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Women's Long Distance Running Committee 2010 Minutes

December 2, 2010
 
Attendees: Executive Committee members: Virginia Brophy Achman (chair), Mickey Piscitelli (secretary), Colleen Dereuck, Nancy Hobbs, Kimberly Keenan- Kirlpatrick, Nina Kuscsik, LeeAnn Meyer, Kathy Nary and Elva Dryer (via conference call)
 
Guests:  Dick Conners, Tom Cotner, Darren Dereuck, Jim Estes, Fred Finke, Milena Glusik, David Katz, Jean Knapp, Jonathan Marcus, Barb Palma, and Joyce Prucedas.
 
A quorum was present.
 
Chair Virginia Brophy Achman called the session to order at 1:05pm.
 
Introductions:  Committee members and guests introduced themselves.  The chair acknowledged the vacancy created by the departure of Executive Committee member and National Championships Committee Chair Hank Brown and welcomed Darren Dereuck to fill that vacant position effective immediately.
 
Approval of Minutes: Secretary Mickey Piscitelli asked for approval of the 2009 WLDR Committee meeting minutes.  The minutes were unanimously approved.
 
Financial Housekeeping: Executive 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.
 
Organizational Directory/Website Update:
There was some discussion regarding some of the WLDR committee contact information as presented on the USATF website.  Jim Estes, associate Director of Marketing LDR Programs, fielded questions regarding the status of and the launching of the more user-friendly face of the USATF website.
 
2010 WLDR Awards:
Elva Dryer was informed (via teleconferencing) that she was the recipient of the 2010 Marja Bakker Contributor of the Year Award. Elva humbly thanked the group.  Since Elva, a new mother, was unable to attend this year’s annual meeting, the award was shipped to her home.  It was noted that the second award, Runner of the Year, would be presented to the 2010 USA Running Circuit winner, Katie McGregor, in person at the Awards Breakfast on Saturday morning.  All were encouraged to attend and celebrate Katie’s athletic success and Elva’s outstanding service.
 
2012 Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon
The 8-mile loop which will be part of the course at the 2012 Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon will be incorporated in January 2011 at the Houston Half Marathon which serves as our first national championship of 2011.  Jim Estes informed the group that there would be advertising each and every month starting January 2011 as we begin the countdown to the trials.  There will be TV coverage, but details were still to be worked out.
 
International Competition:
Kathy Nary gave a concise summary of our two international competitions.
On October 16, in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship in Nanning China, Team USA was 7th out of ten.
On November 23 at the Ekiden in Chiba, Japan, Team USA was 5th out of twelve teams.
Lee Ann Meyer reminded the group that next year the only international competition would be the Chiba Ekiden.
 
Organizational Services:
Barb Palma reported that it would be the case that after each Olympic Games (summer), the Annual Meeting will be hosted in Indianapolis.  She reported that a larger number of associations than usual are not in good standing and must correct problems/inconsistencies by noon Friday.
 
National Championships:
In 2010 WLDR had a slate of 10 championship races. Including the USARC Grand Prix Bonus, prize money totaled $347,300 for our female athletes.  Athlete Development Program (ADP) coordinator Linda Barnhart oversaw the tweaking of needed changes in the ADP application paperwork and process.  It was the consensus of the group that the new website be user-friendly especially in the area of ADP.
Elva posed a question as to whether the ADP should be limited strictly to national championship races or perhaps become attached to other high quality races.
There was some discussion regarding initiatives for increasing the number of ADP opportunities for our emerging elite athletes.
Championships Chair Darren Dereuke reviewed the list of previously awarded championship races for 2011 and announced that he anticipated bids for the years beyond 2011.  It was announced that there would be no national championship at the marathon distance in 2011, but that a new championship opportunity would be introduced in its place.  This would be an alteration from the normal course of events for the year 2011 only.
 
Long Distance Running Division: MLDR and WLDR
Long Distance Running Division Chair Fred Finke asked the committee to examine_
the levels/areas of commonality between the MLDR and WLDR committees.  He charged the group with identifying which processes and procedures are handled in the same way by the two committees and which are handled differently.
 
Executive Committee Member Additions
The Chair was pleased to announce the addition of athletes Kate McGregor and Milena Glusik to the WLDR executive committee.
 
Challenges
Question posed:  What can WLDR do to get Team USA to the Olympic Podium in 2012, 2016, etc.?
This brainstorming portion of the session including discussions about:
·         raising the qualifying standards for the Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon,
·         promoting the half-marathon standard as a means of qualifying for the trails
·         strengthening the Athlete Development Program
·         hosting “rookie” camps
 
New Business
There was some discussion regarding who might take a more active role in 2011 regarding the Jenny Crain “Make It Happen” Mentoring Program.
 
