Mountain/Ultra/Trail 2007 Annual Meeting Minutes
November 27 - December 2, 2007
Attendance: Marlene Atwood, Richard Bolt, Alex Cuozzo, Charles DesJardins, Dave Dunham, Jim Garcia, Lorraine Gersitz, Norm Green, Will Graustein, Carl Grossbard, Dave Gwyn, Ann Heaslett, Irene Herman, Nancy Hobbs, Joyce Hodges-Hite, Max King, Bob Latham, Howard Nippert, Ed Petersen, Roy Pirrung, Don Shepan, Lloyd Stephenson
Guests: Andy Carr, Fred Finke, Glenn Latimer, Bill Roe
Friday Nov. 30 Session I, 8:30AM – 8:50 AM, Royal Hawaiian, Regency I
Chair Nancy Hobbs distributed copies of “Trail Times,” newsletter of the American Trail Running Association, and passed around a scrapbook about the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team in 2007 to include the World Mountain Trophy in Switzerland.
Introductions were made and Hobbs announced that Anne Riddle Lundblad had been appointed to take over the Council position vacated by Janice Anderson, who has chosen to pursue activities in her local association. Paul Kirsch has agreed to take over the role Janice played in coordinating the MUT Council’s e-group discussions.
Dave Dunham made a motion to approve the minutes of the 2006 meeting and Pirrung seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Hobbs announced that the money budgeted to MUT by USATF has been increased from $4500 in 2007 to $5000 in 2008. Some additional funding is generated through LDR memberships and is earmarked for programs. Last year this money went to fund the NACAC team to the mountain running championships in Canada. Next year, Andy Martin of USATF has agreed that the funds can be used for travel for USATF liaisons to attend the MUT Championships.
This year we have bids for championships at 10 distances/settings. Several bids for championships were approved in 2007 (2008 race dates). These include the Mad City 100km (road 100km) on April 12, 2008, Caumsett 50km (road 50km) on March 2, 2008, as well as the first Sunday in March 2009, and Steamboat Springs (Trail 10km) on 6/29/08.
A conference call was been held Sunday, November 25, so that council members could provide input on these races.
Hobbs announced that tomorrow we would be discussing the bids for what could be a total of 10 Championship races in 2008 as well as two selection races for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. She briefly went through the list of these races, with more discussion to follow tomorrow. In addition to the USATF Championship Races, the AUA has agreed to sponsor a 24 hour championship in Grapevine, TX in November 2008.
Will Grouse, Connecticut Association, asked how it is handled when a national championship race has an entry limit or a lottery-based entry system. Hobbs told him that race directors have been asked to hold open a certain number of spots specifically for USATF athletes. She says that at times, they have called her to ask if a specific person is a legitimate candidate for a “national championship slot.” However, race directors generally need to know ahead of time that a particular runner would like to attend.
Dunham indicated there was a discrepancy between what the Caumsett 50km race website said the date of the race was and the date indicated on the bid form. Carl Grossbard, Caumsett 50km race director, agreed to check on the race date and confirmed that it was indeed March 2, 2008 for the 2008 50km Road Championship.
Hobbs announced that the Awards Breakfast would be held tomorrow, Saturday December 1, and that Ultrarunners of the Year (4), Mountain Runners of the Year(4), and Contributors of the Year(2) honors would be announced at the breakfast.
The IAU World Trail 50 Mile Championships are planned for next Saturday, December 8, at the Sunmart Texas Trail 50 mile in Huntsville, TX. Unfortunately, the invitation to this event went to USATF and was not passed along to the MUT Council. When the IAU approached Hobbs and Pirrung, several weeks ago, to ask why we had no US team, the council quickly looked over which USATF runners where already registered for the event and did some outreach to runners who might be interested in running the event as part of a U.S. team. The team has been declared and will include three men (Eric Binder, Mark Godale, and Roy Pirrung) and three women (Connie Gardner, Tania Pacev, and Kim Martin). Hobbs discussed the desire of the council to have a more structured way to choose a team in the future.
Those in attendance introduced themselves.
