RRCA State Rep?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Why Be A Member Of A RRCA Club?

Local bulletin boards are lots of fun to read. Sometimes the letters are a teachable moment:
Having re-joined the local RRCA club after several years away from running due to health issues, I was looking forward to the newsletter. All the information for up-coming events and also information concerning other races (brochures) in the area was one of the big reasons for me re-joining the club. And now I have been a member for a couple of months and nothing. What is going on? What are the dues for? I have tried to get information from the website and it does not seem to be updated all that often. And when I sent emails to the race director listed for a race on a couple of occasions I never received any response. So I am wondering why I should be a member of the member club? - Chris

Chris - welcome back into the "running family." When you filled out your membership information, I'm certain you provided e-mail contact information. The club you mention has sent out the newsletter electronically for a few years, with the exception of a few members who do not use e-mail or have limited internet access.

In the past few months I've seen a few changes in key personnel, fresh perspectives, and a release of opportunity to willing active members. It's a time of challenge, but I have no doubt the new key personnel will excel. The newsletter staff has changed also, which might explain your non-receipt. An e-mail to the newsletter staff, with a courtesy copy to the club president should fix that issue.

Your dues help the local club to pay their membership in the Road Runners Club of America, as well as affordable event liability insurance RRCA provides to member clubs. The dues also support the operational (race cost!) expenses of local club, maintain or procure equipment, and pay for advertising/web presence.

The dues let RRCA give the local club:

- Access to RRCA FOOTNOTES magazine (pdf form)
- Quarterly INSIDE TRACK best practices newsletter (sent to club leadership)
- Nonprofit (tax!) status through RRCA's exemption
- Free event posting on the RRCA Race Calendar
- Gatorade Sponsorship for RRCA Championship Races (10K and beyond, 400+ participants)
- Link to RRCA syndicated news
- Authorized use of RRCA logo on the club or event website
- Invitation to the RRCA Annual Convention (Lakeland, FL this year!)
- Voting privileges at the RRCA Annual Meeting (club leadership)
- Email updates of RRCA activities
- Host State, Regional, or National Championship races
- Access publications & resources for running, races, & clubs (RRCA's site)
- Discounted membership to nonprofit governance resource
- Women's Distance Festival events & sponsorships
- Affordable Coaching Certification Program (usually 1x/year in FL)
- Local, State and National Advocacy for road running
- Product discounts from corporate supporters (FuelBelt, Crocs, K-Swiss, etc.)

Chris, I post every bit of event information on my blog, www.north-florida-rrca.blogspot.com. If it's from a local RRCA club it gets on right away. If it's from a club or race provider here in the state it gets on as soon as I can put it up. RRCA's event calendar for FL is on the blog, too.

As part of the change in key personnel within your local club, I know the board are taking a more direct role in directing races. So, it's probably better to send your questions to the club president.

So, why should you be a member of your local club? Well, you can support the runnning community without being a member. You can get back into running without being a member. BUT, you don't have a leg to stand on; a right to voice your opinion about how events are produced, where your race entry fees (after expenses are paid) should go.

(Personally, I would like to see support for RRCA's national level programs: Kids Run The Nation, Road Scholars, Women's Distance Festival, State Representative Program, and so on.)

For example, should money YOU pay for races pay for the out-of-town bus trips/beer/munchies for 20 people? Should there be more short events? More long events? Should there be more beer? Less? Do you want to see more youth running programs? More women's running programs? Maybe groups to help new runners become life-long runners?

That's why people join clubs; to enhance their running life. I hope your local club’s programs will enhance yours. If it doesn't, then you need to speak to leadership with your specific concerns; or step up and help run a program to enhance the running life of this community.

Warmest regards - don't hesitate to contact me for more on RRCA's programming.

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