The meeting was recessed at 3:01pm.
 
Women’s Long Distance Running
           General Meeting
 
Friday, December 3
 
Chair Virginia Brophy Achman called the meeting to order at 10:08 am
 
Introduction of Executive Committee members.
 
Brief Updates/Committee Reports
A) Virginia gave a brief overview of the year’s events the highlights of which were our 2010 national championships and preparations for the 2011 USA Half Marathon Championship hosted by the Aramco Houston Half Marathon. She reviewed the number of athletes who had already earned the A standard (24) and B standard (84) for the Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon in 2012.  Possibilities for television coverage and/or live streaming video for the 2011 Houston race were discussed as this will be the first chance for athletes to test themselves on the 8-mile loop that will be incorporated into the Trials in 2012.
She reported that the entire championship series enjoyed a high level of participation with Katie McGregor distinguishing herself by being the top point earner in three of the 10 events.
 
B) Kathy Nary reported on our International Competitions
LeeAnn Meyer served as the team leader for the women at the World Half Marathon Championship in Nanning, China. The team took 7th.
LeeAnn gave a detailed report and offered to share with the group some of her observations and notes including photos taken after the competition and souvenirs of the event. She mentioned that for some of the women it was their first international experience as a member of Team USA and they handled that pressure very well.  She said that she and men’s team leader Bill Roe worked very well together and that the athletes did their absolute best in the terribly warm conditions. 
Linda Barnhart was the team leader at the Chiba Ekiden in Japan with Team USA 5th of 12 teams. 4 of the 5 women were elected at the 20K.  She added that many athletes who might have been on the team had already committed to fall marathons.
 
C) Bob Hirsch, Vice President of the International Amateur Athletes Federation, stopped in to update the group on happenings with the IAAF.  Again the questions were raised, “ Is the half marathon a viable event?” and “Should we continue to support it?”
It is no secret that the IAAF has budget issues and Bob revealed that it remains a struggle to convince everyone to preserve this event.  The event will be moved to the spring (late March) but will be contested only in even numbered years.  In the odd numbered years, the competition will be a cross-country race (also in March).
The feeling was that by moving the event to the spring conflicts with major fall marathons would be avoided.  History had shown that when the event was contested in October, the quality of the competition was not at as high a level as it might have been.
The World Half Marathon Championships was awarded to Kavarna, Bulgaria in 2012.
 
Bob also reported that the World Marathon Cup would be discontinued as a “team” race.
It will still be held as part of the world championships and athletes will continue to vie for individual medals, but there will no longer be a 5-person team competition.
 
He updated the group regarding the Olympic Marathon in London.  Apparently the East End residents are not pleased that the course will no longer (as previously thought) pass through their sector.  It was proposed by London Athletics that the start and finish of the marathon be at the Mall – the area in front of Buckingham palace. Bob described the site as grand - a majestic divided road flanked by gorgeous parks. The course will showcase the grandeur of the capital with 4 loops passing near iconic sights of London. There are a lot more turns with the new course and a few short areas where you must run over cobblestones – not ideal for running, but this portion enables the runners to pass in front of City Hall.  The medal ceremony will still take place at the stadium.
Regarding the IAAF qualifying standards, Bob believes that they will be set by April 2011.  In addition, any athlete who earns a finish in the top 20 at the World Championships this coming August at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, Korea will get the A qualifier, as will any athlete who finishes in the top 10 in the IAAF Half Marathon Championship Races (Gold Label Races).

WLDR General Meetings
Friday, Dec. 3

 
The Chair called the meeting to order at 2pm.
 
Championships Update
Championships coordinator Darren DeReuke reported that in
2011, a new championship event, the USA Cross Country Championships would be contested on Feb. 5 in San Diego.  Unlike the marathon for which athletes would earn double points toward their USARC points standing, points earned by the top ten finishers would earn points according to the structure established for all of the other championship races.
 
Darren also announced that the Tufts 10K will submit a bid to be a national championship race in both 2011 and 2012.
 
MUT Council
Chair Nancy Hobbs announced a list of races bidding for upcoming MUT championships.
She said that funding for MUT was about the same as what they were allotted last year.  As a result, a promotional DVD has been created and is for sale.  It is designed to pique the interest of athletes for the USA junior squad.
 
Records
Andy Carr had a short list of performances that he was recommending as records.  A motion was made to accept Andy’s recommendations.  It was unanimously approved.
 
