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Women's Long Distance Running Committee 2007 Minutes

Women’s Long Distance Running Executive Committee
Thursday, November 29 

Present:   Virginia Brophy Achman, Kelly Flathers, Kimberley Keenan-Kirkpatrick, Nancy Hobbs, Will Lindgren, LeeAnn Meyer, Elizabeth Phillips, Mickey Piscitelli, Nina Kuscsik.
Guests: Dee Jensen, Jim Estes, Fred Finke
The meeting was called to order by Elizabeth Phillips at 11:03am.

Although schedules for the Annual Meeting WLDR sessions were distributed to the committee prior to this session via e-mail,  Elizabeth distributed hard copies as well to those in attendance. There were three general sessions of WLDR scheduled for the 2007 Annual Meeting in Honolulu.

Elizabeth reported with confidence that the BAA’s hosting of the upcoming Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials would be “first class all the way”.  She informed the group that representatives from the BAA traveled to NYC in November to observe and enjoy the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials.

She enumerated the many pluses that the athletes and their families and friends would enjoy at the Women’s Trials.  The host hotel, the Sheraton at Copley Plaza, is within just a few blocks of both the start and finish lines of the event. Because there is a skyway to facilitate traveling by foot, traveling to and from the drug testing site will be easier than it was in St. Louis in 2004.

She encouraged everyone to go to the website to see which athletes have already registered. Since quite a bit of the marathon course in also part of the Tufts 10K course, many of our trials qualifiers who ran the Tufts 10K Championship this past October got a good look at what they could expect at the trials.  They were treated by the BAA to a bus tour of the course as well as a special goody bag which included a technical fabric tee shirt and CD tour of the marathon course.  Elizabeth mentioned how Steve Vaitones, Managing Director of the USATF New England Association, was very well organized and terrific to work with.  She will be involved in a series of already scheduled monthly conference calls to discuss any issues that may arise between now and race day.  She has been assured that all race officials will be certified and was happy to report that the tradition of having a female starter will continue. Color-coded and very detailed maps of the multi-loop course were made available to those in attendance.  An updated list of qualifiers was also available.  All were reminded that the closing date for qualifying for participation in the Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials is March 23, 2008.

 LDR National Office Liaison, Jim Estes, had been busy compiling some interesting statistics for the group, and reported that there were 10 women who have qualified for the marathon trials based on 10K race times.

He had prepared a list of qualifiers which included their state of residence, the state in which they qualified, as well as their home state.

At this point there are 18 women who qualified with the USATF “A” standard, giving them an all expenses paid trip to the trials.  Those interested in seeing what Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials merchandise is available were directed to the website. Jim also reported that he is still working on TV coverage for the event. Elizabeth thanked Jim for all of his work with respect to making the Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials a top-notch event.

Elizabeth reported that there were representatives of the USOC in NYC for the Men’s Olympic Trials.  One would surmise that they were on site to ensure that there were no problems relating to event sponsorship.

She also reminded everyone that, on the following morning, the WLDR committee would be hosting the Fun Run/Walk for recuperating WLDR executive committee member and athlete Jenny Crain.

Several committee members volunteered to be pace group leaders, others volunteered to collect money, design and distribute flyers, and stir up interest in the event.

A starting time of 6am was set for the run/ walk with the distance at the participant’s discretion - somewhere from 20 minutes to an hour.  There would be no entry fee or timed results, but donation to the Jenny Fund would be most graciously accepted.  Participants would be offered the opportunity to write a short note to Jenny to express their concern and encouragement as she works to return to good health.

Elizabeth informed the group that an invitation to participate in the 2008 Yokahama Ekiden had been received. It is scheduled for late February. 

 It was the consensus of the executive committee that our $2500 share from membership monies would be applied toward the cost and maintenance of the two new USATF vehicles that will be traveling around the country to our National Championships and other USATF high profile events.

 Elizabeth made a motion at 12:48pm to recess.
Seconded by Mickey Piscitelli.

 

WLDR Session 1
Friday, November 30

 Elizabeth Phillips called the meeting to order at 10:02am

 Elizabeth welcomed everyone and spotting WLDR liaison to the Rules Committee, Bill McKee, called upon him to inform the group of a suggested rule change. (Item # 20)The existing rule would be changed to permit both sexes to compete simultaneously on the track in races of 5000 meter or longer.

