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Women's Long Distance Running Committee 2011 Minutes

WLDR General Session #1    

December 2, 2011

Committee chair Virginia Brophy Achman called the meeting to order at 8:06am.
All members of the WLDR Executive committee were asked to introduce themselves to those in attendance.
Secretary Mickey Piscitelli asked for approval of the WLDR meeting minutes from 2010 which had been available to all via the USATF document library.
Virginia made the motion.  It was seconded by Nina Kuscsik.  No discussion. Motion passed.
Virginia opened with the very good news that the winner of our 2011 WLDR Athlete of the Year Award was Janet Cherobon-Bawcom.  Janet had come on very strong in the fall, and moved quickly to the top of the leader board of the USARC when she won 3 of our national championships – the 10 mile, 10K and 20K. 
The name of the winner of our 2011 Marja Baker Contributor of the Year award will be revealed at the Awards Luncheon.
 
IAAF Technical Committee
David Katz reported that there is a new procedure in place for the addition and/or amendment of the Technical Rules.  Now, as long as both the Technical Committee and the IAAF Council are in agreement, the IAAF can approve changes to the Technical Rules without going to a vote by the Congress.  In fact, only three rules went to Congress: 141.1, 261, and 264.  To summarize, the IAAF rule for age categories will now describe Masters men and women as age 35+, moving forward Women’s World Road Racing records will be attainable in women-only races, and performance data will be kept for Junior Indoor records.
David informed us that, regarding Rule 261 (Women’s World Road Racing Records), it had been erroneously reported that all standing records would be disregarded.  According to David, there is a good chance that that rule can be reversed when the opportunity to do so comes up in 2 years.
 
IAAF Council
Robert Hersh, who has been voted in for a four-year term as the newest IAAF Senior Vice President (Bob will now assume the role of President if the sitting President of the IAAF Council is unable to attend a meeting), stopped by to tell us of some of the highlights of the year.  The shining star for 2011 was the World Championships in Daegu, Korea.  He declared it a big success not only for Team USA, but for the IAAF as well as not only did the athletes enjoy great crowd support onsite, but television ratings throughout the world were very high. The other note-worthy events for 2011 were the World Cross Country Championships and the World Youth Championships. 
Bob also shared a list of upcoming competitions:
For 2012:
July 12-August 12: Games of the XXX Olympiad in London, UK (Athletics being contested August 3 -12)
October 6: IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Kavarna, Bulgaria
For 2013: 
March 24: World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
August 10-18: World Championships in Athletics in Moscow, Russia
Bob also pointed out that starting in 2013, athletes running the marathon will no longer need to qualify for the World Championships from a special list of particular marathons. It must be the case, however, that it be a record-worthy course.
For 2014:  March:  IAAF World Half Marathon in Copenhagen
September 13/14:  Continental Cup in Marrakech, Morocco (commencing with this competition, each country may enter only two athletes for each event)
For 2015: August: World Championships in Beijing, China
For 2017: World Championships in London, UK
 
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
Kathy Nary reported that our athletes competed in November in Chiba, Japan at the Chiba Ekiden.  Team USA placed 5th overall. The athletic performances on the mixed team were as follows:
1st Leg (5K):              Robert Cheseret  13:38                    3rd place
2nd Leg (5K):            Alisha Williams   16:15                     10th place
3rd Leg (10K):          Christopher Landry   30:00               7th place
4th  Leg (5K):            Emily Brown   16:25                           6th place
5th Leg (10K):          Robert Mack  28:55                            3rd place
6th Leg (7.125K):     Janet Cherobon-Bawcom  23:53     5th place
Team USA alternates competed in a mixed 5K track race.
Wendy Thomas was 2nd out of 5 women in a time of 16:39
Josh Moen was 3rd out of 9 men in a time of 14:13
 
RULES
Bill McKee updated us on what discussions had taken place within the Rules Committee sessions.
A tabled item from 2010 was taken off the table this year and was the topic of much discussion.  In 2010 it had been submitted by Jean Knaack, Executive Director of the Road Runners Club of America, on behalf of John Elliott.  The reason for the new rule was to allow “US citizens who had not previously represented another country or territory in International Competition to be eligible to compete in the Championship”.
Bill went on to report that GPS devices can be worn by an athlete during a competition as long as that athlete does not use it to communicate in any way with another individual during the competition.
 
