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Minutes

Men's Long Distance Running General Sessions
November 30 - December 1, 2007 (USA Track & Field Annual Meeting)
Honolulu, Hawaii

Attendees: The following individuals attended one or more of the MLDR sessions: Glenn Latimer (Chair), Philip Greenwald (Treasurer), Mark Winitz (Secretary), Tyler Abbott, Larry Alserda, Linda Barnhart, Norm Brand, Daniel Browne, Jeff Darman, Fred Finke, Will Graustein, Barrett Hopper, Thom Hunt, Brian Jones, Teddy Mitchell, Bob Larsen, Bob Latham, Gary Morgan, David Martin, Al Morris, Ed Neighbour, Jim Peterson, Rick Recker, Ulysses Rozelle, Don Shapan, Scott Simmons, Ken Skinner, Allan Steinfeld, Ed Torres, Mary Watters, Anthony Wide, Cynthia Young

Guests: Virginia Achman, Eric Barron, Andy Carr, Mason Cathey, Don Chapin, David Coyne, Trent Ellis, John Erickson, Jim Estes, Jim Garcia, Paul Greer, Carl Grossbard, Jack Hazen, Bob Hersh, Ryan Hall, David Katz, Max King, Jim Knoedel, Nancy Kuyoth, Will Lindgren, Brian Mastel, LeeAnne Meyer, David Monti, Gene Newman, Roderic Newton, Howard Nippert, Eric Petersen, Roy Pirrung, Mickey Piscitelli, Mike Scott, Tomy Sitton, Larry Smithee, Lloyd Stephenson, Anne Timmons, Joe Vigil

 

SESSION 1 - NOVEMBER 30

The meeting was called to order by Chair Glenn Latimer at 1:06 p.m.

The Chair introduced the Men's Long Distance Running (MLDR) Executive Committee members, and said that Ed Torres will replace Ian Dobson on the Executive Committee as of January 1, 2008.

Attendance/Roll Call: Secretary Mark Winitz briefly reviewed the criteria for committee membership and voting. He then performed a roll call.

Minutes from 2006 and 2007: A motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes of the MLDR Committee from the 2006 USATF Annual Meeting. There was no discussion. The motion passed.

The MLDR agenda for the 2007 USATF Annual Meeting was accepted.

Olympic Marathon Trials Report: Jim Estes (USATF Senior Manager of LDR) reported that the USA Olympic Team Trials - Men's Marathon was a huge success and the event set a fine stepping stone for the future. New York City and the New York Road Runners Club (NYRRC) were great partners for the event. David Monti (Elite Athletes Coordinator for NYRRC) said that technically the race was a success, and that the tragedy of Ryan Shay's death could not be anticipated. Many personal records were run on the multi-loop course.

IAAF Elections Report from Osaka: Glenn Latimer
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' level.

Matters Arising from MLDR Executive Committee:

Headphones: A short discussion transpired regarding USATF Rule 144.3(b), adopted last year, which prohibits the use of audio (MP3) players and similar electronic devices in road races. The rule may be re-addressed next year at the 2008 USATF Annual Meeting since the USATF national office is receiving criticism about the rule from runners who love their iPods and race organizers who feel the rule is not enforceable.

Road Race Crisis Planning: A discussion regarding sentiments by some race directors that the USATF Rules of Competition should address mandatory crisis/disaster planning procedures for road races resulted in the opinion among committee members that this is a vital matter, but it is not appropriate for the rule book. No action was taken.

Olympic Marathon Trials Standards: Allan Steinfeld made a motion to adopt the following qualifying standards for the 2012 Men's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, based on a recommendation from the MLDR Executive Committee: (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 motion received a second and discussion focused on the facts that this will create a standard that eliminates the current two-tiered standard system ("A" and "B" standards), and might produce a trials field of 65 to 85 athletes-a manageable size for the hosts which will also reduce some of the substantial financial burden imposed on the organizers. The motion passed with no opposition.

Men's LDR Awards Report: Mark Winitz
The recipients of the awards traditionally given our by the MLDR Committee were announced (nominations were taken, and voting conducted, by e-mail prior to the convention). The award winners are:

Scott Hamilton Award: Tyler Abbott
H. Browning Ross Merit Award: Don Kardong
Robert E. Decelle Award: Ryan Hall
Allan Steinfeld Award: Allan Steinfeld

A short discussion explored alternative nominating procedures for these awards in the future. A motion was made and seconded to form an Awards Subcommittee which will annually form a slate of nominees for each award. Discussion followed. The group agreed that a nomination and a second will be required from subcommittee members for each nominee listed on the slate, and the MLDR Committee members will continue to select the award winners via e-mail ballot. Motion passed. The Chair appointed the MLDR Secretary to Chair this Subcommittee and Tomy Sitton, Brian Mastel, and Jim Peterson were appointed as additional Subcommittee members.