It was Elizabeth’s view that the intent was to speed up the overall time for track meets.  If there are full fields of men and women, the sexes would be run in separate races.  This rule change would allow men and women to run together should either sex have perhaps just one or two runners.  The understanding was that there would still be separate awards for each sex. The consensus of the group was to endorse the rule change.

 Elizabeth introduced WLDR committee members Kimberley Keenan-Kirkpatrick and Virginia Brophy Achman as our two Vice Chairs as well as Mickey Piscitelli (Secretary), Nina Kuscsik (Law & Legislation), Julie McKinney (Chair of our Development Subcommittee), Nancy Hobbs (MUT), Will Lindgren (Chair of our National Championships Subcommittee), LeeAnn Meyer(Chair of our AADP), Irene Herman (Associations Representative).  She also noted that there were other vital members of the committee not present at this year’s annual meeting who deserve praise for their work throughout the year.  Those commended for their work were Linda Honikman (Records), Kathy Nary (Chair of our International Competition Subcommittee), Janet Roberts (athlete), Nicole Aish (athlete), Samia Akbar (athlete) and Jenny Crain (athlete).

 Secretary Mickey Piscitelli made a motion to accept the WLDR minutes from the 2006 Annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Seconded by Irene Herman.

Elizabeth reported on results at our National Championships.  She praised the race directors for their VIP treatment of our athletes.  Many of the races have been on our championship calendar for numerous years. She noted the high quality of both the long-standing series events as well as that of some of our newer ones.

 Elizabeth shared Kathy Nary’s report on our international competitions including the very recently held Chiba Ekiden.

Elizabeth noted the contributions of Glenn Latimer, David Katz, and David Monti in terms of the great success of the Men’s Olympic Trials Marathon held just a month prior in New York City’s Central Park.  The hope is that we can build on this success and have a similarly outstanding event in Boston in April 2008 for the women.  Both races are designed with a criterion course.  She reminded those gathered of the results of our 2004 post-Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon survey in which 7 of the top 10 women finishers said that they preferred a criterion course to other race designs. She commended both NYC and Boston and their respective race organizers for stepping up to present these very costly races.

 It was announced that the Men’s Long Distance Running Committee had decided upon there being only one qualifying standard for future Olympic Marathon Trials.  In the future athletes must run marathon on an approved course in 2 hours 19 minutes 00 seconds or faster, or run a half marathon in 1 hour  5 minutes or faster in order to toe the line at the trials.  It will no longer be possible to qualify by running a sub 28:30 10K race.  All qualifiers will now receive the complimentary entry and lodging that was available in the past only to those qualifying with what had been named the “A” standard.

 Jim Estes was on hand to give say that he was wrapping up his work regarding the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials and was now addressing and revisiting sponsorship potential for the Women’s Trials. He is also working on a webcast our 2008 Boston event. It was his opinion that the USOC were impressed with the men’s trials. 

 Bill Roe greeted the group and reminded us that his background is LDR and that he most definitely will be present in Boston for the Women’s Trials.

Bob Hersch reported that the IAAF had created a separate appointed Road Running Commission.  He expressed the frustration of getting bidders for events which traditionally are not big revenue producers.  This had been especially true in the event formerly known as the World Half Marathon. This coming year the Half Marathon will be in Rio de Janeiro.  He described the Rio race as a very visually appealing course in its having views of oceans and beaches.

 The newly formed Road Running Commission has come to the following

conclusions:

1)  Stick with the Half Marathon distance

2)  Hold the race in conjunction with another existing and prospering

     marathon event

3)  Promote the event

 Bob also mentioned that it was the desire of the IAAF to have a more positive relationship with the 5 major  marathons. 

 He also explained a new system for identifying IAAF competitions at a “gold” or “silver” level. A gold level event is one that is covered on international TV, whereas a silver level event is one that is covered on national TV. 

 Dr. David Martin presented his comparison of the Beijing marathon course with those in Osaka and Athens, stating that conditions will mimic those in Osaka much more than those in Athens. Similarities for Osaka and Beijing: early morning start, hot, humid, race conditions for the athletes deteriorate as race progresses.

 At 11:26 am Elizabeth Phillips made a motion for the meeting to recess.
It was seconded by Mickey Piscitelli. 

WLDR Session 2
Friday November 30

 Elizabeth called the meeting to order at 2:03pm.