Hobbs spoke of the contract the American Trail Running Association (ATRA) had recently renewed with Teva, which will allow for three more years of that company’s sponsorship of the U.S. Mountain Running Team. She discussed sponsorship commitments of $2500each from Windemere Real Estate and Fleet Feet Sports-Boulder. She indicated the 2008 team has currently raised approximately $16,000.
The meeting was then recessed until Saturday December 1 at 9AM.
Saturday December 1 session, 9AM-11:50 AM Session, Royal Hawaiian, Regency III
Hobbs announced that a 5km road race would be held at Kapiolani Park – within 10 minutes (run) from the hotel tomorrow morning and that the “pre-registered entry fee” would be offered to meeting attendees between 11AM and 1PM in the lobby today.
Glenn Latimer, LDR Chair, reported on the successful year USA LDR has had, including the successes of Bernard Legat and the very recent success of Ryan Hall at the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials.
Andy Carr, LDR Record-keeper, indicated that the majority of his work in records ratification comes from performances by MUT runners. He cited that he’s recently been working on getting records ratified on Anne Lundblad’s 2006 100km performance in Korea, Stephanie Ehret’s 24 hour performance of 225+km in 2004, Roy Pirrung’s 24 hour performance of 223+ km in 2004, and John Geesler’s 48 hour performance of 400+km. Andy indicated he’s had good success in getting information necessary to ratify records from race directors. He’s updated the form which is used to submit a record for ratification. This form covers races from 1 hour to 144 hours. He’s also created a lap-counting sheet for ultras which will soon be available for use on-line. He’s working on a similar road race form (presumably for shorter distance road events). Andy discussed that there will now be a 5 year limit on the amount of time the race director has to get the info to Andy for consideration for ratification. The file on the performance will be kept beyond that and the performance will be noted in the record books with a “U” next to it, which stands for “unvalidatable.”
Pirrung brought up the idea that at Masters LDR, the idea of ratifying records much more quickly was discussed. Following the process which IAAF uses, the record would be ratified as soon as Carr received all needed paperwork from the race director. In two years, when laws and legislation are discussed, this will be decided upon. Grouse brought up concerns that IAAF might not in fact be doing things the way we want them done by ratifying records before the MUT Council has an opportunity to review all the facts. Pirrung indicated that even if a record were validated, the MUT Council could appeal its ratification if new or different information about the circumstances of the record were produced. Carr asked how often MUT Council refused to ratify records when he was able to bring supporting documentation in. Charles DesJardins indicated that Masters LDR has rejected some potential records. The example provided was that though Eddy Helleybuck ran an age-group record time on a certified course, he later drew a doping ban and thus the committee rejected ratification of his record.
Review of bids for the MUT Championships and Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team Selection Races followed. The first bid discussed was Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile in Boalsburg, PA, who bid for the 2008 National 50 Mile Road Championship. There was lengthy discussion of whether or not the race was also bidding for 2009. 2009 was not listed on the bid form, but there is not a check box for 2009 on the bid form. When the bid was read, it became clear that the race director did wish to bid for 2009, as well. Dates of the race are 10/11/08 and 10/3/09. Total Prize Money to be offered is $3200, with $500 to go to open men’s and women’s champions, $300 to go to open men’s and women’s 2ndplace finishers, and $200 to go to open men’s and women’s 3rd place finishers. Masters prize money includes $300 for 1st male and female masters runners, $200 for 2ndmale and female masters runners and $100 for 3rd male and female runners. The race director will hold open slots for USATF athletes. The course is 26 % paved asphalt and 76% gravel. The course is certified. Howard Nippert, who has crewed at this race, was asked to comment on it. He said the footing is good but there is unlikely to be a record set as there is a lot of climb to the event. A motion was made by Pirrung to grant the 2008 and 2009 50 mile Road Championship to Tussey Mountain. Dunham seconded the motion. A lengthy discussion was undertaken. The question was asked how long the event has been a national championship. It has been a championship twice before. Quotations were read from Anne and Mark Lundblad, champions at the race, as well as other competitors, in support of the race. Hobbs indicated how flexible the race director had been in working with the council to find a date that the race would work for USATF athletes in light of their international schedule last year. Lorraine Gersitz indicated that she had spoken to a man who might be interested in holding a 50mile National Championship on the Old GNC course in Pittsburgh, PA. Here concern was that if we bid this race out through 2009 it doesn’t give this race or others an opportunity to bid and might discourage their bidding in the future. Joyce Hodges-Hite indicated that there is a precedent for awarding races championship status far into the future, and cited the example of the Twin Cities Marathon, which has been designated the Masters Marathon Championship out through 2011.
