HTC Executive Board Meeting – 15 January 2004

Board Members Present: David Purinton (President), David Cain (VP-Programs), Harold Tinsley (VP-Communications), Anne Park (Secretary), Kathy Youngren (Treasurer), John Roberts (Appointed Member), Malcolm Gillis (Appointed Member-Rocket City Marathon Director), Jim Oaks (Appointed Member-Cotton Row Director) 


Board Members Absent: Richard Rodenhausen (VP-Races & Equipment)


Others present: Nancy Sheppard (Race Director for HTC/HHF proposed race)


The HTC Executive Board meeting opened at 7:00 p.m. at which time Kathy presented a Treasurer’s Report.  Expenses were average for the year, and income slightly increased, with races having been profitable.  The Scholarship Fund is doing well, and there was a brief discussion pertaining to how scholarship recipients are chosen.  A suggestion was made that the Track Club should probably have our books audited on occasion as a precautionary measure.


The other item on the agenda was the Huntsville Hospital Foundation Proposal concerning their partnership with us for the purpose of sponsoring an annual race.  Nancy opened the discussion with a description of the changes she made in her original course as per John DeHaye’s suggestion; she has also gone over the course with Sergeant Shahan of the Police Department and the revised course is acceptable to him.


Harold Tinsley had a few concerns about the proposed course.  The reasoning for these concerns is the emphasis the club puts on runner safety, and to minimize impact of our events on residents.


·         The start area on Adams Street is too small and will pose a hazard to other than a limited field of runners.

·         Some of the streets on the course are narrow and may pose a challenge in handling the amount of runners that will be occupying the area early in the race.

·         Narrow areas where runners will be using the same street in opposite directions and turning sharp corners, plus an area where runners will be traveling in the wrong direction on a one way street, are deemed not acceptable.

·         There is a challenging hill in the course, which may be undesirable.

·         With the utilization of so many neighborhood streets on a Saturday morning there will be many complaints from residents.  For that reason it would be advisable to avoid neighborhood streets in favor of business areas, with the added advantage of not having to deal with a lot of street parking the day of the race.

·         We should avoid crossing California if possible.


Harold presented an alternate course for consideration.  Nancy pointed out that the course she proposes contains many significant features which will add to the purpose of the race and will capture the spirit of the fight against breast cancer.  She felt that this newly proposed course has eliminated those important features and thus will not engender the feelings that her course will convey.


Jim Oaks, who had talked with Nancy about his concerns about the course the night before the meeting, also expressed concern about a potentially congested start, some of the narrow streets the course traversed (particularly Figures Alley) and was most concerned about the potential problem with two-way traffic along Echols and White Streets. He said the sharp turn from Echols to White would be a major interference for lead runners on their return to the finish.


David Cain also expressed concern for the lack of room for an easy start from Adams Street which is a two lane street.


Kathy Youngren, who had run the course the day before the meeting, said the climbing of Echols hill twice made the course a very “hard” one for runners.


It was decided that because of the somewhat subjective nature of course layout that any course design would need to be a compromise of all providing input.  After much discussion it was decided to attempt to alter the original course that Nancy had presented.


David Cain and John Roberts took the lead in designing an alternative route that used a wider street (Franklin) for the start and continued straight for the first half-mile of the race. This, and other modifications, produces a course that would allow race traffic to flow in a general clockwise direction and avoid any overlap or two-way traffic. This course would eliminate many of the problems that Harold and Jim had presented, yet maintained most of the flavor that Nancy was seeking in the original course.


·         The start area on Adams Street was relocated to Franklin Street to provide more room for runners as well as spectators and start line equipment.

·         Some streets were changed in favor of wider streets and/or narrow streets are utilized latter in the race when runners are more thinned out.

·         Sharp corners were eliminated from the course as was any two way traffic of runners.

·         There remains a challenging hill but it is only run once versus multiple times.

·         It was remarked that the neighborhoods utilized by this event are very similar to the neighborhoods utilized for Cotton Row and the Fund Run and very few if any complaints are generated by the residents in these areas.

·         California Street is still crossed but given that the police department said this was a minimal issue it was decided to make the crossing the first year and re-evaluate if necessary.


It was agreed that whatever problems remained could be studied with the first run of the race, and the course could then be further revised if necessary.  The Board was in general agreement with this arrangement and approved the general course layout.  When the course is finalized Nancy will present the detailed, final version to the board for approval, along with the 5K course.


There was a brief discussion involving how much control the HTC would have over the race, and David referred to the Handbook instructions as our guidelines.  All important decisions would be discussed with the HTC board before go-ahead and those listed in the Handbook as requiring board approval would be handled in the required manner. 


Since there were no further questions regarding the Huntsville Hospital proposal, David Purinton made a motion to accept the proposal, which was seconded by Jim Oaks.  The motion carried.


There was no further business, and the meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.