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Women's Long Distance Running Committee 2009 Minutes

 December 3, 2009
 
Attendees: Executive Committee members: Virginia Brophy Achman (Chair), Mickey Piscitelli (secretary), Kathy Nary, Hank Brown, Linda Barnhart, Nancy Hobbs, Nina Kuscsik, Kimberly Keenan-Kirkpatrick
Guests
: Jack Wickens, Elva Dryer, Jim Estes, Fred Finke, and Barb Palma
A quorum was present.
 
Chair Virginia Brophy Achman called the session to order at 7:13am
 
Introductions: Committee members and guests introduced themselves.  The chair confirmed new Executive Committee member Hank Brown.
 
Agenda Amendments/Additions: A request by Nancy Hobbs that her MUT report be moved to a different open session was noted. 
 
Approval of Minutes: Secretary Mickey Piscitelli asked for approval of the 2008 WLDR Committee meeting minutes. The minutes were unanimously approved.
 
Financial Housekeeping: Committee members were reminded to complete the necessary paperwork and to include receipts for expenses incurred with respect to the Annual Meeting. The Chair distributed hard copies of the needed forms.
 
Annual Meeting Changes
Annual Report: It was decided by consensus that all committee reports be incorporated into one document to avoid redundancy.
Meeting Structure: A request was made by LeeAnn Meyer, and the committee agreed, to have all Executive Committee members re-introduce themselves at each of the open sessions so that WLDR representatives at the Association level would have a better working knowledge of the committee in terms of “putting a face with a name.”
 
Organizational Directory update:
The Chair asked that an attempt be made to identify/verify current WLDR association and regional representatives.  Names of those who are no longer actively working with the committee will be removed from the online directory.
 
Thank You Gifts for WLDR Championship Races
The Chair was happy to report that each of the organizers of our 2009 Championship races received four (4) 30” by 60” navy velour towels embroidered with the official USATF logo and the words “Women’s Long Distance Running”. The committee agreed that this “one size fits all” non-fragile gift was an excellent choice. 
In the future, these gifts will be shipped to Championships Chair Hank Brown for delivery to the hosting race organizers via the race liaisons. 
 
Championships:
A meeting was set for later that afternoon for the Championships Chair Hank Brown and the sub-committee members.  They will examine bids received for Championship races for the year 2010 and beyond.  Also, USATF liaison protocol will be discussed as well as how we might make both our championships bid application and AADP application be more online user-friendly.
 
Committee Composition:
The Chair hopes to have more athletes become active committee members.  Kathy Nary will work with Elva Dryer to identify interested athletes. There was a brief description given of the “Jenny Crain Mentoring Program” which we hope to have in place for 3 designated races during 2010.   Jack Wickens suggested that athletes already affiliated with the USA Foundation be considered.
 
USATF Foundation Update:  USATF Foundation Board member and Vice-Chair of the USATF Board of Directors, Jack Wickens reminded the group that there are several groups supported by the Foundation. 
These include:
*youth programs (especially those in urban areas)
*elite athletes who are struggling financially.
The Foundation awarded 31 grants of $4000 each.  In addition, the Foundation attempts to match athletes with business mentors.  They have been successful in matching athletes with 16 companies in the health care, fitness, and engineering fields.
*USA Distance Project: There are training centers throughout USA with a mission of developing athletes to represent the USA internationally.
He also described the one-dollar, one-day health insurance concept, which will be launched as a trial in Houston in early 2010.
 
Inter/Intra WLDR Communication:
Virginia polled the committee as to which USATF communication e-mails the group is currently receiving.  The committee expressed a desire to be updated by Virginia regarding Championships bids/changes/results.  Information on how our athletes are competing throughout the year and an updated list of who has qualified for the USA Olympic Marathon Team trials would be most welcome.
 
Old Business
Kimberly Keenan-Kirkpatrick suggested that once Championships liaisons/team leaders are selected, Virginia send the list to Jim Estes who will then send it to Doug Logan.
 
WLDR Committee to Support Podium Finishes for 2010 and 2016
A new athlete-mentoring program will be introduced in 2010.  It is be named the Jenny Crain “Make it Happen” Mentoring Program.  WLDR also plans to increase visibility of our programs and goals by starting a facebook page in order to help our sports fan base grow.
 
