Alan Gowen

State of the Club

We’re all familiar with the President’s State of The Union Speech. But I’m not making a speech, and, well, I’m not that president. So I thought I’d keep things in perspective and take a shot at the State of The Club. At least from a club business point of view.

The newly elected Board of Directors of the VHTRC held our first meeting last week.

The outcome of the election of the club president by the board, a requirement of our bylaws, assures that you will continue to hear from me on our web site president’s page.

This is a significant juncture for our club because this is the first time in our history that the board does not contain at least one of the club’s founding fathers. We are all members today because we liked what our founders created. We all saw something cool and said, “Gee. I want to run and hang out with those guys.” And whereas that creation should continue to be fluid, the board is very cognizant of the fact that we must also continue the proud traditions and elusive essence that have become the VHTRC brand that attracted all of us ito the club in the first place We won’t try to be the best, biggest, fanciest, or anything like that. We won’t advertise, get in bed with commercial interests, or try to impress anyone. We agreed to simply be what we are, and what our membership seems to embrace. We talked about this at some length and we are in agreement that while encouraging an open view, we will stay true to our roots.

Some other business? Alisa Springman has been our point person for Patagonia, facilitating board mandated Patagonia items for our big three events. She will now be our lead person for our club SWAG as well. Alisa will be doing this with help from Keith Knipling and of course Quatro, who has carried this burden almost solo for quite a while.

An exciting development? Keith has taken on the task of starting up some weekly shorter distance VHTRC training runs in Rock Creek Park and its environs. Rob Colenso is in on this too, and these informal “Show up and run” training runs will be starting soon. Watch the news page.

Katie Keier stepped forward and she is now going to be our liaison with the Forest Service. Not only is MMT a big event for us in the George Washington National Forest, we also do trail maintenance and have many other runs in the forest. Being good partners and maintaining a good relationship with the Forest Service is essential if we are to continue to do what we love to do out there in the mountains.

Rob is going to be our new liaison with the Road Runners Club of America. The club is a member of RRCA as are all of our members. The most important thing membership in the RRCA provides for us is insurance for club members and participants in our club events. Rob will be seeing to it that we continue to remain compliant with RRCA guidelines to the extent they apply to us.

We discussed other club business and we also received a very comprehensive treasurer’s report from our VHTRC treasurer, Brian McNeill. All in all we had a very productive meeting.

So. It seems odd. We’re a running club. How hard can that be? But there is a business side to the club and without it, there would be no club. I’m excited about our new board and how everyone has pitched in right from the start to see to it that the business of the club gets done, so we all can get out there and run.

I’m pleased to say that the state of our club remains very strong.

If you have any thoughts about the business of our club, or anything else for that matter, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Trails!