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AATRA meeting minutes
Sunday, Oct. 26, 2003
The Adam Chase home, 290 Hawthorn, Boulder


Meeting called to order at 12:20PM by president Adam Chase
Our best attended meeting to date!

Attendance: Bob Africa, Andy Albright, Jennifer Albright, Andy Ames, Russel Bollig, Adam Chase, Reid Delman, Michelle Delman, Julie Geng, Lisa Goldsmith, Rebecca Heaton, Elliott Henry, Nancy Hobbs, Julie Hudetz, Doug Laufer, Dave Mackey, Ellen Miller, Anita Ortiz, Mike Ortiz, Darcy Piceu, Ernie Port

Minutes from last meeting (March 8, 2003) were approved. Minutes from all meetings are posted on our website.

Membership: Nancy introduced board members in attendance and welcomed our newest advisory board member Anita Ortiz. Membership is staying rather constant with a good renewal rate. However, in order to generate more members Nancy proposed doing a 500-piece mailing that would cost less than $500. The mailing would go out to past members who haven't renewed and also to a culled list from our database (about 2,000 names). Nancy distributed a sample color post card for the mailing that includes AATRA goals, board members. Adam suggested that we add a Holiday twist suggesting AATRA memberships as gifts.

AARC/RRCA updates: With input from some of the board members including our treasurer Doug Laufer, Nancy suggested that we stay with AARC for 2004 and continue to monitor the progress of the RRCA as they try to get back to solid financial footing. AATRA is also a member of USATF and Running USA and it is important for us to stay informed with current trends in our sport by attending meetings of the various groups. Adam made a motion to stay with AARC for 2004, Doug seconded, all approved. There was a question about MUT and where this group falls into the alphabet soup of running groups. Nancy explained that MUT represented Mountain Ultra Trailrunning and was a council within USATF under the long distance running (LDR) division. The council has grown to its current 15-member group after restructuring in early 2002. Before the council had nine representatives. Now the group has representation from all three disciplines as well as for masters and open.

Finances: Doug reported that our year-to-date cash flow (sent out by email to the board this week) shows a loss of about $900, with expenses and income running about the same as past years except that we had a few capital improvements in a copier and printer purchase for the office. With regard to finances, Adam discussed the Trail Runner subscription line item. We currently have a relationship with Trail Runner that each of our members receives a one-year subscription with their annual $25 membership. Of the $25 AATRA collects, $10 per member goes to Trail Runner magazine for the subscription. We collected responses this past week from our current and renewing members to find out their response to two questions: 1) would members like to switch to Running Times as the subscription, and 2) would a change to Running Times affect their renewal with AATRA. The results showed a strong bias toward Trail Runner, but a mixture of responses. Adam proposed that we get out of the magazine business and offer both Trail Runner and Running Times (and for that matter, any other magazine) to our members at a discounted rate if the publishers of the magazines are interested in this as an option. Doug stated that the Running Times proposal we received would hold us to a minimum payment to Running Times of $3000/year. This would be higher than our commitment to Trail Runner magazine (approximately $2,000/year). Adam said that Running Times comes out 10 times per year as opposed to 6 times per year. The Running Times proposal offered many benefits to us and would most likely result in more memberships. There was also a question from Adam if some of our members were paying twice for Trail Runner. Nancy said that a computer glitch caused some renewal notices to be sent out in advance of Trail Runner getting the subscription fees from AATRA, but it was possible that some members did pay twice not knowing that they received a magazine subscription. Nancy suggested that we could do an annual calendar, or something else for our members in lieu of providing a subscription. There was more discussion that we give members a choice of subscriptions and try to work out a deal of $10 for Trail Runner and $15 for Running Times. Adam suggested that we consider lowering our membership to $20 if we take the subscription away. Mike asked how AATRA could make more money. Don't take money out of our pocket rather work with race directors as an example to give discounts to AATRA members to run races. Mike organizes the Vail Mountain Series and would be willing to offer AATRA members a discount to the events. Nancy suggested that the proposed sanction criteria ties well into the financials. Nancy suggested that we charge a minimal administrative fee of $10 for sanction, or if the race becomes a member of AATRA for the annual $50 fee the event receives an AATRA sanction provided the criteria for sanctioning are met by the event. Adam suggested that maybe we offer a discount to AATRA members on all AATRA sanctioned events as part of the criteria to race directors. Nancy said that it would be a great tie for both racers and race directors. It would certainly give AATRA more visibility and would probably increase membership. Darcy suggested that environmental issues be included in the sanctioning criteria. Dave asked how we would address first time events that applied for an AATRA sanction. Nancy suggested that any event organize, but especially a proven race organization (one that organized road races, or other events) could apply provided the criteria were met. Ellen asked how we would get race directors interested in the program. Mike said that it would be good and valuable to the race director. He thinks sanctioning is a good idea and that AATRA is important and the program would lead to positive recognition. Adam motioned that we move forward with sanctioning in conjunction to talking with race directors about offering a discount to AATRA members who registered for the events. Adam added to the motion that we move out of the subscription business. Both Ellen and Anita seconded the motion and all were in favor. Nancy will take with Jeff Darman (Running Times), and Duane Raleigh (Trail Runner) about our decision and their ideas for reduced subscription to our members.