WLDR Executive Committee
 
Session 2 – December 5
 
Attendees: Executive Committee members: Virginia Brophy Achman (Chair), Mickey Piscitelli (secretary), Hank Brown, Linda Barnhart, LeeAnn Meyer Kathy Nary, Nina Kuscsik, Kimberly Keenan-Kirkpatrick, Julie McKinney
Guests:  Magdalena Lewy Boulet
 
The Chair called the meeting to order at 2:05 pm.
 
The Chair welcomed new Executive Committee member athlete Magdalena Lewy-Boulet to the group. She also confirmed that Elva Dryer and Colleen DeReuck would be coming on board for WLDR.
 
2012 Olympic Team Trials - Women’s Marathon
Proposals and bid packages were presented for the 2012 Olympic Team Trials Women’s Marathon at 4pm the previous day to the Evaluation Committee of which. Chair Virginia Brophy Achman is a member.  She shared that there were a total of three bids: New York, Boston, and Houston.  Some cities were interested in hosting the Olympic Team Trials specifically for men or for women, while one city’s major marathon was interested in hosting the event for both men and women.  According to Virginia, the 2012 Olympic Team Trials Evaluation Committee members were now to “do their homework” and would be meeting again in January regarding this important matter.
 
AADP coordinator Linda Barnhart had met with committee members to tweak the final qualifying standards for the AADP which will now be called the ADP. The word “Association” has been dropped from the title of the program. A finalized version will be available soon.
 
Hank finalized the list of liaisons to our championship races.
 
Virginia purchased attractive navy blue USATF Logo drawstring backpacks as thank you gifts for personnel hosting our 2010 national championships.  Each liaison will present 4 backpacks at their designated race.
 
2010 USA Running Circuit Prize Money for Women:
January 17             USA Half Marathon Championship                   $29,750
March 13               USA 15 km Championship                                 $26,500
May 8                    USA 25 km Championship                                 $10,600
May 13                  USA 1 Mile Road Championship                       $10,000
July 24                   USA 7 Mile Championship                                $22,500
September 6         USA 20 km Championship                                 $20,000
September 19         USA 5 km Championship                                   $15,000
October 3               USA 10 Mile Championship                               $25,000
October 11             USA 10 km Championship                                $25,450
November 7            USA Marathon Championship                         $150,000
                                                Subtotal:                                            $ 334,800
                                                USARC Grand Prix Bonus:                 $12,500
                                                Total:                                                  $347,300
 
The meeting was adjourned at 3:35pm.
 
 
WLDR General Session #1 – December 4
 
The Chair called the meeting to order at 10:10am.
The Chair invited Executive Committee members and all attendees to introduce themselves to the group.
 
Rules
Bill McKee covered suggested changes to competition rules (which pertain to LDR) as submitted to the Rules Committee.  The proposed rules amendments that were discussed were acceptable to the committee.  These included rules pertaining to water/refreshment stops during races and the “5 minute, 3 minute, 1 minute” pre-race warnings.
 
Records
Andy Carr referred the group to page 126 of the 2009 Annual Meeting Reports document and recommended approval of #8 and denial of proposed records # 7 and 9.  He cited an age discrepancy for the youth record (#7) and lack of necessary documentation from race organizers (#9) as reasons for the denied records. A motion was made to accept Andy’s recommendations.  It was unanimously approved.
 
International Competitions
Kathy Nary reported that WLDR sent teams to 4 competitions during 2009.
 
1) Yokohama International Women’s Ekiden – February 22
Carrie Vickers:                 Leg #1: 16:04    5 km
Desiree Davila:                 Leg #2: 32:57    10 km
Samia Akbar:                    Leg #3: 20:39    6 km
Stephanie Herbst-Lucke:  Leg #4: 20:18    6 km
Allison Grace:                   Leg #6: 17:47   5.197 km
The team finished in 7th place out of 14 teams.
Unfortunately, it has been announced that this was the final year for this competition.  It had been on the international race calendar for 20 years.
 
2) World Marathon Championships – Berlin – August 23, 2009
Kara Goucher        10th  place           2:27:48
Desiree Davila       11th  place           2:27:53 (PB)
Tera Moody           28th  place           2:36:39
Paige Higgins         30th place           2:37:11
Zoila Gomez           51st place           2:42:49
The team placed 5th.  It was the highest finish we have had to date.  Kara Goucher’s finish was the highest place finish since 1995.
 
3) IAAF World Half Marathon Championships – Birmingham – October 11, 2009
Amy Yoder Begley        11tth place          1:10:09 (PB)
Serena Burla                   17th place          1:10:55 (PB)
Amy Hastings                33rd place          1:13:20 (PB)
Heidi Westerling            38th place          1:14:22
Elva Dryer                      48th place          1:16:42
The team placed 5th.
 
