The USA Track & Field Nebraska Association had its annual meeting last Sunday. Did anyone at all from our Long Distance Running community attend? My guess is Mike Hajek-Jones was the sole person at the table. Our LDR Chair wasn’t there, traveling back from a triathlon. Linda and I didn’t go, my boxing gloves retired to a hook in the closet.
I did however receive a phone call prior to the meeting from Scott Rainbolt, our Association President. Boy did he get an earful. I’m quite upset that not a single penny from our Nebraska memberships and road and cross sanctions has been returned to LDR in over three years. Where the hell has all that money gone? Why hasn’t our LDR Chair been reimbursed for his travel to the 2018 annual meetings? How can we expect him to commit the time and effort to attend Reno this coming December 5?
But my main message to Scott was if he wants anything at all done on behalf of our USATF LDR program it has to go through Lincoln.
Look, here’s the conundrum, USATF is NOT RRCA. USATF is for athlete development and excellence, geared toward USA National Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials and the Olympics.
RRCA, Road Runners Club of America, is the social side of running where we are all winners. Both have their niches, rarely do they sync.
The Lincoln Marathon fully embraces RRCA. The Lincoln Running Co. Racing team is USATF. The marathon sponsors LRC Racing. Man it gets sticky right here. How do you get a club that relies on RRCA to participate in USATF Nebraska Association Championship events. How do we get the athletes in our association to support USATF? We had zero LRC representation at our USATF 1500 Meter Road Championships in Valley a couple weeks ago. Not a single athlete could deign participation. And that is only the most recent example of a long line of USATF Nebraska Association Championship races that have not been supported.
December 14 is our USATF XC National Championships in Bethlehem, PA. Our Nebraska Association athletes (LRC) will load up several teams for the annual boondoggle. Support at the national level but not the local association. That is why the real power must be relocated to Lincoln if our LDR program is to survive. Logan Watley? Nolan Zimmer?
USATF Nebraska Long Distance Running used to be one of the most respected in the United States. Now it is a joke. Says the program’s architect and founder.
Quote of the day- “If you want something done fast, do it yourself. If you want something to last have the group do it.”