In Kathy Nary’s absence, Elizabeth reported on our international competitions.

We had one of the greatest teams ever assembled for the Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden where we posted our highest finish place ever. Team members were Jen Rhines, Deena Kastor, Carrie Tollefson, Amy Rudolph, Katie McGregor, Elva Dryer. Alternate was Jenny Crain. Team Coach was Terence Mann and Team Leader was Kathy Nary.

We were invited to the April 8th Beijing Ekiden but because of other competitions it was decided that we forego that competition in 2007.

Athletes Chris Lundy (7th in 2:51:58) and Emily Mortensen (8th in 3:02:00) represented the USA at the Pan American Games women’s marathon in July in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the past the Ekidens were contested with separate women’s and men’s events. This was not the case for the November 23rd  Chiba Ekiden. The format for this year’s event featured a mixed team of men and women running six alternating legs for a total of 42.195 km.

Team Coach Todd Williams and Team Leader LeeAnn Meyer escorted the team of 4 men and 4 women. LeeAnn gave a report which included a scrap book with lots of pictures and memorabilia.  LeeAnn happily reported that everything went “like clockwork”.  They marched in the opening ceremonies behind an American flag into a stadium filled with spectators.  The event was televised all over Japan. Competing on our coed team were Ed Moran (5 km 13:33), Ryan Sheehan (10 km 29:31), Scott Bauhs 10 km 28:31 (PB), Desiree Davila (5 km 16:11 (PB), Melissa White (5 km 16:40), Stephanie Rothstein (7.195 km 24:39.  Alternates Casey Owens and Josh Moen competed in a 5km track race.  Casey was first in the women’s event with a personal best of 16:11.99 and Josh was second in the men’s race in a personal best time of 13:53:31.

Ann Alyanak (31st: 2:42:23) led Team USA to a sixth place finish at the Women’s Marathon team competition at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan.  Her teammates were Zoila Gomez (35th 2:44:49), Dana Coons (38th 2:46:12), Mary Akor (42nd 2:47:06), and Samia Akbar (50th 2:56:27).

 In October , at the IAAF World Road Running Championships in Udine, Italy, Team USA placed 6th and was very well represented by athletes Deena Kastor (16th 1:09:38), Katie McGregor (27th 1:12:01), Tara Storage (32nd 1:12:47), Desiree Davila (34th 1:12:54) and Alicia Shay (DNF). Kathy Nary wore the hats of Team Leader and Coach.

 International opportunities for 2008 are:

Yokohama Ekiden in February in Japan
*New Event: Austin International Team Challenge – Marathon-in February in Texas
Beijing
Ekiden in China in April
IAAF Road Running Championship in October in Rio de Janeiro
Chiba
Ekiden in November in Japan

 Elizabeth thanked Kathy and our international competition committee members Zika Rae, Camille Estes, and Kevin Hanson for their work throughout the year. She also thanked the athletes for participating in these events.

 Will Lindgren reviewed the year ahead in terms of which championships were already awarded. They are:

Houston Half Marathon: 1/18/09      1/17/10    1/16/11
Gate
River
Run 15K:  3/8/08
 
USA Women’s Olympic Trails Marathon in Boston: 4/20/08
 
CVS Downtown 5K: 9/21/08
 
*Akron 8K  (New Event!): 9/28/08
 
*TCM 10 Mile (New Event!): 10/5/08
 
Tufts 10K: 10/13/08     10/12/09      10/11/10

 Will also informed the group of the bids to be considered:

 Gate River Run 15K: 3/14/09      3/13/10
 
Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K: 5/10/08     5/9/09
 
New Haven Road Race 20K 9/1/08:  

Will made a motion to accept the list of bids as presented.

Seconded by LeeAnn Meyer.

With the approval of these bids, 2008 will be the year in which American women will have the greatest number of national championship ever contested.

Will also mentioned that he anticipated a 2009 bid coming in from the organizers of the Twin Cities Marathon.

Vice Chair Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick reported on developments in the Athlete Advisory sessions that she had attended. There was lots of discussion regarding the upcoming Olympics with respect to the nutritional needs of the athletes as well as air quality.       

On May 16 there will be a USOC informational summit for the athletes.

She also mentioned the upcoming Track & Field Trials in Oregon and that the track in Eugene was ready and that tickets for the Olympic Trails for track and field there were already sold out.

