race
directors about the amendment to USATF Rule 144.3(b) adopted last year
that prohibits the use of audio (MP3) players and similar electronic
devices in road races. He also discussed liability concerns for USATF
expressed by several attorneys. He said that next year a rules amendment
will be submitted removing the ban in all sanctioned events except for
USATF LDR championship races. A number of committee members expressed
that the rule should not be imposed if it is not enforceable.
Fred also mentioned that several people have suggested to him the
creation of an LDR award in honor of Mike Long (deceased elite athlete
recruiter and coordinator for Elite Racing, Inc.). No action was taken
as the committee felt it was an item for the LDR Division.
- IAAF Elections: The Chair mentioned that Mary Wittenberg was
appointed by the IAAF as a representative on the IAAF Road Running
Commission In Osaka, David Katz was re-elected to the IAAF Technical
Committee, but the USA nominee for the Cross Country Committee failed to
get re-elected. The Chair mentioned that the issue of process for IAAF
nominee elections had been raised at the USATF Board of Directors'
- USA Distance Project: The Chair asked Jim Estes to report. He said
that the USATF Foundation is adopting the USA Distance Project as one of
its projects for funding. Foundation board member Jack Wickens is
working on LDR's behalf in this regard, including the creation of a list
of expectations for training groups seeking funding.
- USA Teams, 2007 Review: MLDR team selectors elected not to send a
team to the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Champs. They felt that we could
not send a strong team or a full team (given that many top men were
preparing for the U.S. marathon trials).
Dan Browne commended the team selectors for U.S. men's recent success in
international team competitions. He said that the standards of
excellence have been raised for making these teams, giving athletes more
incentive for achieving excellence.
- Joint Men's/Women's Selection Criteria ant Team Opportunities: Jim
Estes will publish the selection criteria and opportunities on the USATF
web site for 2008.
- 2008 Major International Events for Men's LDR: IAAF World Half
Marathon/21K in Rio de Janeiro in October, Olympic marathon in Beijing
in August, Chiba International Ekiden in November.
- Olympic Marathon Trials Standards: The Chair initiated a discussion
regarding Olympic Trials Standards for the future. The committee agreed
that a single trials standard (rather than "A" and
"B" standards) is desirable for 2012, providing impetus for
athletes to raise the bar. The committee agreed that the marathon trials
should be for athletes who have a reasonable chance for making the U.S.
Olympic team, and that times for top U.S. men in the marathon have
generally been getting faster for the past several years. They projected
that this trend will continue. The athletes present lobbied strongly for
more stringent standards. After careful discussion among the group, Alan
Steinfeld moved the following standards for the 2012 Trials: (1)
sub-2:19:00 marathon, (2) sub-1:05:00 half marathon, (3) sub-28:30
10,000m on the track. The marathon and half marathon standards must be
attained on USATF "record quality" courses, for which a list
will be created, and the qualifying window will begin on January 1,
2010. The possibility exists for a one-day qualifying window in the fall
of 2009 if the USA National Championships Marathon is held at that time.
The motion was seconded and unanimously passed. These new standards will
be presented to the general MLDR Meeting the next day for discussion and
a vote, and if approved, will be immediately announced.
- Cross Country Report: The 2007 USA Cross Country Championships/World
Team Trials in Boulder, CO were a success, and attracted large crowds.
The full cross country report was deferred to the Men's LDR General
- 2007 Men's LDR Committee Awards: The Secretary announced the winners
of the annual awards bestowed by Men's LDR (see MLDR, Session 2 minutes
- 2007 Men's LDR Championships: Bob Latham reported on the 2007 MLDR
championships. He also discussed the 2008 MLDR championship selections
and beyond There are no bidders for a 2008 men's road10K or marathon
road relay to date. A motion was made to accept the 2008 championship
slate, seconded, and unanimously passed (see MLDR, Session 1 minutes for
Brian Jones provided a summary of the USATF AADP program in 2007. The
Chair mentioned that in some cases Associations are sending athletes to
AADP program championships who are not of "developmental"
quality. Full discussion deferred to the MLDR General Session (see MLDR,
Session 1 minutes for details).
- USATF Bylaws and Rules Amendments: Phil Greenwald provided a brief
report. Full report deferred to the MLDR General Session after the Law
and Legislation and Rule Committees meet (see MLDR, Session 1
- Finance/Budget: Phil Greenwald (Treasurer) reported that the
proposed 2008 budget for MLDR is $19,000, an increase from the 2007
budget by $1,000.
- Coaching Education: Scott Christensen gave a brief report.
- Development: The following clinics and distance summits were briefly
- Clinics preparing for Osaka (2007) and Beijing 2008
- High Performance Distance Summit (Dec. '07, Las Vegas)
The meeting adjourned at 1:03 p.m.