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Women's Long Distance Running Committee 2008 Minutes

Thursday, Dec. 4 WLDR Executive Session

The session was called to order at 11 a.m. by Chair Elizabeth Phillips.

Elizabeth welcomed the members of the WLDR Executive Committee to the Annual Meeting and explained to those guests present that although the session is designated an executive committee session, they were welcome to observe.

Before giving a brief recap of the year, Elizabeth acknowledged that this would be the last year that she would be serving as Chair of the WLDR committee and that to date it appeared that the only name that had been mentioned as her successor was Virginia Brophy Achman, currently a co-vice chair of the committee.

Our WLDR award winners were officially announced as:

Deena Kastor : 2008 Athlete of the Year

Frank Porter: 2008 Marja Bakker Contributor of the Year

The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon, with its perfect weather and terrific spectator and media support, was the highlight of the year. It was a wonderful showcase for our very talented field of athletes.

She remarked that after the first of the year, bids would be entertained for our next U.S. Olympic Team Trials. A lot of interest had already been expressed by several well-respected race directors and associations.

She reported that we would be adding a Half-Marathon qualifying standard of 1:15 for the next Olympic Team Trials. It would have to be set on a USATF certified and record-eligible course.

A motion was made by Mickey Piscitelli to amend the language regarding our marathon trials qualifying standard, so that the words “ it must be set on a race course of no greater drop than 3.25 meters per kilometer” be included. The motion was unanimously approved.

Will Lindgren gave an overview of national championship races which have already been accepted for beyond 2009 and spoke about the possible creation of a new USA race series.

He reviewed the USA Women’s National Championship races for 2009 as:

Jan. 18 : Half Marathon

March 14: 15 Km.

May 7: 1 Mile

May 9: 25 Km.

July 25: 7 Mile

Sept. 7: 20 Km.

Sept. 20: 5 Km.

Oct. 4: Marathon

Oct. 12: 10K

Will made a motion to approve the bid from the New York City Marathon organizers for our 2010 National Marathon Championship. The motion was unanimously approved.

The committee recessed at 12:49 pm.

Friday Dec 5 First Session

Chair Elizabeth Phillips called the meeting to order at 10:00am.

She welcomed everyone and recapped the highlight of the year for WLDR which was the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon in Boston. The staff and the volunteers of the BAA as well as the WLDR committee members were thanked for their tireless support and dedication.

Secretary Mickey Piscitelli made a motion to accept the WLDR minutes from the 2007 Annual Meeting in Honolulu. The motion was unanimously approved.

There was a rather lengthy discussion of “headphones” rule. Virginia, David Katz, Bill Mc Kee as well as several others voiced their opinions not only as to the intended purpose of the rule but to its practical enforcement.

Elizabeth continued with a review of the year. As she had during the executive session, she again mentioned that the BAA were great people to work with and how Frank Porter, a former president of the BAA, was really a stimulus in getting the Olympic Team Trials to Boston. So instrumental was he that the WLDR committee voted Frank the recipient of our Marja Bakker contributor of the year award. She was a long-time member of the WLDR committee. It was most fitting that the day of the trails was also Marja’s birthday.

Kevin Hanson and Will Lindgren reported on Team USA participation in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. It had been contested from 1992 to 2005, and replaced by the IAAF World Road Running Championships which had its inaugural event held in 2006. In 2007, the IAAF announced that the name of the IAAF World Road Running Championships would revert back to its original title of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, beginning with this year’s event which took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Sunday, October 12. Representing Team USA for the first time were Jill Steffens, Kristen Nicolini Lehmkuhle, and Stephanie Herbst Lucke. Dot McMahan and Melissa White, both with Hansons-Brooks, brought their international experience to the line. Team USA finished in 4th place, with two of them achieving personal records, and all 5 athletes finishing within a two minute time frame.

Since this was to be Elizabeth’s sixth and final year as WLDR chair, she called for nominations to fill the position.

Virginia Brophy Achman, committee member and actively co-vice chair to the committee, was nominated by Nina Kuscsik. There being no additional nominations, Virginia Brophy Achman was elected by acclamation to the position of Chair of the WLDR committee for a four year term.

Fred Finke relayed that John Blackburn had been asked to author a hybrid of the various versions of the “headphones” rule.

Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick suggested that new USATF rules and amended rules be highlighted when published. The consensus was that this was a good idea and would make it easier for everyone to focus on new rules and amended language.

She also reported that High Performance had an open and productive discussion with feedback from Doug Logan.

Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon qualifying standards were discussed.

We will continue to have both an “A” and “B” standard.

Our “A” standard for the Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon will remain as it currently is: 2:39:00

The “B” standard will remain at 2:46:00

The 10k on the track standard will remain at 33:00.

A new Half Marathon qualifying standard of 1:15 has been instituted. It must be performed on a certified course recognized by USATF or a member federation of the IAAF.

The 2012 Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon qualifying window will open for one day in 2009, that day being our National Marathon Championship race. It will open again on Jan. 1, 2010 and stay open until 30 days before the trials.

Andy Carr gave his report regarding Women’s LDR Road Records. There were 3 “open” and 3 “all-comers” records.

Elizabeth Phillips made a motion to accept Andy’s recommendations.

The motion was unanimously approved.

The committee recessed at 11:50am.

