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Mountain/Ultra/Trail 2004 Annual Meeting Minutes

Friday, December 3, 2004 
Sunday, December 5, 2004 
Portland, OR
Hilton Towers

Friday, December 3
Minutes submitted by Anita Ortiz

25 individuals in attendance (others dropped in for part of the meeting). * Indicates MUT Council member

*Nancy Hobbs, *Howard Nippert, Bruce Guter, *Roy Pirrung, Scott McCoubrey, Jim Garcia, Ed Parrot, *Nikki Kimball, *Eric Clifton, Mark Doctor, Chuck DesJardins, *Janice Anderson, Joyce Hodges Heit, Dorrie Robertson, Don Shepan, John Cosgrove, *Simon Gutierrez, Tom Borschel, Hollis Lenderking, *Mike Ortiz, Carl Grossard, Mike Polansky, *Lorraine Gersitz, *Garett Graubins, Anita Ortiz

The MUT council approved meeting minutes from last year.

BUDGET
As per Jim Elias, MUT will receive in 2005 two line items, $2000 team-related expenses and - $2,500 committee expenses (admin, awards, championships, postage, phone, etc.) The total MUT budget of $5,500 is an increase of $500 over last year. The mountain team receives an annual sponsorship of $10,500 from Teva as the title sponsor and official footwear of the team. Teva renewed their three-year sponsorship which will run through 2007.

Travel funds have been provided by the sponsorship from TEVA. Jim Elias has not yet provided a final accounting for 2004, but there are funds available to pay our final bills of 2004 to include miscellaneous administrative expenses, awards, etc.

MUT continues to be creative with fundraising efforts for our many projects. This year we added another "event" to our program, the NACAC Championships which were covered out of the LDR division funds (approximately $1000).

WEBSITE
MUT has a direct link on the first page of the USATF Home Page which brings users to a left index that includes MUT information. MUT members should send all information that needs to be posted on the web to Lorraine who will post immediately. This includes press releases, reports, results, etc. Associations are encouraged to send Lorraine information they want to include on the site. Athlete profiles need updating and interested athletes should send in their profile and pictures. MUT council members are encouraged to submit athlete profiles. Theresa Daus-Weber has done editing on the profiles already on the site. All USA Championships and Team USA events are added to the USATF calendar by Lorraine or the race director. Other MUT members may add races as well. Association Championships can be included by adding the event(s) to the USATF calendar Online. The Association Reps should be sure to keep this information coming in. Lorraine will request a "hit" counter for the site.

ANNUAL REPORT
Report copy has been passed out and can also be read in the USATF annual reports booklet. Lorraine expressed concern that the 100K team report was not included. The report had been distributed to MUT council members for review, but this information did not make the final draft. Nancy asked Lorraine to update the report to include this information and results so the edited version can be posted to the web.

2004 MOUNTAIN TEAM REPORT
Junior Team Manager Tom Borschel reported on his experience in Sauze d'Oulx this year with the team. The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) was well organized although there was some confusion with a few logistics. The event/awards/courses were all good. We need a stronger junior team and Tom has some ideas. Tom has contacted University coaches in order to recruit athletes. Garett: How do we presently recruit? Tom: Lots of word of mouth… Kids send in resumes. Several strong athletes could not make it due to High School cross-country.

SELECTION RACES PROPOSED
TEVA Spring Run Off, Vail, CO on Saturday, June 4 - also the NACAC and USA Trail Championships - propose two courses to better mirror NZ routes for men and women. Northfield Mtn Race, Northfield, MA on Saturday, June 25 WORS Devil's Head Merrimac, Wisconsin on Saturday, July 16 Mt Cranmore (near) North Conway NH July 30/31 or August 6/7

Propose selection criteria as follows: Northfield top man top woman TEVA top 2 spots for men, top spot woman WORS Devil's Head top man, top woman Mt. Cranmore top man, strong consideration for women

The council would like to see the selection race courses mirror the WMRT as closely as possible and not just in terms of elevation profile but also consider terrain and footing.

Eric (Clifton): Is there any movement to making the men's and women's teams the same size/distance? Nancy: Issues are funding and difficulty (for some nations) to field a team with more women than what is expected at present (3 to score, 4 total). As to distance, it has historically been a male-dominated decision.

Roy motions to approve these four races as proposed above. Second by Tom Cotner UNANIMOUS APPROVAL

2005
WMRT events to be held in Wellington, New Zealand September 24 and 25 with travel to the venue/trip lasting September 22-26.