Athlete Development Program
ADP coordinator for WLDR, Linda Barnhart, reported on the championship races which participated in the program during 2011.  There were a total of five.
She will continue to work collaboratively with Brian Jones, Men’s LDR ADP coordinator, on having our emerging elite athletes make the most of these opportunities for 2012.
A suggestion was made to include logo compliance language on ADP news releases in an effort to continue to educate the athletes regarding this issue.
Linda had on hand hard copies with details of the ADP including stipend amounts and services received as well as athlete eligibility standards. Interested athletes should visit http://www.usatf.org/groups/RoadRunning/elite/ADP.aso for the 2012 Championship events and ADP application.
 
Associations Update
The Chair encouraged session attendees to speak up about what was happening in their own associations. We went around the well-filled room and had members introduce themselves and give us a bit of information on what LDR successes they had had during 2011.
Dick Connors of the Pacific was proud to report that they had initiated 20 LDR officials.
Sonja Robinson from Georgia reported on the retirement of the highly respected Dr. David Martin and the bid that they had made for the 10K championships. 
Joe Monks from Florida gave his usual enthusiastic verbal account of events in the Sunshine State as well as providing us with a hard copy of his report which included photos. To date there had been 7 LDR championships since last year’s Annual meeting. This included an inaugural event, the 1-Mile Road Championship held in Boca Raton. Also, two national LDR events were held within his association.  One was the 15K Gate River Run in Jacksonville and the other was the Masters Half Marathon in Melbourne.
Lyle Clauson from the Dakotas spoke about the understandable frustration of trying to get association members together for races when your association runs approximately 550 miles from north to south and about 450 miles from east to west.  He is very interested in trying to get a distance road racing series started in the two states. He mentioned that in 2012, they would be celebrating the 50th running of the Jack 15 Road Race.  The 15.2 mile race is the oldest road race in South Dakota and the Midwest. 
Elite athlete Emily Brown representing the Minnesota Association and one of our Team USA members at the Chiba Ekiden, reported on the popularity of the Runpro camp.  The focus is to get more middle-tier college athletes to pursue distance running after graduation. Twenty athletes came out to the past year camp and as a result, two of them are now on board with team Minnesota and are competing in our USATF national championships.
Will Lindgren from the Nebraska Association reported that Team Nebraska-Brooks is also creating that bridge for post-collegiate athletes.
Latashia Key of Indiana said that she was surprised about how little athletes appear to know about post-collegiate competition opportunities.  She wondered as to whether there could be more communication with college coaches.
Edwin Hampton of the Alabama Association reported that he is a high school coach and that he has been able to have some of his high school athletes compete unattached at the nearby college.  He works at keeping the lines of communication open between college coaches and the community and/or high school coaches.
Sonja Robinson added that they have an athlete advisory committee within their Georgia association. The president of which is a Level 2 Coach Educator and so there is an open avenue for ongoing contact with many universities.
Some attendees were excited about new programs within their association.  Starting in 2012, the Minnesota Association plans to start an athlete’s advisory piece within the framework of their association.
During 2011, the Pacific Association offered training grants for which area athletes could apply.  Ten $1000 grants were awarded to athletes who live and compete within the jurisdiction of the Pacific Association and show potential for representing the U.S. in international competition.
It would be beneficial to have more athletes attending our Annual Meeting and applying to our established elite training centers.  Kimberly Keenan Kirkpatrick thought that, if it were the case, and not all athletes who apply for funding to the Annual Meeting via the Athletes Advisory Committee, received funding; the names of those interested athletes might be passed along to their associations.  The AAC provides funding for qualifying athletes to attend the USATF Annual Meeting based on a 3-tier system.   Not all applying athletes may receive funding. We want to make these athletes aware that their opinion is wanted and valued.
Running USA CEO, Susan Weeks, reminded everyone that there is an annual grant which can still be applied for.  Running USA is a non-profit industry organization with a mission of advancing, serving, and promoting the sport of running.  In 2012, Running USA will be presenting the Allan Steinfeld Development Award to an established U.S. distance training group.  All established U.S. distance training group have been invited to apply for this training group grant in the amount of $25,000. This will mark the third consecutive year for this generous monetary award.
Scott Keenan, executive director of Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota, added that Minnesota athletes can apply for a grant via the Minnesota Elite Athlete Development Program (MEADP).  It was created by the Minnesota distance running community to provide financial assistance to elite Minnesota distance runners who have completed their academic running career.  Grants are provided to assist qualified runners in reaching their fullest potential.  Funding for these grants comes from the Grandma’s Marathon budget, the Twin Cities Marathon budget and the Minnesota Distance Running Association.
Lyle Clauson suggested that, in lieu of writing a check to a charity, associations keep some of the money raised and pump that money back into the sport.
According to Will Lindgren, Team Nebraska-Brooks holds a whole series of races and the profits do go back into Team Nebraska-Brooks.  He did say that there might be some “back-lash” about this money going back to the runners.
Richard Finn, media director from New York Road Runners, added that a goal of NYRR is to give back to the running community.
The U.S. Distance Project, the financial, marketing and promotional partnership among major distance running events, major corporations, and USATF was mentioned as another avenue by which athletes can find support.  The major partners are NYRR, the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, the Chevron Houston Marathon, and Marathonguide.com.  Existing and emerging training centers are funded by grants which supplement funding for general operations as well as grants for coaching assistance, training summits and possibly sponsor recruitment.
The committee recessed at 9:50am. 