A friendly amendment was made by Gersitz to accept the bid through only 2008. Graustein seconded this. Nippert indicated his opposition to this as there is not a race even established on the old GNC course at this point (Gersitz had indicated the plan was to call the new race “Three Rivers”).
A motion was made to accept the bid from Tussey Mountain as the 2008 ONLY National Road 50 Mile Championship. The Council accepted this bid for 2008 and Gersitz offered to contact the race director of Three Rivers to discuss bidding for 2009, while Hobbs agreed to relay to Tussey Mountain that their bid had been accepted for only one year, 2008.
Next, discussion was undertaken of the Tahoe Rim Trail’s bid to serve as National 100 Mile Championship for 2008 and 2009 (7/19/08, 7/18/09). This race offers $2000 total prize money with $1000 going to first male, $100 going to the first female. Though the race has a small field, the director has offered to hold open 40 slots for USATF athletes. Last year was the first time this race had a championship designation. There were some concerns: 1) There were problems in communication between the USATF liaison and the race director, 2) There were problems getting the race results out in a timely fashion (5 weeks after the event there were still no results to post), 3) The race served as a RRCA Championship and some of those there felt that the visibility of the RRCA may have hurt that of USATF. (Hobbs noted that this may have been more USATF’s issue – getting banners to the race - than the event, 4) The crew who was to manage the 25 mile turnaround aid station showed up late. More information was provided by DesJardins, who said that the trail is well-marked and at 6300-7000ft. The race is 25 miles out, 25 miles back, followed by a repeat of this out and back.
Gersitz made a motion to accept this bid for 2008 and 2009. Pirrung seconded the motion. Hobbs asked that a caveat be placed in the awarding of the bid that the Pacific Association will assist the race administration in addressing the concerns noted above, and that these conditions be rectified to the satisfaction of the MUT Council by race time.
As an off-shoot of this discussion, a discussion of whether or not “pacers” should be allowed in USATF National 100 M events was Pirrung passed out copies of an email Dan Brannen had asked Pirrung and Hobbs to distribute. This email contained Brannen’s opinions on pacing during USATF 100 mile events, which is essentially reflected his opposition to allowing this practice. This email was discussed. Andy Carr asked, “If everyone has the same opportunity to have a pacer, then why does it provide an unfair advantage.” Others argued that because not everyone can afford to have a buddy come out and pace him or her, and because races don’t typically provide pacers to all, a pacer is an unfair luxury that some can have while others cannot. DesJardins brought up the point that sometimes pacers provide protection vs. animals. Others suggested that while a safety person would likely be acceptable, a “mule’ who carries the runners water bottles, etc., would not be. Yet, how do we monitor for “muling” in remote areas? When asked whether there was any such rule that says supports or opposes the idea of a pacer in a 100 mile race in the USATF rulebook, Bill Roe indicated that there was not.
Jim Garcia said that he felt that the leading contenders in a 100 mile trail race should not need a pacer because they can finish most of the race in daylight. Gersitz contended that masters runners may well need pacers to help prevent safety concerns as they will likely be out on the course much longer. Garcia wondered if possibly pacers might be used only by masters runners.
Hobbs proposed to Nippert that perhaps this was another issue that the ultra task force might want to look at. Nippert indicated that he thinks he still has notes from the last time this issue was discussed with the ultra task force. He planned to forward these notes to the MUT Council via the e-group so that they could be discussed and then forwarded to race directors for their input. In this way we might best be able to give a recommendation when it is the laws and legislation year.
Bill Roe then needed to depart, but before doing so, spoke of having attended White River 50 Mile Trail Championships and of having enjoyed his experiences attending this ultra. He acknowledged that we are still lacking in obtaining USATF funding for the mountain and ultra teams. However, he praised Hobbs for her efforts in securing the TEVA deal to support the Mountain Running Team.