      4)Chiba International Ekiden – Chiba, Japan – November 23, 2009
Men’s/Women’s Combined Team
1st  leg 5km            Jordan Horn 13:53 (Team and individual 8th)
2nd leg 5km           Meghan Armstrong 16:18 (Team 7th, individual 7th)
3rd leg 10km          Ian Burrell  29:14   (Team 4th, individual 2nd)
4th leg  5km           Lindsay Allen 16:28 (Team 4th, individual 6th)
5th leg  10km         Andrew Carlson  29:20 (Team 4th, individual 3rd)
      6th leg 7.195 km.  Jennifer Donovan 24:29 (Team 5th, individual 5th (tie with China)
Overall USA time: 2:09:42
This was the highest finish for the USA since the format was changed to a single coed relay.
 
Carlos Trujillo competed in the alternate’s 5km track race in a time of 14:28.
 
Kathy reminded everyone to continue checking the USATF website for 2010 International Competition opportunities as they (and the selection procedure) will be posted as they are received.
 
Law and Legislation
Nina Kuscsik reported that there was not a lot of discussion except to reiterate that the
Board of USATF is taking on more responsibilities in the areas of recommending, approving, and overseeing all committee programs.
 
Board member Elizabeth Phillips was present and gave a snapshot of what a positive experience it has been for her to work with her fellow Board members.  She described them as a very committed and professional group.
 
 
 
Executive Committee Update
Elva Dryer and Kim Keenan-Kirkpatrick were happy to report that the Jenny Crain Mentoring Program with be underway in 2010 at three of our WLDR Championship races.
 
As a running contemporary and friend of former WLDR Executive Board member Jenny Crain, Elva thought (and the committee agreed) it would be fitting to name this program after our recovering colleague, Jenny Crain.  Athletes and WLDR staff will be offering sessions in conjunction with selected championship races designed to assist our athletes in making wise choices to enhance their running career.  These sessions will be offered at a shorter distance race, a middle distance (perhaps 15K-20K range) and the marathon, so as to include as many of our developing women as possible.
 
IAAF
Bob Hersch spoke about the future of the IAAF World Half Marathon.  It has come to be perceived as “not a success” in that only 39 federations participated when it was last contested.
 
The plan is to move the event on the calendar from October to March and hold it only in even numbered years.  The decision about its future has been deferred until it is next contested in March 2012.
 
He also mentioned that the event formerly called the World Cup has been renamed the Continental Cup.
 
Mountain, Ultra, Trail
Nancy Hobbs gave a report on the 4 USA teams that were so successful during 2009.  She encouraged everyone to attend some of the MUT sessions to hear more about this very talented group of athletes who are making great strides on the international racing scene.
 
USATF Foundation
Jack Wickens, current USATF Board of Directors Vice-Chair and serving as a Board member of the Foundation, spoke of one of the Foundation’s missions to have our athletes have a great experience as an athlete and in their everyday life beyond the sport and then transition into a successful post-competition career.
 
They are also attempting to harness enlightening potential investors to invest in great programs for youth and the USA distance project
 
Associations
The Chair asked those in attendance to introduce themselves again and report on what LDR events they are hosting at their Associations.
It was encouraging to hear the Pacific, Connecticut, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, South California, Long Island (to name a few) consider themselves to be in a very healthy state.
 
There was discussion regarding the disconnect between an athlete’s college career and their career as an open runner.  There was consensus that it would be helpful if each sports committee would, at the Association level, keep a list of athletes who have exhibited talent and/or made outstanding progress.
 
There was clarification by WLDR AADP chair Linda Barnhart that during 2009 she respected the originally declared and posted AADP deadlines for applications.
 
The meeting was recessed at 11:50am.
 
 
WLDR General Session # 2 – December 4
 
The meeting was called to order at 2pm.
 
Athletes Advisory
Kimberly Keenan Kirkpatrick updated the group on new developments within the
Athletes Advisory Committee.  The new staff selection process encouraged much discussion.  Focus will continue to be on how money can best benefit the athlete.  The outlook will be on “new medals coming from different events.”
 
AADP
AADP coordinator Linda Barnhart reviewed a very successful year for the program.
Seven of our WLDR Championships participated in the Association Athlete Development Program.   She named Twin Cities with 3 AADP spots, Houston with 5, and Tufts with 6 as being especially generous.  Associations have been encouraged to match the stipends offered by the hosting races and this was the case.
 