Website: Elliott provided updates. In keeping track of pages the calendar is the most visited page and has been since the website began. The next most visited page is to Adam and Nancy's book on trail running. The third is to trail information on the main state page. The latest news and links are updated periodically. We still get hits on shoe reviews even though they are outdated. Adam will work on getting the information, but most of what he does is now copyrighted by the magazines he supplies the reviews to. Elliott also reported that 800-1,000 hits per day is the average. In the first half of October we had 13,000 hits. The website traffic is way up. Monthly averages used to be 4,000-5,000.

Newsletter: The next newsletter will be distributed during the first week in November. Adam has the copy to edit. The next newsletter after our fall issue will be the winter issue in January.

24 Hours of Frisco: Adam reported that Mike Heaston is putting on a 24 hour trail running race in Frisco next October. It will be a 5+- loop on the trails. Solos or teams of up to 8 can compete. Adam suggests that AATRA supports the race. Trail is mostly wide and somewhat technical. Ellen expressed concern for the trail getting hammered by so many people. She mentioned that Moab 24 hour bike race really tears up the trail. Ellen also asked where the proceeds were going and if something was going back to the town of Frisco. Adam mentioned that Frisco looks for ways to attract visitors during the down time and has embraced the event. Ellen is mostly concerned about the environmental impact of the trail. Adam suggested that Mike Heaston apply for AATRA sanction. Nancy mentioned that Mike has supported AATRA for many years as a race member.

Publicity: Discussed in various areas throughout the meeting.

USATF Convention: Nancy suggested that Anita be our AATRA delegate at the convention. Nancy receives support from USATF Colorado for her travel to the convention. Mike will also be going (his second year) to bid for a trail championship and to attend the various meetings. Adam made a motion that Anita be our delegate, Lisa second, all approve.

Speed Climbing Records: AATRA has been approached to approve or sanction speed climbs. Ellen thinks we have more relevant and important issues to address than getting involved in this area.  Everyone agreed that AATRA was not the vehicle for speed climbing records approval.

Snowshoe - Updates for 2004: The USSSA national championships will be held March 7 in Squaw Valley and proposed site in 2005 is Alaska. There has been lots of opposition among competitors to Alaska as the site due to funding issues and limited number of competitors. Other issues are the groomed trails. Anita asked if Mark Elmore wanted to grow the sport. Nancy suggests talking to Mark about some of these issues. Adam mentioned that K2 now owns Atlas and Tubbs (as an aside). It was suggested that AATRA write a note to Mark voicing our concern over the 2005 event site. Adam will draft a letter for input from the board.

Event Involvement '04: In 2003 AATRA provided logistics support to two Swift Skeedaddle races, the Mt. Evans Hill Climb, the Danielesque Runs and new for '03, the Mt. Sanitas Hill Climb held yesterday. Nancy suggested that we continue working with these events in 2004 and review any other requests for support as we receive them.

Other business: Reid Delman (who joined the meeting late) just received approval from Boulder for 24 Hours of Boulder trail event (like the one mentioned previously in Frisco) on May 15. The loop is 5.4 miles. Reid inquired about joining AATRA and getting involved with the sanction program. Reid also organizes the Spring Desert Ultra on May 1 and the Desert Rats 6 Day Stage Race (148 miles). Nancy suggests that Reid join as a race member, get on the calendar, and consider sanctioning.

Championships: Nancy said that in 2003 there were USATF National Trail Championships at the 50km, 50M distances, also 24 hour track. There was a first time USA Mountain Running Championships at the Vail HillClimb that will host the inaugural NACAC (North American Central American Caribbean) Mountain Championships on July 4, 2004. USATF MUT would like to have two additional trail championships in 2004, one at the marathon distance and one at a shorter distance. There has been growing activity in mountain running series with the Montrail Cup (entering its third year in '04) and the new La Sportiva series in '04. There are many opportunities for runners.

Next meeting: Dates under consideration for the next meeting are the Swift Skeedaddle in Frisco as long as it is not the same weekend as the snowshoe nationals, or the Beaver Creek Snowshoe Shuffle on April 4. Another option could be Collegiate Peaks race in May. Details will be on the website.

Meeting adjourned at 1:25PM