Next, competing bids for the Trail 100km were discussed. The Where’s Waldo 100km to be held 8/16/08 had 125 participants last year. The Eastern Endurance 100km to be held 9/27/08 had 300 participants last year in three races, including a 100km, a 50km, and a 20km. Where’s Waldo? is in Oregon, while Eastern Endurance is in Charlottesville, VA.
The Where’s Waldo 100km is offering $4200 in prize money. Their initial bid was for Masters Only, but they have decided that they are also interested in doing hosting the open championship. The race directors have said that they will try to raise additional prize money to offer the open champions. The Where’s Waldo race does provide transportation to the race site if needed and hotel accommodations to runners if needed. Pirrung indicated that the race is well-organized and even has a designated elite athlete coordinator. The aid station personnel have lots of experience, and even have a contest amongst themselves as to which is the best. It is a scenic course. The last 12 miles are a descent. Massage is offered afterward, and there is a barbecue banquet afterward.
No one had done the Eastern Endurance Run, but Ann Heaslett offered that her friend Ragan Petrie has done the race multiple times and has made positive comments about it. Heaslett also offered that both Russ and Francesca, the co-race directors, are ultrarunners and are experienced race directors who own a running store, as well. Nippert was able to talk about the Appalachian Mountains and also vouched for the race directors.
However, Nippert did say that all things being equal, we probably need to look at prize money offered. Where’s Waldo won out there.
Pirrung said that possibly we could award a one year rather than the two year requested bid to Where’s Waldo to give the Eastern Endurance Run directors time to raise more money.
Gersitz suggested that possibly a 50km trail championship, which we do not have a bidder for, could be held by Great Eastern Endurance Run, if the race directors are willing. Richard Bolt attempted to phone Russ and Francesca and did leave a message but was not able to reach them directly.
Pirrung made a motion to accept Where’s Waldo? as the 2008 and 2009 National Open and Masters 100km Championships. Hodges-Hite seconded the motion. The Council voted yes on the motion, with none opposed.
Hobbs asked Bolt to communicate with race administration at Where’s Waldo? about increasing prize money and even about the possibility of increasing the number of USATF designated entry slots.
The Mad City 100km has already been awarded the 2008 National 100km Championship. This event will be held 4/12/08. At first the committee was unsure if the 2008 and 2009 Championships were awarded to Mad City or whether the 2008 Championships only was awarded. Garcia said he remembered that only the 2008 bid was awarded Mad City. Pirrung made a motion that Mad City be awarded the bid for the 2009 100km National Championship. This motion was seconded by Dunham. Discussion ensued. The weather at the Mad City Race last year included start temp of 20 degrees with a wind chill of -4 degrees. Garcia questioned whether we should be choosing a 100km team at a race where weather conditions are unlike those the team may face in Italy Nov. 8, 2008 at the World 100km. Heaslett and Pirrung both brought up the variability of the weather in WI in April, and that when AUA held a national 100km championship there in 2004 temps were about 45 degrees. No one was sure what the weather was likely to be like in Italy in November. There were no other bidders for the 100km National Championship for 2009. There was a motion to accept the bid, seconded and passed. Mad City 100km was accepted the National Championship for 2009.
The Caumsett 50km, which has already been awarded the 2008 and 2009 National 50K designations, bid for the 2010 and 2011 50km Road designation. Carl Grossbard, the race director, discussed the race. Dunham, who has participated, said the race course is spectator friendly. Pirrung said the course is fast. Carl said that the race is held in a state park, which initially was the site of the Marshall Fields Mansion. The race is offering $1000 prize money distributed equally to male and female divisions. Also, the race offers bonuses for course and national records. Nippert questioned whether or not we should award championships this far out. Garcia expressed concern that awarding a race national championship status might discourage other race directors from applying. Des Jardins said that there is precedent for awarding National Championships quite far out. However, he says that Masters LDR has taken quite a bit of heat for awarding the Championships that far out. A motion was made by Pirrung to accept the bid from Caumsett for the 2010 and 2011 National 50km Championships. The motion was seconded by Dunham. All were in favor with the exception of Garcia. Bolt commented on his feelings that we have a responsibility to reach more geographical areas so we need to continue outreach to race directors throughout the country, asking them whether or not they are interested in bidding on a national championship.
The Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon was discussed as a National Trail Marathon Championship. It is a point to point course which had 1800 competitors last year. It is on the same rails to trails trail that the Lean Horse 100 mile race is held upon. Aid stations are every two miles. Pirrung said that Jerry Dunn, the race director, is experienced. No prize money is currently listed on the bid, but Jerry has said that he is confident he can raise $5000-$10000 in prize money. Hobbs proposed a deadline of 1/15/08 for Jerry to commit to raising the prize money in order for the bid to be accepted. Garcia proposed extending the deadline to 1/30/08 to allow Jerry a little more time to raise funds. A motion was made to accept the bid contingent on Race Director Jerry Dunn’s coming up with a minimum of $2500 total prize money by 1/30/08. The motion was seconded by Pirrung. All were in favor except one (Garcia voted nay). It was noted that the DuPont Forest Marathon decided not to bid this year, after having hosted several times in the past few years.
The Mt Washington Road Race was discussed as the 2008 National Mountain Championship as well as a selection race for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. This race will be held 6/21/08. The World Mountain Trophy is held on an up/down course in odd numbered years, and on an up course in even numbered years. Since this year’s World Trophy will be held on an up course, Mt. Washington will be appropriate. Ann Heaslett asked if the World Trophy was held on road or trail. Hobbs replied that it is trail, but that when Mt. Washington was used as a selection race before, it served well even given the different surfaces. Gersitz made a motion to select Mt. Washington as both the 2008 National Trail Mountain Championship and a selection race for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. This was seconded, the council voted, and Mount Washington was awarded 2008 National Championship status and was also awarded status as a selection race for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team.
The Mount Cranmore race was discussed as 2009 National Mountain Championship and a selection race for the 2009 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. The race date will be determined, but it will be held in late June or early July. The race director does not want his race date to conflict with the Vail World Cup Course race. Mt. Cranmore will offer $1000 in prize money. Home stays are available for elite athletes. The course at Mt. Cranmore for 2009 will be revamped to mirror the World Trophy course. A motion was made by Pirrung to make Mt Cranmore the 2009 National Mountain Championship race and a 2009 Teva US Mountain Running Team selection race. This motion was seconded by Dunham. The council voted and all were in favor. Thus, Mt. Cranmore has been awarded the 2009 National Mountain Championship status and will be a selection race for the 2009 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team.
Steamboat was discussed then as both a 10km Trail Championship and Selection Race for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team in 2009. This race has already been awarded National Championship status and Selection Race status for 2008 (race date 6/29/08). The race is also bidding for the Trail Championship status for 2009 (race date late June 2009), and to be a selection race for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. The race offers $5000 in prize money and home stays for elite athletes. A motion was made by Pirrung to accept the bid, and Gersitz seconded it. All were in favor so Steamboat will be the National 10km Championship Race for 2009. It will also be a selection race in 2009 for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team.
The Vail Berry Picker bid as a selection race for the 2008 Teva U.S. Mountain Team. The race will be held 7/20/08. This race is 95% trail, 5% road. There is no prize money, but this does not exclude it because it has bid as a selection race rather than a national championship. A motion was made by Dunham to accept the bid, and seconded by Pirrung. All were in favor of accepting the Vail Berry Picker as a selection race.
Discussion of how many to accept from each selection race was undertaken. A proposal to accept the top 4 U.S. men and top U.S. woman from the Mt. Washington Race was made (Mt. Washington is a long race – 7 miles – which is similar to the men’s World Trophy race, which is 12km, but is quite a bit longer than the women’s World Trophy Race, which is 8km). A proposal to accept 1 male, 2 females, and 1 junior male contingent on that junior male’s being within a certain percentage of the winning female at the Vail race. Junior status means the competitor is at least 16 years old but not yet 20 years old in the year of competition. The rest of the junior males and all of the junior females are selected by resume. The junior girls run such a short race it would not be fair to pick them at a selection race, which would be twice as long as their World Trophy event. The junior boy selected at the Vail race, must have either a 5km time or equivalent mile/2mile with McMillan Predictors AND must have been within a certain percentage of the winning female’s time (possibly within 5% of her time). There will be 1 at-large male, 1 at-large female, and 3 junior boys and four junior girls to be selected for team membership based on resumes and criterion based on performance at selection races. A motion was made by Dunham to table numbers of persons selected for the 2009 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team, with the hope that there might be an additional selection race added before the team needs to be selected. Pirrung seconded this. All were in favor.