 Nina Kuscsik speaking about her sessions with Law & Legislation reported that the all sports committees have changed their name to sport committee.

She also explained that in the IAAF there is a women’s committee, cross-country committee and walking committee.

 Irene Herman, our Associations representative, had attended two meetings on our behalf.

Apparently Jim Sherrer (USOC rep) criticized the size of the USATF board.  It currently stands at 28-31 members.  He believes that it should be restructured to have 11 people. USATF is opposed to this change.

 There was discussion regarding championships which encompass both youth & masters competition. There appears to be a need to better advertise said events. 

She also reported that Lamont Jones was working on a boiler-plate for bylaws and that deadline for submission is Oct 15, 2008.

Irene also reminded everyone that if there is a youth component of your club, you must send communications (e-mail and otherwise) to the athlete and not to their coach.

She also reminded us that we should be using the newly adopted USATF logo.

She mentioned that there was a new staff person, Kristina Hervey, at the national office.

It was Christina who designed the logo for this year’s Annual Meeting.

Irene also mentioned that a new benefit to USATF members would be the opportunity to purchase a “bundle” subscription to both Runner’s World & Running Times magazines for a tiny fraction of the cover prices.

Regarding the progress with the mandatory criminal background checks, all but two associations have complied. 

 She reported that the Associations Workshop at Baton Rouge was very well attended.

 Irene also shared some interesting statistics with the group.

 In 2007 69% of membership renewals were made online.
In 2007 out of 9300 certified track and field officials, only 2000 are USATF members.
80% of the events that we officiate are not sanctioned events.

There is work being done to develop a wrap-around policy that will cover an official at both sanctioned & non-sanctioned events. Irene is cautiously optimistic that this will be realized in the near future.

Barbara Palma, our representative to Officials and Organizational services, reported that it had been fairly quiet with only one committee (Youth) requesting help with elections.

For rules changes and amendments she reminded the group to visit www.usatfofficials.com

Barb reiterated that if you are a USATF member working a sanctioned meet you are covered by the USATF insurance.

Also, starting the next Olympiad, officials must be USATF certified.

Bill Mc Kee returned to advise the group that the rule about allowing both sexes to compete in the same event (longer than 5000 meters) had passed.

He reminded us that what has come to be known as the “headphones” rule will be up for review next year.

Dee Jensen who serves on an NCAA task force reported that there has been a trend to eliminate track & field programs.  Some of the funds made available as a result of the loss of these programs have made their way into men’s basketball and football programs. She reminded us that we should be vocal and attempt to halt this movement.  It is extremely difficult to resurrect a program one it has been dropped.

 Elizabeth Phillips made a motion to recess at 3:56pm.
It was seconded by Will Lindgren.

 

WLDR Session 3
Saturday, December 1   

Chair Elizabeth Phillips called the meeting to order at 2pm.

Nina Kuscsik reported on what was happening in the Law & Legislation sessions which she had attended.  She brought item R4b to our attention.  She stated that we already had representation in the Road Running Council and Cross Country, but no representation in the Women’s Committee.  She declared and we confirmed that this was not an issue.

Julie McKinney updated those present on happenings in the High Performance sessions.

She reminded us that the focus in 2007 was to get our athletes “to the podium” in the

Worlds and Olympics and that it is to that end that the majority of the funding is directed. Regarding the Olympic women’s marathon, 13 of our women have run the Olympic A standard of 2:37.  That time must have been run on one of the 30 courses on the list of approved races. She reported that Boston is not on that list and that we have one athlete whose qualifying time was from the St. George marathon (not on the list) but that the athlete is well aware that her performance there did not earn her the Olympic A standard.  It was noted that we must make certain that our Olympic Trials Marathon course for 2008 is on that list.

Julie reminded us of another focus of the high performance group was to encourage and facilitate the conduction of summits.  She mentioned how in June Dr. David Martin developed a “biomechanistic” or “science -based” program for the athletes and their coaches.

The particulars of Osaka marathon course were scrutinized.  Three of our four athletes attended. The upcoming summit in Colorado Springs will be focused specifically on expected race conditions in Beijing.

Julie also mentioned that there are several programs that fall under the umbrella of the high performance group that would benefit athletes currently specializing in the 5K and 10k distances.  Video taping of the events is taking place and is enabling athletes to analyze their form. In addition, genome testing was being conducted at Baylor University.  Efforts are being made to examine blood components to monitor the effects of training and thereby predict or recognize when overtraining is occurring.