WLDR    General Session #2      December  2, 2011
The WLDR committee reconvened at 3:04 pm.
 
Records
Men’s and Women’s LDR record keeper Andy Carr reported that he had three records ready for approval.  All three were “all-comer” performances by Kim Smith.  A motion was made by Mickey and seconded by Irene Herman.  The records were unanimously approved.  Andy reported that in the future there will be a change in the record submission process and that this would be the last time that he would attend a general WLDR session for the purpose of seeking record approval.  Moving forward, all records will be reported to the LDR executive committee for approval.
 
Organizational Services
WLDR representative for organizational services, Barb Palma, reported that some of the associations had been a bit slow in getting their delegate information submitted.  The USATF Metropolitan Association was decertified and a new organization, named “USATF New York” has replaced it in terms of serving the five boroughs of New York City. This newly formed association must have elections by October 2012.
Barb also noted that the Alaska, Wyoming, and West Texas associations have no voting rights at this year’s Annual Meeting.
She reminded everyone that there would be no Annual Meeting site selection voting this year as we currently have venues approved through the year 2016.
 
Officials
After quickly switching hats, Barb continued by reminding the group that officials would be wise to have insurance through USATF and cautioned that they be very wary when asked to sign waivers at competitions at which they are officiating.  One should take care to not inadvertently sign away their rights and invalidate their USATF coverage.
 
Pioneers of Women’s LDR
Still spearheading the move to gather a collection of sports memorabilia from the early days of women’s long distance running, Barb called upon the group to send her museum-worthy clothing and documentation/souvenir programs from high profile events. WLDR Executive Committee member LeeAnn Meyer displayed a race tee shirt from the first USA Team Trials - Women’s Marathon in Los Angeles – a perfect item for the growing collection.  If anyone has something to donate, Barb will gladly accept it.
 
Associations
WLDR representative to the Associations Committee, Irene Herman, reported on the well-attended annual Associations workshop held this past summer in San Mateo, California within the Pacific Association - a location very familiar to Irene as she serves as the president of that Association.  This year they went “green” by going paperless and listing needed information in the online document library.   Familiar USATF figures including Mike McNees, Bill Roe, Darlene Hickman, and Scott Hollenback were presenters and shared their expertise and opinions with those attending.  Irene emphasized that if your association has newly elected officers, it would be very beneficial for them to attend this annually held workshop.  There is much to be learned.  From fund-raising strategies, to how to best chair a meeting, to how best to include disabled athletes in your competitions, to audits and budgets……lots of information is shared.  Fifty-two associations were represented at the 2011 workshop.
 
