HTC Executive Board Meeting – 11 September 2008

Board Members Present:  David Purinton (President), Ashley Cain (VP-Programs), Anne Park (Secretary), Suzanne Taylor (Appointed Member—Co-Rocket City Marathon Director), Harold Tinsley (VP-Communications), Eric Charette (VP-Races & Equipment)


Board Members Absent: Dink Taylor (Appointed Member—Co-Cotton Row Run Director), Craig Armstrong (Appointed Member – Past Board Member)


The HTC Executive Board met in the Library of Southwood Presbyterian Church in Jones Valley, Huntsville, Alabama, and the meeting began at 7:05 p.m.  David gave the floor to Suzanne, and she brought the Board up-to-date regarding 2008 Rocket City Marathon progress.  The numbers are very good so far with over 300 registered.  Suzanne has purchased the medals and shirts and has the Marathon Meeting schedule set up.  Powerade will be our drink vendor this year and they will supply everything needed to provide adequate hydration during the race.  Race preparations are proceeding very well.  Construction near Huntsville Hospital is scheduled to be completed in October and at this time poses no risk to the event.


There was a brief discussion regarding the upcoming High School Cross Country Meet on September 30.  Both Fleet Feet and First Place have given donations for this event, and it was requested that the Track Club have a bigger presence than in past years.  It was suggested that we set up a table with Track Club information and also help with water, cups and a tent.


David presented the 2009 Huntsville Track Club Race Schedule and pointed out a few changes from the 2008 calendar.  There are a couple of changes in race directors--Blake Thompson will become the new director for the McKay Hollow Half Marathon to replace Tom Possert, and Clare Purinton will take the reins with the ReCreation Run, with Marty and Carol Eaton as co-directors.  The 2009 schedule was voted upon, and received unanimous approval.  Harold brought to mind a previous discussion wherein we felt that each race should have an assistant director, but since such a desirable situation wasn’t easy to implement, maybe we should consider trying to achieve this whenever a new race is presented to the board.


The Board discussed the Recover From the Holidays 50k, which Dink Taylor has directed for years.  Dink has requested that we make this a Huntsville Track Club Race.  Kathy moved and Eric seconded the motion that this be done, and the motion passed.


The next topic of discussion was the headphone issue.  USATF has declared a ban on headphones and other listening devices being used during any sanctioned races, and for at least a year the HTC has requested runners to comply with this ban during our races.  It was finally decided that for safety reasons we should begin to firmly implement this ban regarding all HTC races.  Beginning with the Sprint Triathlon and then with the Monte Sano Road Races it was made very clear in the registration brochure, race packet and announcements, that anyone wearing a listening device would be disqualified from the race and their finish time would not be displayed.  Two people were spotted in the Triathlon and one in the Monte Sano 5K, and they were disqualified and their finish times were not posted.  In general there were very few complaints.  The Board agreed to continue this policy with all future HTC races for at least a year and we will review this issue from time to time.


In review of our agreement with the Liz Hurley Foundation regarding the Liz Hurley Ribbon Run, each year the Liz Hurley Foundation presents the HTC a check for $5,000 for our contribution in aid for this race, and since we provide only minimal, though critical, help, the HTC has each year returned to the Liz Hurley Foundation the amount of $2,500 as a goodwill gesture, knowing that our contribution remains in the community to help with this excellent cause.  The Board briefly discussed the race and agreed that each “runner” should receive a number for safety identification per the HTC policies even if they are not interested in being scored in the results using the chip.  The chips will now be on the bibs rather than on the shoes, and Suzanne will contact Michelle Savage to make sure that chip and finish times will be understood.  Harold moved and David seconded the motion that we continue to return $2,500 back to the Liz Hurley Foundation with the upcoming race, and the motion passed unanimously.


Recently David was contacted by a member of the community who wanted to schedule a 10k race on an afternoon when we already had a 5k HTC race scheduled in the morning.  This brought up the need to have a policy regarding whether or not we will support such a race including advertising the race or renting our equipment, since such a race would almost always detract from our HTC function.  We already had an unwritten policy along these lines, but the Board decided we need something on paper that we can refer and hold to as these situations come up.  David agreed to write up a statement, and Harold suggested that with the Board’s approval it might be good to put it in the HTC Handbook. 


 The track club has three smaller races that don’t draw a lot of participation and there was a discussion as to whether these races are appreciated for their particular flavor, and/or whether we should open them up as free (by pre-registration only) to anyone who is a track club member.  This might increase participation and perhaps encourage more runners to join the track club.  Of course this would only be considered if the three race directors are agreeable.  David made a motion that with the race directors’ approval we give this a try in 2009.  Eric seconded the motion and the motion carried.  The races under consideration are the Rocket Run 10 Miler, the Harry Williams Track Meet, and the A&M 10K.  (note: after the meeting the race directors of these events were contacted and agreeable to the proposal so for 2009 these events will be free to HTC members who register during the pre-registration period)


New ideas were presented that might give us a bigger turnout at the Annual HTC Business Meeting in January.  It was suggested that we have it at the Lodge with a free dinner beforehand, and maybe some sort of program.  This discussion then led to a discussion of some of the problems we’ve had in the past concerning reserving the Lodge and Pavilion on Monte Sano.  It is at yet undecided which direction to go regarding the Annual Meeting, and member suggestions are always welcomed.  For 2009 we will plan have a dinner that is free of charge to club members and hold it at the Lodge if the facilities are available.


David has set up a Huntsville Track Club group on Facebook. At present this group is only open to HTC members and among other things we can discuss races, upcoming events, and post messages.  This could become a very interesting venue if members become involved.


Eric informed the Board that he is drawing up a proposal for the purchase of replacement items for some of our antiquated equipment, some of which is at least 30 or more years old.  Many needed items are very reasonably priced, and he can make much-needed improvements to our equipment for less than $5,000.  The Board welcomed his efforts and will discuss his proposal at a future meeting when he gets it all together.  Equipment under consideration includes new race stanchions, new mile markers and new hand held timers.


The next item on the agenda was the 2008 HTC Award recipients.  The Board discussed each award, and after determining the desired qualifications for each category, recipients were proposed and voted on.  The Awards Banquet will be held on Tuesday, November 4, 2008, from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Monte Sano Lodge.


Since there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.