Some have suggested easier access on the USATF website for this program.  Linda suggested that a microsite is being considered.  A suggestion was made that after the races have been contested, the results of the athletes be posted on that AADP designated site.  The suggestion was well-received.
 
National Championships
Hank Brown, our new National Championships Coordinator, spoke enthusiastically about the slate of races for 2010.  He spoke highly of former coordinator Will Lindgen and his role in getting the slate together.  Hank spoke of continuing to foster positive relationships with long-time hosts as well as encouraging other race directors to step forward to bid for national championship races.  With total prize money close to $ 335,000, we are pleased with our slate of championships.
 
Hank and his committee would be meeting later in the day, as there were 3 races that had recently submitted National Championship bids.

Associations
Irene Herman, our Associations Liaison, stated that 48 of the 57 Associations were represented by their designees at the Associations workshop.  The focus was on describing the roles of those serving on executive boards and the “transparency” issue.  Expenses of the Association, bids packages, etc. must be posted online for all members to peruse.  She encouraged members to visit the “management” or “resources” section of their association’s website.  Limited batching of memberships can now be done online – especially helpful with our “youth” memberships.  She also mentioned something that she found very helpful – the risk management checklist of questions found in the Associations’ Workshop Workbook.  She also reported that sanctions will be handled online through the national office and that it is 88% complete at this time.
 
She closed by reminding the group that high quality paper membership applications can be ordered online so that associations can have them available at their events.
 
 
High Performance Development Report
 
Julie McKinney, marathon chair of the High Performance Development Committee, reported that as with all of USATF, 2009 was a year of reorganization, saying that the new structure would be unveiled at this annual meeting. She reported on the Berlin World Championships Distance Summit, which was a 2-day summit created to assist our USA marathon teams members.  Nine of our ten athletes were in attendance as well as some of their personal coaches and a few interested others.  She acknowledged that Dave Martin had traveled to Berlin to gather information.  Presentations included the topics of nutrition/fluids and detailed course descriptions/conditions.  In addition there was an overview regarding mental preparation for a peak performance in a high-pressure environment. Julie concluded by adding that it was a terrific team spirit building event.
 
Dr. David Martin informed the group that he would not have particulars regarding the London course until next year’s annual meeting.  He did say that it will be a point-to-point course and that it would start near Tower Bridge and finish in the Olympic Stadium. He mentioned that in the past he has traveled to study the course and conditions on behalf of both the men and women of Team USA and then organize an information disseminating summit with those athletes, but believes that that will no longer be the case.
 
He also mentioned the unfortunate mishandling of the hermaphrodite athlete Castra Semenia case.  Years ago he co-authored a document about trans-gender athletes and he had brought with him roughly a dozen or so copies of said document for distribution to interested individuals.
 
Officials
Barb Palma reported that in the past, the officials for the “big three” events were selected via a selection committee.
 
Now the list of recommended officials must be submitted to the USATF Board & CEO for selection. She also reported that we currently have only 5400 certified officials as compared to the 9000 we have had in the past.  She explained, however, that some officials are just a bit slow at getting recertified.  She was a bit concerned, however, that of that group, only 1300 are a brand new official.  She hopes that the number of new officials will grow.  She encouraged the group to visit www.usatfofficials.com

Organizational Services
Barb, also our liaison to organizational services, reported that they are always prepared to assist with any elections should we need to call upon them.

New Business
USATF President Stephanie Hightower was present and invited questions.  She said that Board member Deena Kastor has been an asset in making the Board aware not only of LDR needs - but also about the health of the entire organization.  She spoke highly of the Board’s “we need to do what is best for the sport and its athletes” focus and their ability to work together.
 
Susan Weekes, Running USA, updated the group on new developments.  Running USA has introduced a new award associated with their Distance Training Development Program.  Based on performance and need, an existing program will be awarded a grant of $ 25,000.  For details visit www.runningusa.org
 
The Chair encouraged the WLDR representatives from the various associations to share updates with the group.  WLDR representatives from North Carolina, Colorado and Florida shared some of their successes.
 
Barbara Palma informed the group that she is spearheading a Women’s Long Distance Running Archive.  She has compiled a list of people who have been instrumental in the development of WLDR.  She asked that those in possession of related pictures, articles, memorabilia, etc. contact her.
 
The meeting recessed at 3: 51 pm.
 
Minutes respectfully submitted by:
 
Mickey Piscitelli
Secretary WLDR
 
 

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