2006
WMRT Bursa, Turkey (approximately 3 hour drive from Istanbul) We have concerns about travel and organization as well as the venue. We are looking at an alternative-maybe go to Italy to run Challenge Stellina as a team in 2006.

TEVA has signed for another three years as the mountain team title sponsor and official footwear. $10,500 for each of the next 3 years and uniforms should we not find another apparel supplier on our own. The mountain team is a USATF/US National team and is titled by TEVA pursuant to sponsorship. Nancy and Simon will approach Sport Hill for uniform sponsorship. The USATF National Office staff has encouraged us to seek outside sponsorship for our programs.

ULTRA RUNNING TEAMS
Scott McCoubrey reported on the 100K World Cup event which was a 10K loop course run ten times. It was a very difficult year with the division of the team. Some athletes ran as a USATF team and some ran for the AUA. The USATF women's team finished 5th. Ann Riddle, running for the AUA, finished 6th The men's USATF team placed 8th overall. The US was highlighted by 7th place by Howard Nippert, also running for the AUA. The budget for the event included housing with approximately half of the airfare covered by the LOC and also from USU funds (total of $3,170 distributed equally to team and staff). There was also a $2000 grant provided by the IAAF.

Roy Pirrung reported on the 24 Hour Championships. Appeldoorn, Netherlands lost funding for the May 24-Hour WC and cancelled the event. One athlete expressed and interest in still doing the event and was accompanied by Roy as the team manager/coach. Subsequently, a 24-hour in Brno, Czech Republic received approval on its bid and was awarded the 24-hour WC status and the race took place in October. The teams did well, with the women 3rd place and men 4th place. Stephanie Eheret earned a bronze medal. The team was funded by the AUA, Revita-flex, and INJINJI. Team selection was based on a mileage standard. There was an A standard and a B standard and that delineated amount of funding athletes would receive. Lorraine noted that "Team selection based on standards set in 2003-this criteria was not approved. The team should be under national governing body (USATF) since the event is sanctioned by, or IAU hope to have it sanctioned by, the IAAF."

Scott McCoubrey was disappointed that there were no published criteria. The criteria had been posted on the AUA website, and should in the future be included on other websites so athletes know about this program. Bruce Guter asked "Should the sponsor have any control over the team in the way of selection criteria and procedure establishment? This is a concern in the ultra community."

CHAMPIONSHIPS 2004
Janice Anderson, retiring championship chair, provided a written report on the 2004 championship program. There was a total of $22,500 in prize money for this year's championships.

HUFF was cancelled as the 50Km Trail Championships because they refused to sign the USATF contract. There was a lack of communication from HUFF director.

It was suggested that we only award championships where we can have a liaison working directly with the event (pre-during-post event). Lorraine noted that the liaison duties are listed on the web as well as much information for prospective championship race directors. We must insure that we have a liaison for every championship event. This would perhaps eliminate the "HUFF-type issue." Perhaps the contract should have a deadline for signature so we are not left with a race being dropped after it is awarded. The current championship contract needs revamping. The content is not really applicable to our races and some race directors have concerns with the contract language.

The MUT chair will appoint a Championship Task Force to deal with these issues.

ELECTION
Voting members included: Pacific - Hollis Lenderking; Colorado - Anita Ortiz; New England - Jim Garcia; New Mexico - Don Shepan; Pacific Northwest - West Scott McCoubrey; Long Island- Carl Grossbard; Georgia - Joyce Hodges-Hite

NOMINATIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Chair: Jim Garcia and Nancy Hobbs. Lorraine Gersitz decline nomination.

Vice Chair: Janice Anderson and Roy Pirrung

Voting Results: Chair: Nancy Hobbs and Vice Chair: After tie and revote: Roy Pirrung Four year term.

CHAMPIONSHIP REPORT 2005
Nikki Kimball has accepted the position of Championship Chair and presented her report for 2005 events. Two bids have been received for 2005 to include the Headlands 50K trail August 27 in Marin County to award prize money in the amounts of $800, $400, $300, $200, $100 plus age group money. Headlands is a past host of the 50Km trail championships. The second bid was from Tussey Mountain road 50 mile to be held in PA on October 15 (discussion: great growth for this event and there was prize money offered in the 2004 edition which served as the national championships.) There was a motion to approve and motion was seconded. Approved unanimously.

There was a question whether we will we still accept bids for other distances? Discussion resulted in an affirmative response. The bid form is a bit daunting. How can we make it easier for people to submit a bid? Championship task force will look at this. Should we allow or eliminate pacers (at 100 miles)? It is a safety issue? This is a topic for further discussion.

