HTC Executive Board Meeting - 10 November 2003


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).


Board Members Absent: Richard Rodenhausen (VP-Races & Equipment), Jim Oaks (Appointed Member-Cotton Row Director)  Note:  Jim Oaks was excused from the meeting as he was attending the Road Race Management Race Directors Meeting to represent the HTC.


Others present: Nancy Sheppard (Proposed HTC Race Director), Candy Burnett (Huntsville Hospital Foundation President), Michele Savage (Director of Special Events), Jennifer Brewington (Director of Women's Services for the Breast Center), Liz Hurley (Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund)

The HTC Executive Board met at 6:00 p.m. at the Huntsville Hospital Women and Childrenís Center Executive Conference Room to discuss the proposed Huntsville Hospital Foundation/HTC cooperative venture to organize a new race to benefit the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund for breast cancer aid and research in the Huntsville area.The tentative name for the event is Autumn Strides.


The meeting opened with a brief overview by Candy as she again expressed the HH Foundationís desire to sponsor a new race since the Pill Hill Race has been retired, and their desire to partner with the HTC so that this will be a first-class endeavor.She then gave the floor to David to present HTC questions and concerns for discussion.The following items were brought forward and discussed:


         The first item on the agenda was liability insurance.HTC insurance requires that the HTC have full control of the race.Given the current legal environment it will probably be best to have each party to the race secure their own insurance to provide maximum coverage.How these multiple policies will interact will be examined.


         When asked how large a race they are expecting, Candy said that they would want around 800 the first year and then aim for increasing that number each year, eventually drawing over 2,000 and beyond.Because a 10K race will attract serious runners and those out of town, and a 5K will attract a larger amount of local runners, the Hospital would like to have both a 10K and a 5K race, and also try to get a substantial amount of walkers.It was agreed that door prizes are the key to attracting both serious and non-serious runners.To avoid having to redesign a course or other aspects of the race due to future growth it is deemed important to design the race for the upper end of participation.


         Regarding printing and mailing, Candy assured us that this will all be handled by the Hospital, thus avoiding any restrictions that may be involved with our HTC mailing permit.She also wants the HTC to be 100% involved in the approval of the race brochure, the shirt design and the race logo.


         David then brought up the matter of City involvementóthat we need to touch base with the City and Police Department regarding the course and markings, and the Police will then check the course and decide how much of their manpower is needed.They will control all traffic, while we are responsible to provide any necessary course sentries.Regarding the Race Permit, the HTC name needs to be on the permit.The race permit will also require a $25 administrative fee, a newly implemented Police Department policy.While this race is replacing Pill Hill it is being targeted for a different date in October.As such the date will have to be secured as soon as possible with the city to avoid any potential conflicts.


         Upon discussing the computer aspect, it appears that there will be no incompatibility issue, and Michelle pointed out that the Hospitalís IT Department has agreed to lend their full support to this endeavor.They will create a web site for race information, the downloading of the entry form, and for making on-line payment.Existing online registration companies were also suggested as they are experienced in the type of data worked with for races and the HTC has successfully worked with some the companies in the past.


         It was agreed by all that race fees should be kept low, including a reasonable family fee, with the registration fee increasing as the race draws nearer, culminating in perhaps a more substantial fee for registering the evening before the race.It was agreed that there would be no race day registration; however, because we would desire a high number of walkers, it was suggested that perhaps walkers could register on race day if we could accomplish this without having to do any data entry.Nancy stressed that races donít bring in a lot of money, sponsors do, which was readily understood, but it was pointed out by Candy that we want to move fast so we can capture the sponsors that supported the Pill Hill before we lose them.


         David stated that we donít typically release our mailing list or email addresses, and how could we be assured that our members not receive unwanted mailings from the Hospital pursuant to information they acquire through runner sign-up?This would hold for race participants as well.It was agreed that we could initially provide the Hospital with a set of labels for mailing information/brochures to our members, thus avoiding entering that information into the Hospital data base, and Michelle suggested that there could be a place to check on the entry form if a runner doesnít want to receive future mailings from the Hospital.While pre and post race mail outs could be done, there needs to be limit set that is agreeable to both parties.


         It was agreed by all that both partners in this venture should have equal access to all financial records regarding the race.David also mentioned that we want to be sure there is a review process in place for re-negotiating all agreements we have made with each other if in the future the race grows and changes.


         As to having the race as part of the Grand Prix, this race will be a HTC race and thus can easily be incorporated into the HTC Grand Prix, but Candy mentioned that a future goal would be to eventually have it included in Running Journal Grand Prix after we iron out all the kinks.


         Everyone agreed that giving prize money is not desirable but that door prizes and perhaps airline tickets would be a better investment, which could be given both to winners and to names that are drawn.


         Regarding publicity, it was suggested that we could buy labels from other running clubs, we could put brochures in stores, provide them at races, and utilize contacts in surrounding areas who are willing to place brochures in strategic places.Flyers could be distributed in schools and could be placed in Cotton Row Run packets.By providing a web site address we will draw many prospective runners, as it was pointed out that 50% of runners sign up on line for the larger races.


         Nancy also pointed out that she would like to use the chip, since the wands can cause jams which can be devastating with a larger race.There was a brief discussion about using chips for two races simultaneously versus consecutively.This needs to be discussed with Jim because of his knowledge and experience with chips with Cotton Row.


         A few ideas regarding the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund theme were suggested such as recognizing cancer survivors, runners/walkers wearing signs in honor or memory of those afflicted by cancer, Liz speaking to the runners before the race and being involved in the walk, and/or Liz and City leaders perhaps heading up groups of walkers.It was also suggested that all survivors wear something to identify them as such and meet together for a brief ceremony before the race.


         Nancy distributed a map of the course which begins and ends at Huntsville Hospital and which winds through attractive neighborhoods close to downtown Huntsville.Harold did point out that a slight change probably needs to be made in the 10K route since during a short time the runners would be traveling in both directions on the same streets.Also the 5K route should possibly be changed so that it doesnít cross California.Nancy will tweak the course to attempt to resolve these issues.She will then confer with the Police Department regarding the course before requesting course certification.It was suggested that she reserve the race date as soon as possible.


The next step in this process is that an agreement will be drawn up and presented to the HTC Executive Board for their suggestions, revisions and approval.The Huntsville Hospital Foundation will then review the agreement toward the goal of final approval by both parties.


As there was no further discussion, the meeting adjourned at 8:00.