We have teams at our national championship races. We discussed briefly how teams should be scored (i.e. Currently for the Ultras, 5 runners can be on a team, but only three are scored. Only all male, all female and masters men, masters female teams are accommodated – mixed teams are not. Teams must be declared in advance. In Mountain races, teams are not declared in advance and can have as many runners on that team as they want. The first 5 are scored.). Council Members felt that we should have a policy on how teams are scored, on how many can be on a team and how many of the team members can be scored. Dunham agreed to lead an e-group discussion regarding all of this. Nippert suggested we try to mirror World Cup scoring. Other council members felt that declaring team members prior to the start of the race might allow for confirmation of each team members’ status as a USATF member.
Team Staff for the USATF Teams traveling abroad was discussed. Ellen Miller has applied to be team manager for the Mountain Team’s women. Hobbs commented that Miller stays in contact with women who have been on the team throughout the year and also works to recruit new women. Dunham applied to be the Junior Team’s manager. Hobbs noted that the junior girls had earned a silver medal under Dunham’s management. Nippert noted that Dunham also works to recruit talented young athletes from all over the country. Bolt has applied to be the team leader, who is responsible for attending meetings at the World Trophy. He is responsible for many things, including making sure that the athletes are in the sponsors’ clothing at public events. Three staff is desired because there will be three different starts, and one can be at each. A motion was made to accept Miller, Dunham, and Bolt as team staff for the 2008 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team. The motion was seconded. Hobbs has done the fund raising for the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team through ATRA. www.USMRT.com is a website set up by Paul Kirsch. It is the Mountain Running Trophy website. It lists the U.S. team’s sponsors, has news articles, does profiles on the athletes and provides the selection criteria which will be used to select the 2008 team. It also provides some history of the U.S. participation in a World Trophy Races. The purpose is to make the Mountain Running Team more of a “year round” team, rather than simply an entity which gets together once per year to run a World Trophy race together.
Also, regarding mountain running, there is a master’s program for runners 35 and over. The World Masters Mountain Running Championship drew 900 runners when they were held this year in Austria. There are no selection criteria for participation so anyone 35 or over was eligible to participate. This year the World Masters Mountain Running Championship will be held in the Czech Republic one week before the Mountain Running Trophy (World Masters race is Sept. 12-13). June 15, the NACAC race will be held. The U.S. is defending champion, but currently there is no funding for the US team to go to Mexico. If the U.S. does send a team to NACAC it will probably be selected via e-group, similar to the way that runners were selected to run the IAU World Trail Championship Race at Sunmart. It may be based on who is willing to pay their own way to Mexico. Teams may include up to 4 runners, with 3 to score.
Nippert provided the report on the USA’s performance at the 2007 World 100K in Winschoten, the Netherlands, Sept. 2007, Howard started by saying the team was bolstered by the addition of a national championship race which allowed athletes to qualify for the team. He cited Greg Crowther (approx. 7:19) and Julie Udchachon (8:12) as National Champions. Devon Crosby-Helms and Carolyn Smith also qualified for the USATF 100K team out of the Mad City race. At the World 100km, the men took a bronze medal, their first since 2000. Howard led the team with his 8th place finish. Greg Crowther was the next U.S. finisher in 11th place with a 10-12 min. PR. Chad Ricklefs was the third male U.S. finisher in 17th place with a 17 min. PR. Bob Sweeney did not finish. The women took 4th placed, and were 10 min. out of 3rd place. Kami Semick placed 9th, Devin Crosby-Helms placed 15th, Julie Udchachon placed 16th, Connie Gardner placed 18th, and Carolyn Smith placed 19th. Every other year, the World Masters Championship is held in conjunction with the World Cup 100km. This year, the World Masters Championship was held, with Howard Nippert winning the 40-44 age group, and Chad Ricklefs taking third in the same age group. Kevin Setnes won the 50-54 age group, and Roy Pirrung took third in the 55-59 age group, setting a new American age group record. Julie Udchachon took 6th in the 35-39 age group, and in the 40-44 age group, Kami Semick was second, Connie Gardner was 5th, and Carolyn Smith was 6th.