She also informed the group about another project regarding ground contact time.  The theory being that the less time one’s foot has contact with the ground, the faster one runs.

She reminded the group about the upcoming summit in May in Colorado Springs as well as the gathering in Las Vegas taking place Dec. 11-13.  There is no cost to attend this December summit.  Julie assured us that there would be several sports scientists and sports psychologists presenting.

Association Athlete Development Program Chair LeeAnn Meyer reminded us that a form would be sent to all AADP contact persons in all associations in January. She reiterated that the program is no longer limited to look for “developmental”athletes. In the past many associations have had selection races as a means of identifying athletes for the program.  We are now leaning more toward looking at nominating the athlete from a pool of qualified talent. She urged all to update the AADP contact person information on the association website so that e-mail correspondence would be directed most efficiently.  She was proud to announce that all national championships for 2008 will have AADP participation.

 She closed by saying that effective immediately, the new AADP contact person will be Joe Lanzalotto of the New Jersey Association.

LeeAnn Meyer received prolonged applause as a symbol of appreciation for her 20 years of leadership and service to AADP.

Nancy Hobbs of the Mountain, Ultra and Trail Council updated us on the running division’s success.  MUT will enjoy a very exciting year with 10 championships being contested for 2008.  This is their greatest number to date. Loyal sponsor of 6 years, Teva, has signed on for 3 more years of sponsorship.

Highlights of the year were an individual first place for the women, team gold medal and a silver medal for the junior girls.

 Steve Vaitones, Managing Director of the New England Association, reported on how things were shaping up for our Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon in April of 2008. Deena Kastor was the first to enter the race. There is a hometown newspaper

outreach for those who have already signed up.  They are working very hard on

getting TV coverage for the race.  We have 145 women at this point in time who qualify to enter the competition. Regarding the course itself, he mentioned that the only significant hill occurred in the first loop which the runners encounter only once.

Four miles of it is on the Tufts 10K course.  During their tours on Tufts weekend, qualifiers were given the opportunity to view the turnaround points and the general flow of the course. He assured us that a JumboTron TV would be erected near the finish line area.  He also stated that the officials are all USATF certified officials. He assured us that we are most definitely in good hands with the BAA as their reputation for excellence precedes them.

He noted that the host hotel – the Sheraton – was very close to both the start line and finish line of the race.

The race start time is set for 8:30am. On Sunday, April 20, 2008.

Since the Expo for the Boston Marathon on Monday is located nearby we can expect lots of spectator traffic from that event. He also stated that the BAA has made it easy for people to find out more about out marathon trials by providing a direct link from their website www.baa.org . When asked if there was anything else we wanted from him we asked him to “guarantee great weather”.  He smiled and said he’d work on it.

 In Linda Honikman’s absence, Elizabeth presented the list of records for acceptance.

A motion was made by Elizabeth to accept the records as delineated.

 Elizabeth opened the floor to any WLDR representatives to inform the group as to what was going on of note in their local association.

 Lena Hollmann, WLDR Chair of the North Carolina association was happy to report that they were enjoying an increase in race participation in all of the AADP races except for the 25K distance.  Lena gave a lot of credit to their men’s committee for helping create those opportunities for the women.

 Linda Barnhart from the Nebraska association noted that they had had 3 new races in 2007 and that the first sub 4 minute mile in Nebraska was run in September.  She was very proud to report that little part of road race history.

 Irene Herman of the Pacific association was delighted to report that they were continuing their Grand Prix and Cross Country series and that there was substantial prize money attached to those events.  She also said that their youth membership has grown to 2800 and that that growth is truly a source of pride for the association.

 Joe Monks of the Florida association spoke about the success of their MUT races and also mentioned that they were working on re-establishing their state championships.

 Steve Vaitones of New England that they have are celebrating having held a Grand Prix series of 7 races for the past 23 years.

He said that participation is on the upswing and pointed out that New England had the honor of hosting both our 5K and 10K Road National Championships.

Virginia Brophy Achman of Minnesota reported that they would be hosting our 10 mile National Championship and that the women would be showcased by starting ahead of the rest of the field.

Elizabeth made a motion to adjourn at 3:39pm.
The motion was seconded by Virginia Brophy Achman.

 

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