Technical Issues: David Katz
David Katz reported that the IAAF is conducting a study which tests current transponder timing systems, and compares them against Fully Automatic Timing (FAT) systems to determine their accuracy. The IAAF hopes to subsequently set parameters for transponder timing systems based on this data, so they will uniformly produce accurate results. A report containing the study's findings is forthcoming in a "year or so."

Law and Legislation Report: David Coyne
David Coyne reported that there are minimal proposed amendments to USATF Bylaws and Regulations that directly affect LDR.

David Monti suggested that the timeline for approving LDR national records be amended so they are ratified in a timely manner as they occur, rather than waiting for them to be ratified at each USATF Annual Meeting at the end of the year. Andy Carr (USATF LDR Records Keeper) said that all USA LDR records are available online. David Coyne mentioned that since the deadline for proposed amendments to USATF's bylaws and operating regulations had already passed, Mr. Monti's proposal would have to wait for consideration in a future L&L "year" (every odd-numbered year). Following discussion, a motion was made to change the process (via the Law and Legislation Committee and Records Committee) so records can be ratified in a timely fashion rather than waiting for annual approval. Motion seconded and passed.

Records Report: Andy Carr
MLDR approved the following road records for ratification:

(1) M open 25 km 1:14:21 Fernando Cabada 24 VA Fifth Third River Bank Grand Rapids, MI 05/13/06

(2) M open Half Mar 59:43 Ryan Hall 24 CA Aramco Houston Houston, TX 01/14/07

Additionally, approved the following previously deferred road records for ratification:

(3) M a/comers 25 km 1:13:27 Simon Wangai (KEN) Fifth Third River Bank Grand Rapids, MI 05/14/05

(4) M open 48 hr. 400,000m John Geesler 44 NY Across the Years Litchfield Park, AZ 12/30/03

And rejected the following pending mark because it cannot be validated:

(5) M open 42.195 km 5-Man Relay 2:01:40 Chiba Int. Ekiden JPN 12/15/91

David Katz reported that the IAAF has voted against recognizing world records for 5 km on the roads.

Associations Report: Gary Morgan
Reported that there was nothing of interest for MLDR, as yet, to report from the Associations Committee.

Athletes Advisory Council Report: Teddy Mitchell
Reported that everything addressed so far in the Council related to preparing for Eugene and Beijing.

Athletics for the Disabled: No Report.

MLDR Championships/USA Road Circuit Events (2007): Bob Latham
The following MLDR Championships were approved:

1/13/08 Half Marathon - Aramco Houston Half Marathon, Houston, TX $62,500
3/8/08 15 km - Gate River Run, Jacksonville, FL $23,500
3/15/08 8 km - NYRR 8K, New York, NY $35,000
5/10/08 25 km - Fifth Third River Bank Run, Grand Rapids, MI $18,100 (also awarded for 2009)
9/1/08 20 km - Stratton Faxon New Haven 20K, New Haven, CT $20,000
9/21/08 5 km - CVS/Pharmacy Downtown 5K, Providence, RI $15,000
10/5/08 Marathon - Metronic Twin Cities Marathon, MN $81,000 + $8,500

Association Athlete Development Program: Brian Jones, Glenn Latimer
Brian Jones provided a summary of the USATF AADP program in 2007. Five races served as AADP events with 23 athlete slots available, and 18 slots were used. Ken Skinner (Adirondack Association) said that athletes from his association benefited from the program.

The Chair explained that the purpose of the program is to support developing elite athletes, not athletes who lack this potential. He said that in the future MLDR will more closely examine the athletes which associations select for AADP support to make sure they fit this criteria.

Road Running Technical Council Report: Gene Newman
Reported that important Council projects in 2007 included the measurement, certification, and validation of the men's and women's 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials courses.

Mountain, Ultra, and Trail (MUT) Council Report: Roy Pirrung, Howard Nippert
Roy and Howard provided a brief review of the 2007 MUT championships. The number of championships (10 in 2007), and prize purses, are increasing. They also briefly reviewed the 2007 100km IAU World Cup in The Netherlands where the U.S. men's team earned the bronze medal. The 2008 100km IAU World Cup will be held in Tuscania, Italy on November 8.

Substance Abuse, Education, and Testing Report: Jim Peterson
Jim reported that there were no positive drug tests at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan. The fight for funding for adequate testing continues. There is a need for more athletes (such as Paula Radcliffe) who diligently work for a clean sport. Dr. Randy Wilber is working to identify U.S. athletes who have asthma or exercise induced asthma so they can obtain therapeutic medical waivers from WADA before international competitions (including the Olympic Games in Beijing). Jim also touched upon how the International Cycling Union, with support from WADA, is moving to implement (January, 2008) a requirement for a "biological passport" (personal medical profile history) for cyclists.