Other Business
USATF Foundation Board member and Vice-Chair of the USATF Board of Directors,
Jack Wickes enthusiastically reported the work taking place via the Foundation.
*Individual Elite athletes are being assisted financially
*Grants have been awarded to training centers
*Athletes are made aware of part-time jobs that mesh well with their athletic workouts
*Athletes are mentored in terms of post-competition careers
*The USA Distance project was summarized as a plan to create and support training centers.  A strong governing committee is charged with raising and distributing the money to the training centers.  It is the intent that the training centers would foster a college/team training atmosphere.  The mission of the training centers would be to develop athletes to successful represent the USA in international competitions.
The training centers would ensure that the athletes receive medical care for injury prevention and/or care.  They would promote our sport in the communities in which they are located.  Many include housing, meals, injury prevention education, coaching and a weekly stipend.
Jack mentioned a few of the training centers across the country, which had applied for grant money for 2011.
 
Associations Input
The Chair asked the attendees to share their successes in the area of WLDR at the association level during the year.
 
Marlene (Georgia) and Gisela (Wisconsin) proudly reported on a high level of interest and participation in their programs. Robin (Mid-Atlantic) said that they had active masters athletes and were looking to focus on and enhance their youth programs.
Tania (Colorado) described their upcoming Grand Prix Series that includes 5 championship events. Joseph (Southern Louisiana) is optimistic about getting things rolling in his association. Eric (Southern California) reported on their Grand Prix Series of cross-country events.  Apparently they had had 360 people participate and had team as well as individual awards. Patrick (Adirondack) shared that his association continues to offer many LDR opportunities for members. Dick (Pacific) announced that the coming weekend would see the inaugural Sacramento marathon and that in July of 2011, Sacramento would be the site of the World Masters Athletics Championships.  Jane (New Jersey) shared the list of LDR events for 2011 for her association. Jonathan (Oregon) reported on their Road Race Grand Prix which was created with assistance from Road Runner Sports and which included championships in 4 different distances.  Oregon also hosts a LDR track Grand Prix and a Cross Country Grand Prix series.  Laura (New Mexico) mentioned that there were more LDR events out her way. Will (Nebraska) reported on Team Nebraska and some of the exciting events hosted at Burke stadium in Omaha.  Chris (Utah) shared news about his association regarding their hosting 14 races from the 5K distance through the marathon.  He described a well-attended awards banquet and posed the question, “Why not have an association-level awards banquet each year?”
 
The meeting recessed at 2:53 pm.
WLDR General Session # 3
Saturday, Dec 4
 
The meeting was called to order at 2:08pm
 
Rules
Bill McKee updated everyone on proposed amendments to new and existing rules.
 
National Championships
Championships coordinator Darren reiterated that the Tufts 10K submitted a bid for the
National Championship in that distance for the years 2011 and 2011.  It was recommended by Darren that these bids be approved. The bids were approved.
 
High Performance
Julie McKinney reported on discussions taking place regarding athlete development.
This area has seen personnel changes including Rita Somerlot (chair/throws) and former WLDR Chair Carol McLatchie  (steeplechase to marathon). Workshops and clinics with bio-mechanists will be scheduled to assist athletes in improving performance.
The OTC in Chula Vista will be re-opened for track and field athletes only.
 
In 2011 the focus will be on giving athletes even greater opportunities to meet Olympic standards by utilizing existing events.
 
Julie shared that Duffy Mahoney, Director of the High Performance program, went to the USOC seeking increased funding for the coming year. We were again funded 2.6 million for high performance and the additional 1.1 million in direct athlete support.
Insurance coverage will be available to 150 of our athletes and will be allotted based on their position within a tiered system.
In conjunction with the Athletes’ Advisory Council the Sport Performance Division has developed a 3-tier system to ensure the participation of the medal-potential athletes in all USATF and USOC programs. As part of one of the three tiers, athletes will gain primary access to national and international competitive opportunities, sport performance workshops, sports medicine care, medical reimbursement, and other important benefits and/or programs.
There was also discussion about a “coaches to coaches” mentoring program, as well as a
program to assist athletes’ in their transition from track running to road running.
 
Diversity Committee
One of the goals of the committee is to create more leadership opportunities for people with disabilities.  During 2010 the Diversity Committee was successful in the creation and distribution of the Diversity in Athletics Newsletter.  Three issues were posted on the USATF website and e-distributed to members during the year.
 
Athletes Advisory Council
Kimberly Keenan-Kirkpatrick reported that there was much discussion and examination of the new tier program as well as Project 30.  Project 30 is a joint venture between USATF and Nike, which provides financial support to athletes who have a potential to be part of Team USA.  The goal of Team USA is to win 30 medals at the 2012 Olympic games in London.
Kim also reported that was some discussion about ratings for live television coverage versus tape-delayed event coverage.
 
Law and Legislation
Nina reported that it was a quiet year for L & L but that next year will be more interesting.
 
A motion was made to adjourn at 2:45pm.
 
Respectfully submitted,
Mickey Piscitelli
Secretary WLDR

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