Championships awarded at the 2003 convention included: White River - 50 mile trail - July 30 2005 Mt Washington - Mountain Championships 2006 TEVA Spring Run Off - Trail Championships 2005

TASK FORCE
Scott McCoubrey reported. This year we had a USATF team (Ultra distance for the 100K World Cup in the Netherlands) and several athletes who ran for the AUA. This was done in protest by some athletes to try to solicit USATF recognition. Bill Roe assigned an athlete task force to bring back the AUA athletes and work toward one unified group. The goals of the Task Force were then to: 1. Bring athletes back together. Athletes want to be/represent USATF. 2. Make some decisions about management. Hope to establish an Athlete Council to make recommendations to MUT.

There was a question to Howard and Nikki from Lorraine as to why they chose to run for AUA instead of USATF? · uniforms · funding · leadership-USATF was not listening/nor leading · selection procedures. Want more stringent standards

They felt that they were heard and the task force has been a positive step for the program.

Sunday, December 6, 2004

Minutes submitted by Nikki Kimball

Janice cited a need for written MUT operating procedures. Some procedures exist for ROY awards, team selection criteria and team leader selection, although not as official operating procedures. Lorraine noted that most procedures are posted on the web although not "formalized" they are procedures MUT has been following. Also needed are procedures for team alternate selection, international representative selection, sponsorship, e-group meetings, definition of trail race, bidding process for championships, signing championship contracts, and MUT's relationship to partners. Elizabeth (Phillips) suggested looking to LDR operation procedures in the governance handbook for a template to assist MUT with writing operation procedures.

Mountain race definition sought. This may be added to MUT written operation criteria. Currently we use WMRA guidelines. A mountain race can be road or trail. Question raised: Is a mountain race necessarily sub-ultra in distance? For the WMRA definition, yes.

Term of office discussed for MUT chair/vice chair: 4 years.

Fred Finke (newly elected LDR division chair) asked MUT to identify five specific priorities which will then be collated with all similar USATF committees. He feels there is increased power in all committees if we work toward common goals. He requests MUT provide common goals with in 30-60 days of conference. Suggestion made for MUT to form a three-person group to work on this.

Howard's summary of the work of the 100k task force followed. The task force revised the 2005 team selection criteria slightly by removing Sunmart as a qualifying race, which has been approved by MUT. Team manager selection suggestions are forthcoming. Task force may be asked to provide ideas regarding 24 hour selection, but this is not currently on task force agenda. Eric asked how the task force was chosen and suggested development of operating procedures for future task force membership. Janice pointed out that it is usually the chair's prerogative to appoint members to ad hoc committees.

Janice introduced the 100k road race she created in order to allow American runners to qualify for 2005 100k World Cup. The format is an out and back 50k; run 2 time for the 100k. The course will be held on the paved Silver Comet Trail and has a total elevation change of less than 1000 feet, so should be a very fast course. The course will be certified by January and will serve as an association championship in the 50k distance (both 50k and 100k will be run concurrently). There are some sponsors to include: Patagonia will provide shirts for all entrants. She asked the group if trophies or small cash prizes would be preferred for 100k prizes....most present noted money would be better. She will be able to offer housing to elite runners at the homes of members of the host running club.

John noted that on Feb 20th the Florida association will also host a 50k association championship for which housing may be available in the homes of host running club members. He notes that there are now 10 ultras in Florida as well as numerous sub-ultra trail races. Many can be reached at www.splittimes.com/northflorida .

Lorraine points out that the 100k team selection on the web gives links to potential qualifying races (eg where one can run a 100k in North America), and has links to performance lists of all qualifying times run within the qualifying window. Lorraine asked that all MUT members help to keep this list current. If anyone hears of a qualifying time run, send the performance to Lorraine to add to the list.

Garett describes his work as editor of Trail Runner magazine. The magazine just hit its five year anniversary. The magazine is growing and the sport is growing as well. He encourages RDs and trail runners to submit articles or ideas as the magazine wants to increase its geographic diversity (the magazine initially focused more on Colorado events).

Also looking to be sure to cover shorter distance events as well as ultra stuff. RD's encouraged to send in results. He sites the growth in trail running shoe model available as evidence of the growth of the sport. He notes, too, that not only running shoe companies (Nike, Adidas, Brooks etc) are creating trail shoes, but also other companies (Montrail, LaSportiva, Innov-8, Vasque) are creating trail running shoes in the absence of interest in the road running market. Garett notes that athlete USATF membership lags in trail running.

