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Mountain/Ultra/Trail 1998 Annual Meeting Minutes

December 3, 1998
Orlando, Florida

Attending: Ruth Anderson, Jakson Badenhoop, Dan Brannen, Mickey Dockwiller, Henley Gabeau, Lorraine Gersitz (subcommittee co-chair), Dave Gwyn, David Hatten, Doris Heritage, Nancy Hobbs (meeting chair, subcommittee budget director), Jim Kaiser, Don Kardong, Nina Kuscsik, David Lawhorn, Geoff Masanet, Scot Mellor, Ed Parrot, Ken Robichaud, Alan Roth, Jane Serues, Kevin Setnes (member), Joy Smith, Donna Tutush. Subcommittee members unable to attend the convention: Janice Anderson, Dave Dunham, Tom Johnson (subcommittee co-chair), Doug Laufer, Roy Pirrung

Minutes: Since there was not a quorum of the subcommittee members, no items were voted on. The minutes will be distributed to the subcommittee for complete review and discussion.

1) Title of subcommittee Initially the subcommittee was proposed as the "Extreme" subcommittee to encompass mountain, ultra, and trail running. Many involved with these disciplines felt that the "Extreme" title was not appropriate. It was suggested that the name of the subcommittee be revised as "MUT" Mountain/Ultra/Trail Subcommittee. The proposed title will be presented to the subcommittee for consideration.

2) Committee Chair appointments for '99 All committee members that have been appointed by the respective chairs of the LDR committees mens, womens, masters will be contacted to see if they will continue to serve on the subcommittee through the next convention. If any appointee is unable to continue on the subcommittee, the respective LDR chair will appoint another representative with input from the subcommittee chairs. Duties of committee members goals for the coming year will be reviewed and each subcommittee member will be asked to assist in working on one or more of the goals.

3) Goals of subcommittee the following goals are to be reviewed by the subcommittee members:

  • Budget: to include a line item in the USATF budget as policy for World Mountain Running Team and World 100K Team travel to international competitions. $5000 in the budget for 1999. Approved.
  • Championship selection
  • Education, promotion, and creating awareness of the subcommittee

4) Definition of the subcommittee disciplines Hobbs distributed a draft document and a chart defining the various elements in "off-road" running to include: mountain running, trail running, ultra running, cross country, skyrunning, burro racing, snowshoeing, orienteering, ride and ties, for review. Hobbs and Kevin Cooney (multi-sport athlete and design engineer) prepared the documents. It was suggested that only the disciplines relating to USATF mountain, ultra, trail, cross country be defined for review by the subcommittee.

5) Marketing/Sponsorship seeking sponsorships from corporations dealing with endurance products would be a great fit for our categories of sport.

6) Law and Legislation updates from Nina Kuscsik the rules items relating to our subcommittee included Items 20, 21, 27, and 78. Please refer to the respective items in the legislative handbook for more detail. A brief report: trail championships to be awarded at any distance over 10K, trail and mountain running description to be included in the rule book.

7) Interface with LDR Committees subcommittee to continue working with the LDR divisions within the proposed restructuring plan.

8) Athlete selection for world teams and team staff selection Hobbs and Gersitz discussed the qualification standards for selection. Two of the men and one of the women selected to the Mountain Team qualify at the Mount Stratton race in Vermont (1999 will be the second year for the selection race), the additional 3 women and 4 men are selected based on their running history/resume. The Ultra team is selected based on finish position at national championships and ultra races to include the 50 mile and 100K and runners must meet specific time qualifications for consideration. We need to continue promoting the teams in On The Roads and in other ways to include information on websites relating to our sport.

9) Awards There are two existing awards for ultra running including the Ruth Anderson and Ted Corbitt awards. Hobbs proposed that two awards be generated for mountain running with one award for a male mountain runner being named in memory of Lyndon Ellefson (who was an active promoter of the sport and spearheaded the mountain running subcommittee within mens LDR. Lyndon died in July 1998), to be entitled the Lyndon Ellefson Spirit Award, the second award would be presented to a female mountain runner. There was discussion that the award be presented to a trail or mountain runner. Hobbs would rather see the awards be presented to mountain runners at this time (who may also be trail runners), and that a trail award be proposed at a later time.

10) Trail/Mtn/Ultra Championships In the spirit of development, championships are important. We need to get the word out about our sport and it was agreed that championships would be a great way to do that. Since our running community is not as large as the road running community, it was suggested that championships be awarded at a minimum so that the property was not cheapened. Discussion about whether to host more than one championship distance on one day. A case in point was Sunmart which has been awarded both the 50K and 50Miler on the same day. Some liked the concept because it offered a choice and would better accommodate ever changing training schedules, others thought that it diluted the market. It was also discussed further that there would be separate bid forms for mountain, trail and ultra championships. Ultras can be awarded to trail events at the ultra distance but would fall under the ultra heading, not trail. Trail championships can be awarded at any distance over 10K and less than the ultra (26.2Mile) distance. It was suggested that just one mountain running championship be awarded annually and perhaps include some regional championships as well. It was also suggested that mens, womens, and masters championships be considered for award at the same event. The subcommittee will propose standards for championships using the guidelines set forth by the LDR committees. The subcommittee will review all bids and give a recommendation to the championship LDR committee for final approval. Status of current championship was presented by Gersitz. The GNC 50K has been awarded and the Olander Park 24 Hour Run. Several other bids have been received and are in the review process.

11) Budget for '98 and '99 Hobbs stated that the operating account for the subcommittee started with $600, with a $200 donation from each of the LDR committees. Funds are available for reimbursement of expenses relating to the administration of the subcommittee to include postage, phone calls, copies, etc. It was suggested that an incremental increase be requested for 99.

12) Other Business Brannen presented some ideas garnered from budget/finance committee meetings during the convention which included the three Ms media, marketability, and Masback. These three Ms would work together within every division of USATF to make the organization think and work more like a business.

13) Next meeting Discussions through e-mail, conference calls within the subcommittee, and faxes will continue throughout the year. The next formal meeting will be in LA next December.

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