A motion was made Roy Pirrung that the council will recess until 3:30 PM.
This motion was seconded by Dunham. All were in favor. The council recessed
until 3:30 PM.
12/01/07 3:30-4:50PM Mtg, Royal Hawaiian Regency III
Hobbs opened the meeting by announcing, for those who could not be at the
Awards Breakfast, the following awards:
Open Mountain Runners of the Year: Rickey Gates and Chris Lundy
Masters Mountain Runners of the Year: Simon Gutierrez and Anita Ortiz
Open Ultrarunners of the Year: Greg Crowther and Nikki Kimball
Masters Ultrarunners of the Year: Beverly Anderson-Abbs, Roy Pirrung
Contributor of the Year – Mountain: White Mountain Milers
Contributor of the Year-Ultra: Mad City 100km
Staff for the USATF 100km Team were discussed. Lin Gentling has put in an application to be one of the team leaders. She has been a team leader nine times and was on the team prior to that. Nippert indicated that she has the endorsement of the 100K task force. A motion was made by Nippert to accept Gentling’s application as team manager. Hodges-Hite seconded this motion. The council unanimously approved Gentling as one of the USATF 100km Team Managers. Nippert said that both Mike Spinnler and Tim Yanacheck had expressed interest in being the other manager, though Heaslett added that Yanacheck did not want to put the MUT Council in the position of voting between him and Spinnler. Nippert said that he had received an email from Spinnler indicating a strong desire to go, despite the fact that his race (JFK) is immediately before the Nov. 8 IAU World 100km. Nippert moved to make Spinnler the second team manager. Pirrung seconded it. The council voted to appoint Spinnler the second 100km team manager for 2008.
Fred Finke stopped by the meeting and was introduced. Finke greeted the attendees and thanked the council for their good work in 2007.
Pirrung reported on the USA 24 Hour Team’s 2007 performance in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. The World 24 Hour Championship was held in Drummondvillle in July. It was hot and humid. Cars were backed up as the race took up one lane. The exhaust hung in the air which made breathing even more difficult. Alex Swenson was leading the men up until he ran into difficulties necessitating he drop at 20:30. Scott Eppelman and Phil Mc McCarthy then picked up their paces and passed many people. Phil actually moved up so far that he finished just shy of 3rd place. Initially, it was thought that the US men had taken 3rd place. Sadly, they had to return their medals when recalculation showed that the German men had beaten them by 4km. The US women were 6th. Roy indicated that while the US men had picked it up near the end, the US women faded a bit. There is not yet a bidder for the 2008 World 24 Hr. Race.
In November, 2007, the US 24 Hour National Championships were held in Grapevine, TX. The lighting was better at this venue than last, an obvious improvement made by race management. There were some excellent performances. Connie Gardner ran 145 miles, coming very close to breaking the American record. Bob Sweeney ran 139 miles in his first 24 hour race. Pirrung ran 138 miles. There were 12 hours of live music provided. Race Management added a 2 person 6 hour relay, a 10km and a half-marathon. AUA, who sponsors the 24 hour National Championship, has approved a bid for the same race to host next year’s National 24 Championship. The Top 3 finishers at Nationals are eligible for U.S. team membership for the World Cup race, as well as the next three men and women, by miles racked up in a 24 hour race to equal 6 men and 6 women on the U.S. team.
Hobbs, Dunham and Bolt reported on the progress of the Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team at the World Mountain Running Trophy, held in Ovronnaz, Switzerland. They commented on the geographic diversity of the team. They also commented on the depth of the team and the solidity of the team (the team was solid enough that a scoring member of last years Gold medal team did not make the team). The U.S. Women took the gold medal by 1 point, and there were also good performances by some of the juniors (one jr. woman was 4th, while another was 8th). The Junior Women took the silver medal. The junior men tied the best ever performance by U.S. junior men. Bolt indicated that, “some of the men just didn’t race well.” Mt. Washington and the Vail Berry Picker are selection races for the 2008 team.