Friday, Dec. 6 Second Session

The session was called to order by Elizabeth Phillips at 2pm.

It was again announced, pending Board approval, that Virginia Brophy Achman will be the new WLDR Chair.

International Championships Chair, Kathy Nary, reported on international competitive events coming up for 2009 as well as our successes in 2008.

In 2008, WLDR participated in 3 competitions.

Team USA had a 12th place finish at the Yokohama Ekiden on February 24. Team Leader LeeAnn Meyer mentioned that, as it was an Olympic year, that tier of runners was not available, but that those athletes who accepted the invitation to compete on a U.S. team, gained greatly from the international competition experience. Competing for Team USA were Mandy Zemba, Stephanie Rothstein, Delilah DiCrescenzo, Allison Grace, Alvina Begay, and Stephanie Bylander. It has been decided and announced that the 2008 Yokohama Ekiden will be the last contested.

Although discussed briefly at a previous session, team leader Will Lindgren spoke glowingly of the efforts of the U.S. women at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Their sensible strategy of starting out slowly and working as a team on an oppressively hot and humid day led to an impressive 4th place finish.

It was 8th place for the Team USA at the Chiba Ekiden. The coed team was composed of Ed Moran, Carrie Messer, Sean Quigley, Allison Grace, Dan Browne, and Tera Moody, with alternates Teresa McWalters and Dave Jankowski. Team Leader was John Hosp and Mickey Piscitelli served as coach. Mickey reported on the race and displayed a scrap book of paperwork and another album of photos. The team was a mix of seasoned athletes (some having run this same event in the past) and some having never raced internationally. It was a terrific learning experience for all. Both alternates to that team placed second in their respective 5K track races.

Will Lindgren, chair of National Championships, announced our National Championships for 2009.

He enthusiastically reported that there were lots of new dates and that they were spread more uniformly throughout the year.

Guest Terrence Mahan inquired about the Carlsbad and/or Bloomsday races being considered as national championships. Will reiterated that all race directors were certainly welcome to submit a bid for a national championship to Jim Estes.

Will listed all of the races that he was recommending as national championships not only for 2009, but for multi-year bids as well.

Elizabeth made a motion to accept the slate of races as proposed by Will.

The motion was unanimously approved.

Jim Estes informed the group of a new position that had been created within USATF entitled C.O.O. (Chief Operating officer).

Nancy Hobbs, MUT chair, reported on what the 23+ member council had been working on. Their events included, but were not limited to the IAU 100km World Cup, the IAU 24 hours, the NACAC Mountain Running Championships, and the WMRA World Mountain Trophy.

She recounted a very exciting and successful year which included some gold medals. Nancy continued to invite all LDR association liaisons to add MUT races to their LDR focus by considering hosting a mountain, trail, or ultra championship event. As always, she and the MUT Running Council are very interested in assisting those in need of suggestions and support with starting a new race or program on an association level.

Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick spoke about the suitability of host city designated training sites pre-Olympic Games. She would see value in having someone from USATF visit the pre-Olympic training site prior to the arrival of Team USA.

Nina Kuscsik gave a brief review of what was being discussed in the L&L sessions. Most of the discussion appeared to be regarding the restructuring of the Board.

The Women’s Long Distance Running Committee selected Elizabeth Phillips as the LDR representative to the Board. She agreed to assume that role should she be appointed to that position.

LeeAnn Meyer reported for AADP coordinator Joe Lanzalotto regarding AADP opportunities. She distributed hard copies of which associations sent athletes to which races during 2008. All associations were encouraged to contact Joe regarding AADP spots. Associations were encouraged to attempt to match the stipends of AADP to make these trips more affordable for the athletes. The Utah association as well as several others had already made this a practice.

Irene Herman gave us an update on what was happening at the Associations meetings.

One change mentioned was regarding insurance and officials. In non-sanctioned events, all officials must be USATF members in order to be covered by the policy.

The committee recessed at 3:50 pm.

Saturday, Dec. 5 Final Session

Elizabeth Phillips called the meeting to order at 2pm.

Julia McKinney reported on news from our High Performance division. She mentioned the National Podium Education Project(NPEP) being held in Las Vegas the week following the Annual Meeting. USA Track & Field will be presenting the NEEP at the Tuscany Resort and Casino.

Attendees would hear presentations from experts that have been working with Olympic athletes and coaches. Biomechanists ,sportspsychologists, physiologists, and motor learning experts would be on hand to help coaches apply the nformationgatheredbythescientistsandcoacheswhohave“crackedthecode.”

Registration is completely free to current members of USATF.

HP is fostering competitive opportunities which include an athlete’s ability to directly review their performance. Julie spoke about the importance of continuing “Podium Summits” which are valuable to both coaches and athletes. These summits include guest speakers and are science based. They are also an opportunity for the athletes to bond as a team.

There is currently talk of having marathon summit for the World Championship team which will represent the USA in Berlin.

Bill Roe was on hand to inform the group about thoughts shared with new CEO Doug Logan. It is Mr. Logan’s belief that our strength is in our events and that we would be moving in the direction of having more than the current number of Visa Championship events. He also spoke about the possibility of a new USOC Sports Network TV channel. This would be an additional outlet by which we might showcase our events.

The session was adjourned at 3:15pm.

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