Seventy and sunny for the kick off of our USATF Annual meetings in Anaheim, CA. Where is everybody? Had hoped to see some representation from our flourishing LDR group. I toiled at these meeting for over 10 years while crafting our association’s long distance running program. Toe to toe, nose to nose with every obstacle that stood in my way. Determined to establish and grow the effort. Giving up the first week in December every year. It meant that much to me. And it showed. Again, where are all those that insisted on change (for the better???). Bueller? Anyone?
And so now we have no Nebraska distance soles or souls in Anaheim to take up for us, give us voice, state our causes, champion our programs and progress. Only peppers and ducks.
It is a Rules and Bylaws year, much discussion and passion going into the proposed changes. Some I’m for, some not as much. One bylaw change that I anticipate being approved, that I saw coming, and am glad to not be a part of: “ The volunteer structure of the organization, including committees, divisions, and associations, has no authority to bind USATF in contracts or other commercial agreements.”
Probably doesn’t mean a whole lot to most of you. To me it is the final castration of the LDR National Championships program. Prior to 2010 it was up to the LDR Championships Chair to solicit, entertain, and award championships. I dutifully and proudly served in that capacity from ’02-’09 on the women’s side. My position was always to do what was the very best for all of our U.S. athletes. Put my signature on dozens of contracts towards that end. I see this bylaw change as another bolster to Nike’s efforts to own the sport.
Instead of LDR business, Coaches’ Advisory Committee and Elite Development Club Council will have my attention and energy the next couple of days. And while I’m not in Cali my words can and will be heard.
My first order of business was to recommend approving the Twin Cities Track Club’s Elite Development Club applilcation. My old buddy Mike Reneau is club director and we all know that The Cities are a hot bed of distance talent. Of local interest, Lisa Baumert from Fremont is on their roster. Nine qualifiers in the 2012 Olympic Trials marathon, and also qualifiers in the decathlon and pole vault. Good stuff.
Excited to be involved with our Coaches Advisory Committee. Looking forward to working with and learning from Bob Larsen (Mammoth Track Club), Becca Peter (Club Northwest), and Eric Barron (Nike Team Run LA).
So yeah, I’ll still be putting in some hours for our sport this week, in the upper echelons. And I’ll also feel a couple of nostalgic twinges, knowing there is still much I could (should) be doing for our local LDR efforts, when no one else wants, cares enough, or is able to. Tsk, tsk, quack!