Mountain Ultra Trail
Donning her MUT chair hat, Nancy Hobbs, reported on these three disciplines which fall under the umbrella of LDR.  She was delighted to report that although 13 championships were held during 2011, there was one weekend, September 10-11, which stands out in that our USA 100K (Netherlands) and USA Mountain Running Team (Albania) won a total of 7 medals. Details of MUT successes for the year have been available over the years at www.usmrt.com and www.usaultrarunning.com but Nancy reported that MUT has really expanded to social media and plans to incorporate more social media in their marketing plan.  Look for live updates on www.twitter.com/usmrt and on www.facebook.com/usatfmut
 
WLDR National Championships
Championships chair, Darren De Reuck  sought approval for the 2012 bid for the 20K New Haven Road race.  Kimberly Keenan Kirkpatrick made a motion to accept the bid 20k.  It was seconded by LeeAnn.  Motion passed.  For a complete list of WLDR National Championships for 2012 please check the website.
 
USA Distance Project
Although unable to attend, Jack Wickens sent an update via e-mail regarding the USA Distance Project which was formed in 2005 and which is committed to forging a financial, marketing, and promotional partnership to support the long-term development of USA distance runners.
New funding partners are being sought.  They are well into the process now for 2012.   In 2011 they received 10 applications and 6 were awarded grants.  Those six training centers that were awarded grants are: Mammoth Track Club, Team USA Minnesota, Team USA Arizona, ZAP Fitness, Bay Area Track Club, and New Jersey/New York Track Club. 
Julia McKinney reported that there will be a podium summit held in May 2012.   She feels strongly that the athletes who attend truly reap benefits.  Some questions were fielded about the date of the summit and the possibility of moving the summit to earlier in the year.
 
Rules
Bill McKee, WLDR representative to the Rules Committee, reported that Item 26B had been rejected by the Rules Committee.  Item 26B attempted to add a new rule which would involve gender assessments involving individuals who had undergone male to female sex reassignments or may be affected by hyperandrogenism.
Bill also reported that there was a movement to expand competition rules for LDR (and Race Walking) as they pertain to select U.S. citizens.  It is being proposed that U.S. citizens who are not eligible to represent the United States in international competitions be allowed to participate in any USA National Championship race/meet that is not the sole selected event for an international team.  He asked for a straw poll of the group gathered.  The vast majority said that they approved of the amendment.  There were a few abstentions.
Bill also wanted to know how the group felt about the proposed changes for the rule describing USATF record-eligible road races.  Currently, the rules on eligibility for USATF records makes a distinction between courses with a start-to-finish separation less than or greater than 30% of the race distance.  If the separation exceeds 30%, official records can be accepted only when there is not a significant tailwind during the race.  Eligibility for records also depends on whether the course has a net drop in elevation exceeding 1/1000 of the race distance.  It cannot drop more than 1 meter per kilometer in order to be eligible for official USATF records.
The proposed change would be to increase from 30% to 50% and drop all reference to the wind.  Upon posing the question to the group, the majority agreed with the proposed change, two individuals were in opposition, and a few abstained from the informal poll.
The finishing line can be no wider than 30cm. or less than 5 cm. and may be any color which satisfies.
 
Law & Legislation
Prior to this year’s Annual Meeting the sports committees had been asked to revisit and update their operating procedures.  Nina has concluded the task of updating the operating regulations for WLDR.
She reported that still under discussion was the minimum percentage of athletes to serve on the various sports committees.
 
Nina made a motion to adjourn.  It was seconded by Bill McKee.  The meeting was adjourned at 4:02pm. 
 
Respectfully submitted by:
 
Mickey Piscitelli, Secretary
 
 

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