AATRA meeting Minutes Saturday, March 19, 2005
Following the Swift Skeedaddle Snowshoe Race Frisco, CO
Meeting called to order at 1:30pm by AATRA president Adam Chase.
Attendance - Danelle Ballengee, Reno Cappelli, Adam Chase, Bob Cottrell, Sue
Covington, Elliott Henry, Nancy Hobbs, Julie Hudetz, Marin Paul
Minutes from last meeting (October 26, 2003) for approval - Danelle motion to
approve minutes, Elliott second. All approve.
- Membership - We need to boost our membership, not only with individuals,
but with corporations. We have secured a relationship with Running Times
magazine (first ad to run in the May/June issue) to provide our members with
an annual subscription. This benefit along with Trail Runner magazine,
discounts to several other publications (Marathon and Beyond, and
Ultrarunner), our newsletter Trail Times make an attractive package. Nancy
has renewed many of the corporate members and is working to add new
participants including Vasque (and others) whom she had a conversation with
last week (one of their team members was very positive about Vasque
joining). One of our main attractions is our calendar on the website which
Teva now sponsors. Nancy and Elliott update the calendar monthly. We have
nearly 700 events listed on the website - trail, mountain, snowshoe - (Nancy
has been updating since the meeting and we now stand at more than 1000
confirmed race dates for 2005 and the calendar will be updated April 1).
We recently added to new race members from South Africa. This is exciting to
become more international and help to promote events outside the U.S. Nancy
will send out an email to race directors in the hopes of signing up more
races to AATRA. One thought was to again work on the proposed sanctioning
program. We have clear criteria which was approved in 2003, but we haven't
really promoted this. One question was whether we could provide insurance to
other races and we can not. We do need to increase our individual members
and the group discussed options for increasing membership. We currently
hover around 300 members depending on the renewal month (we dip to just over
100 and then climb back up with renewals). It was suggested to put AATRA
membership forms in race packets. One suggestion was to have races link to
the AATRA site, or to offer discount to AATRA members at races. Mike Heaston
was very kind to offer a discount to AATRA members in the 24 Hours of Frisco
run last fall. Perhaps waiving late fees for AATRA members if not a discount
on regular entry. It was suggested that a discount on race entries is
probably our single best way to increase membership. It was suggested that
we BOLD the races in the calendar that are AATRA members. Elliott says we
can do this. USATF/Running USA will have a booth during the June 2-5 Teva
Mountain Games in Vail and there was discussion that Teva may be able to
provide a promo item to people who register for USATF on site. Perhaps we
can do something at the booth to promote AATRA since we're a USATF and
Running USA member. Sue suggested we work with Adam Feerst to promote AATRA
to the Denver Trail Runners and also to Matt Carpenter with the Incline
Club, and Buzz Burrell with the Boulder group. This will help in Colorado
and we need to outreach to other locations in the country.
- AARC/RRCA merger - after some financial mending and reorganization the two
groups have merged and we are a member of the one group, RRCA. Our insurance
and dues this year were close to $700.
- Finances - again, we need to work on increased revenues through outreach
to increase individual, corporate, race, and club memberships. Danelle again
stated that we should "hit the race list" to promote AATRA and
generate memberships. Doug Laufer, our treasurer, has done an excellent job
with the record keeping and providing financial reports.
- Newsletter - Nancy puts together the newsletter (since 1996 and we're at
more than 30 issues) with the next issue due out in late April/early May. We
need contributions to the newsletter. Think about writing and submitting
articles. Buzz has been writing some great stuff lately on his adventures.
The more articles, the better. If they don't fit in the newsletter, we can
always include on the website.
- USATF Convention - the 2004 convention was in Portland, in 2005
Jacksonville, Fl will host. This is a great networking opportunity for us.
Nancy usually attends and the past two years Anita attended as well. Brian
Metzler attended one year while an AATRA officer. We have a limited budget
and need to be selective where we send people. It would be great to get a
corporate sponsor, but we can't see the benefit for them.
- Snowshoe - Updates for 2005 - USSSA Champs was successful according to
Adam who attended. The date was tough since it was up against the North
American Snowshoe Champs in Beaver Creek (which offered prize money), plus
it was a tough travel option for many. In 2006 the event will be in Bolton,
Vermont though a date not yet set. Anticipate a bigger crowd for an east
coast location. The qualification process has become easier and more are
qualifying. Sponsors see more from their participation in an event that is a
qualifier. It was suggested that more qualifying events per region would be
a plus so people don't have to travel so much, or make the regions smaller.
They have done away with having to live in the region you intend to qualify
in. USSSA is coming along and growing. It is probably not a good idea to
make pre membership in USSSA a requirement (like it is for USATF and Teva US
Mountain Running Team selection races - must be a member of USATF to be
consider for selection to the team prior to the race). We talked about
teaming up with USSSA. USSSA is a member and supporter of AATRA and its
programs. Adam will talk to Mark Elmore to get his thoughts about some join
work. USSSA membership is $15/year, but no benefits. It was pointed out that
snowshoeing and trail running attract a similar audience and makes sense to
- Event Involvement '05 - We're working with Swift Skeedaddle races this
year and hopefully the Danielesque in the fall. Not sure of others. We
aren't planning to start an AATRA event at this point. The Mt. Evans Hill
Climb will go on June 18 this year (same date as Mount Washington) and
Darrin Eisman is organizing.
- Website - Since January we've had 13,682 hits which translates to more
than 100 per day. Elliott says we typically get 4,000 plus hits per month.
We continue to climb with hits on the site. We need to leverage our website
more as the numbers are good for our audience. Calendar gets the most hits.
We need to add a trail shoe review. Nancy and Adam will visit with Running
Times to see if we can link to the shoe review in Running Times. Other ideas
on shoe review are welcome. The home page is updated with our new corporate
members and we're adding more articles. The trip reports are very well
- Other Business - Nancy and Adam will represent AATRA during a Goodwill
mission to Japan April 26-May 3 to participate in the inaugural 100km
Challengers race (Adam will run the 100k, Nancy the 50k, and the other team
members Anita Ortiz, Paul Low, Kelli Lusk, and Ethan Hemphill will run 10k).
The race is in the Okutama Mountains outside Tokyo. There will be several
VIP functions with dignitaries in Tokyo and the goal of the event is to
promote Goodwill among our countries and to have a link with trail and
mountain running worldwide. We hope the event goes well and will continue in
coming years with more outreach to other countries. We will provide a report
upon our return.
- Next meeting - we discussed during the Teva Mountain Games, but it will be
too crazy for several of the folks involved with the Games. It was then
suggested for October 1 during the 24 Hours of Frisco race. Nancy will visit
with Mike Heaston to see if this will work during his event (Mike has said a
resounding "yes" so plan on October 1 in Frisco).
Adam motioned to adjourn, Julie second, all in favor. Adjourned at 2:10p.m.
Secretary Julie Hudetz provided the minutes and we thank her!
For additional details contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-573-4133.