Discussion of how to get trail runners to join USATF ensued. RDs need to be aware that USATF sanctioned races are insured through USATF. Trail athletes may feel that USATF does not promote trail events. Garret will write a piece for Trail Runner explaining that by allowing race directors to insure their events, USATF does promote trail racing.

Nancy asked questions of Garett. The answers are: the magazine has 20,000 paid circulation; Trail Runner Trophy series events give discount subscriptions, free magazine copies and goody bags to race participants; the series is a points series for which runners earn points based both on placing in the top 3 and for just completing the race. Therefore people are rewarded for running lots of trail races. In 2004, 23,000 people competed in this series (eg entered at least one trophy series race). 2005 series will be limited to 100 races. There will be both ultra and shorter races included. They look to overlap trophy series races with big events so there will be a high quality of competition and so that people don't have to choose between a championship and a points-series event (point series looks to include Montrail Cup and USATF championship races for overlap). There will be random draw prizes and overall series winners receive a prize package worth at least $500. They hope to get LaSportiva to offer a trip to a race in Italy for the man and woman who run the most races. They look to find a balance between rewarding fast runners and those who run the most races. Lorraine suggested that if there is a tie, the winner be selected at random.

Roy suggests that RDs give $1 off race entry to all USATF members in order to encourage membership.

Scott McCoubrey reported on the USA 50 Mile Championships at White River: He invites 26 runners, offering free entry (22 invite were accepted). Overall race participant numbers continue to grow. He wants to hit 200 runners in order to cover costs. Sponsors initially offered $10,000 in prize money, now down to $7,500 secondary to loss of Mercedez as a sponsor. He notes people have questioned whether prize money would change the sport in a negative way. He feels the atmosphere remains the same, one just gets more and more return runners. He hopes to house 200 runners next year. He wants USATF to encourage runners from other disciplines to enter ultra championships. The web site is www.whiteriver50.com

Scott notes to other RDs that the RD needs to call runners and invite them to get a quality field.

Don Shepan from New Mexico points out 3 association championships: Bandalier Ultra (marathon + double marathon; La Luz Trail 9 mile uphill race with 400 runner limit; 5.9 mile mountainous trail race in its 34th year. He notes that these races tend to attract a loyal following of repeat runners. He wants a bid package to make one of these into a national championship and spoke with Nikki after the meeting about this.

Garett note that race with limited fields may give rise to questions regarding the growth of the sport. There is concern over races with field limitation becoming USATF national championships. However, this can be allowed if we have qualifying standards. The qualifying standards are currently governed by the RD. Nancy points out that the Mt Washington Road race which caps its field at 1100 and was a national mountain running championship in '04 and again in '06. The RD agrees to reserves spots for runners with a chance of scoring. Runners can get entry by resume.

ROY awards questions: how do we determine who is eligible (confirm USATF membership) Tom suggest that only races run while the runner is a USATF member should count toward ROY awards. Eric notes he had difficulty compiling the Master's ROY list as membership date was not present on the USATF website. Janice suggests there is a link to this information. Also Eric had difficulty finding birthdates in the database. Lorraine volunteered to show Eric where membership renewal date and age are located in the USATF database.

Nancy suggest in order to promote USATF membership and ensure people do not accidentally let their membership lapse that Andy Martin does an email blast to all former members who checked MUT on their membership applications. Will also have Trail Runner, Ultrarunning, National Master's News and AATRA print reminders to join.

Roy noted that 24 hour team's MD recently received the Gold Star of Valor for service in Vietnam.

Elections were held at 2 pm on Friday. Nancy Hobbs and Jim Garcia ran for chair with Nancy elected. Roy Pirrung and Janice Anderson tied in the initial election for vice chair and Roy was re-elected in the second vote.

Also yesterday, Janice recapped 2004 championship racing. She provided a handout detailing 2004 championship results and listing future championships which were awarded at last year's convention. Lorraine noted this info is also posted on the web.

And finally yesterday Nikki presented 2 bids for 2005 with Headland 50k trail and Tussey Mountain 50mile road race bid being accepted by MUT for 2005 championship races. Eric has been in touch with 100 mile RDs looking to bid for 2005 and future championships. Issues of lack of prize money, and whether or not to allow pacing need to be further addressed. Nikki and Eric will be in touch with one another and potential RDs regarding interested races, the pacing issue etc. prior to presenting possible bids to MUT for a vote.

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