The Swiss Federation wanted to host two years, 2008 and 2009. They were told they’d be given these championships if they hosted the 2007 race. U.S. team management indicated that the Swiss Federation did very well in organizing the 2007 race.
The question arose: how are IAAF funds distributed to teams (the IAAF grant):
- based on performance of the team the prior year at World Cup/Challenge
- GDP of the given country
- How far the team needs to travel to reach the World Cup/Challenge race site.
When deciding the make a race a World Championship rather than Cup/Challenge,
1. Number of countries participating
2. Money which potentially can be made
3. Organizational ability of the host
4. Number of countries where particular event is contested
Hobbs indicated that the WMRA is taking steps toward making the World Mountain Trophy a Championship. Already, NACAC, European Championships, and Commonwealth Games 2010 already exist or will exist.
Finke said that road running just got their designation as a World Championship after trying to achieve this since the 1970s.
Steamboat Springs, CO, has been awarded the 2009 World Mountain Running Trophy, which is especially exciting as this will be the World Trophy’s 25th Anniversary.
It was questioned whether the selection criteria should change. It is already posted on the USATF website. Dunham and Bolt expressed satisfaction with how the current system is working. A motion was made by Dunham and seconded by Pirrung that an at-large man, and at-large woman, and 3 junior men and all four of the junior women will be selected by review of resumes using the criteria posted on the USATF website.
The role of the liaison at USATF National Championship events was discussed. Among the duties, a liaison is asked to put out a press release before and after the event (or ensure that the race director does so). The liaison is asked to take photos of the athletes and submit them. The liaison is asked to coordinate with the race director to have the results (accurate and inclusive of all USATF members who are award winners) back to USATF ASAP (preferable within a week).
List of Liaisons:
1. March 2, 2008 – Caumsett, L.I. 50km Road Championship - Nancy Hobbs
2. April 12, 2008 – Mad City 100km Road Championship, Madison, WI - Lin Gentling
3. Trail Marathon Championship – bid pending based on prize money raised – Joyce Hodges-Hite
4. July 19, 2008 – Tahoe Rim 100 Miler – Howard Nippert to work with Hollis Lenderking of the Pacific Association. Charles DesJardins to act as official.
5. July 26, 2008 – White River 50 Mile Trail – Lorraine Gersitz Liaison, Bill Roe also likely to attend
6. June 21, 2008 – Mt. Washington Hill Climb – Rich Bolt, liaison. Paul Kirsch and Dave Dunham also will attend.
7. June, 29, 2008 – Steamboat Springs Trail Championship – Dave Dunham will be liaison.
8. July 20, 2008 – Vail Berry Picker – liaison not needed as this is a selection race rather than a national championship. However, Nancy Hobbs plans to attend.
9. Oct. 11, 2008 - Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile Road Championship – Nancy Hobbs to attend.
10. August 16, 2008 – Where’s Waldo 100K trail championship – Rich Bolt, liaison.
The issue of use of Tussey Mountainback as the 50 M road championship was revisited as Norm Green was able to join us for the afternoon session (he was at other meetings in the morning when this bid was discussed. Norm expressed displeasure that we’d accepted the race for only one year of its bid (2008, but not 2009). Norm and Joyce Hodges Hite both stated their feelings that “a bid in the hand is better than one in the bush” (the Three Rivers Race has not applied for 2009). Garcia indicated that he feels there should be some requirement that the races, including Tussey, show that they have increased their funding during the two year period they have the national championship. Some felt that seeing to this may need to become part of the liaison’s duties. Pirrung made a motion to accept Tussey Mountainback for 2009 as the 50 mile national championship. Gersitz seconded this. After further discussion, the council voted again, this time accepting Tussey as National 50 mile Championship for 2009 in addition to 2008.
Criteria for team membership for the USA 100km team for 2008 have already been posted on USATF’s website. Nippert indicated that the only thing that will change year to year, unless the MUT Council looks at changing it, will be the qualifying window. Garcia felt that criteria should be posted earlier, but Nippert reiterated that the standards are the same year to year unless someone brings it up for discussion to a MUT member who brings it to MUT Council, who will discuss the issue with the ultra task force.
Dunham made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Lloyd Stephenson seconded it. All agreed, none opposed. The meeting was adjourned.