International Competition Report: Fred Finke
Fred described USATF staff selection procedures and philosophies for international competitions. Anyone can submit to be considered for staff selection and evaluation. The Chair added that, thanks to Fred's work, MLDR has had great success with its team leaders in the last few years.

IAAF Cross Country Report: Anne Timmons
Anne is investigating (with Evie Dennis) possibilities for raising the substantial funding required to win a bid that would bring the IAAF World Cross Country Championships to the U.S. She is also working on lobbying efforts within the IAAF for making the size of senior women's teams (6 starters, 4 scorers) at the World Championships equal to senior men's teams (9 starters, 6 scorers).

IAAF Report: Bob Hersh
Bob reported on recent IAAF activities of importance to LDR and his work, in particular, on the IAAF Competition Commission. The IAAF Road Running Commission has made a recommendation that the IAAF World Road Running/Half Marathon Championships go back to the half marathon distance and that the IAAF should look into holding these championships in conjunction with existing events. The IAAF will now recognize major road races around the world by establishing IAAF Gold and Silver level "Labels" for leading road races-about 40 races annually-and the IAAF is working with AIMS and the World Marathon Majors on this concept.

Rules Report: Phil Greenwald
The report covered suggested changes to competition rules as submitted to the Rules Committee which are of interest to, or pertain to, LDR. The committee made a recommendation on the following rules item:

Item 4: (Rule 146.2) Reduce protests period in cross country races from 24 hours to an hour. A motion to recommend approval was made, seconded, and carefully discussed. Motion was defeated. Phil was asked to take the MLDR recommendation of not to approve back to the Rules Committee. He subsequently reported, after returning from the Rules Committee, that the Rules Committee would discuss and make a decision. (The Rules Committee eventually chose to recommend adoption of this amendment and it passed by the USATF general assembly as part of the final rules package.)

Ryan Hall Q&A Session: (non-agenda item) Ryan was introduced, and committee members asked him questions about his dominant Marathon Trials win and preparations for the Games.

The committee recessed at 4:08 p.m.

 

SESSION 2 - DECEMBER 1

The MLDR Committee reconvened at 12:06 p.m.

USATF President Bill Roe gave the group an update about USATF restructuring.

Budget/Fiscal: Phil Greenwald
Phil Greenwald reported that the proposed MLDR committee budget for FY 2008 was $19,000-a $1,000 increase over 2007. The additional funding is primarily allocated for administrative travel to MLDR championships. (This budget item was eventually approved by the general assembly as part of the budget package.)

Distance Summits: Joe Vigil, David Martin
Dr. Vigil, the men's distance coach for the 2008 Olympic Games, spoke about scientific testing that would be conducted with LDR athletes who make the Olympic team. He said that he was particularly concerned about air pollution in Beijing, and that tests conducted on athletes prior to the Games would include the identification of vasoconstriction of athlete airways in polluted environments. Reported that there will be a clinic for U.S. Olympic marathon team members and alternates, their personal coaches, and Olympic coaches in Colorado Springs, May 16-19 to help prepare for Beijing. This clinic proved very beneficial in 2004. Additional LDR clinics/summits will include an Distance Podium Summit in December, 2007 (held annually) and a possible distance clinic at the 2008 USA Cross Country Championships/Team Trials (February, 2008, in San Diego).

David Martin provided a review of the 2007 IAAF World Championships marathons in Osaka and a preview of the 2008 Olympic Games marathons. He said that he was confident that air pollution issues will be taken care of by the Chinese in Beijing, but, nevertheless, the U.S. team will be prepared for it. He predicted a repeat in Beijing of Osaka weather conditions (miserable and wretched, he said).

Cross Country: Mike Scott summarized the 2007 USA Cross Country Championships (club championships and world team trials), NACAC championship, and the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa. He previewed the 2008 USA Cross Country Championships (San Diego-February and Spokane-December), the 2008 NACAC Cross Country Championships (tentatively Disney World, Florida), and 2008 IAAF World Cross Country Championships (conditionally, Amman, Jordan).

Thom Hunt and Paul Greer added details about the 2008 USA Cross Country Championships/World team trials in San Diego.

USA Distance Project: (Item tabled; addressed in a separate MLDR forum.)

International Competitions: LeeAnn Meyer gave a report on the 2007 Chiba Ekiden Marathon Relay (mixed men's/women's teams). Glenn explained that the U.S. did not send a men's team to the IAAF World Road Running Champs (could not send a qualified team that would be competitive due to athletes' focus on the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials). World Road Running Champs will become the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships again next year (Rio, Brazil). Men plan to send teams there, and to Chiba (mixed men's/women's team) again. A USA vs. Mexico vs. Canada vs. Great Britain International Marathon Challenge is scheduled at the 2008 Austin Marathon.

Chair Glenn Latimer adjourned the meeting at 1:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by:
Mark Winitz, Secretary

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