First Kansas RRCA Clubs Meeting
Blind Tiger Restaurant, Topeka KS
Attendees: Norma Weiser (Sunflower Striders), Gary Henry (Lawrence Trail Hawks and Kansas Ultra Runners Society), Susan Robinette (Kansas City Track Club), Karen Collier (Lawrence Trail Hawks), Kelly Pfannenstiel (KC Express), Pat Melgares (Manhattan Cross Country Club), Dee Boeck (RunLawrence), Becky McClure (RunLawrence), Gene Wee (RunLawrence), Dave Provorse (Washburn University Running Club), Ben Holmes (KC Track Club/Trail Nerds), Mary Anne Durall (Sunflower Striders), Jared Durall (Sunflower Striders), Brad Rhoden (Sunflower Striders), Marla Rhoden (Sunflower Striders), Lisa Woolery (Secretary for the meeting), Janice Woolery (Kansas RRCA State Representative).
Janice Woolery, the Kansas RRCA State Representative, welcomed everyone and indicated the purpose of the meeting was to get to know each other and our clubs better.
B. Club Presentations
1. KC Express – Kelly Pfannenstiel, President Elect for 2011
- Kelly is the incoming president for the Kansas City Express, currently a branch of MARA (Mid-America Running Association), but looking to become an independent club because of the growth of the organization.
- KC Express formed in 1982 to provide support for women wanting to run, especially marathons. Their signature event is the Mother’s Day 5k which has grown from 600 participants in its 1st year to 3500 participants in 2010.
2. KC Track Club – Sue Robinette, President
- The KC Track Club, with a long history in Kansas City, continues to look for ways to grow and modernize. The club offers event services as well as sponsors regular weekly runs, (the Wednesday Night Run has been ongoing every Wednesday for 30 years), and two signature events in the Kansas City area (Brew to Brew and Cliff Hanger 5K & 8K). The club has recently been promoting, “Run Local” – encouraging people to form smaller regular running groups in different neighborhoods throughout the metro area. In addition, the club has recently redone its website.
3. Kansas Ultra Runners Society (KUS) – Gary Henry
- KUS holds two annual ultra events: Rockin’ K and the Heartland 100. In addition to providing a club for ultra runners, part of the mission of KUS is to promote the beauty of areas of Kansas such as Kanopolis State Park, home of the Rockin’ K. KUS welcomes anyone who would like to learn more about the club and participate in any events.
4. Lawrence Trail Hawks – Gary Henry, President and Karen Collier
- The Trail Hawks formed in April 2009 and have been active in both events and regular group runs. There are group runs almost every day of the week on the trails in or near Lawrence- mostly the Clinton Lake trails and the River trails. Additionally, the Trail Hawks do trail maintenance, volunteer for regional running events (road and trail) and generally support people interested in the running and trail communities.
- Upcoming events include the Pi Day River Trail Race (3/19/2011) which is a half-marathon race.
5. RunLawrence - Dee Boeck
- Formed in 2003 RunLawrence has about 130 members. The signature event for the group is the Lawrence Thanksgiving 5k. In its 7th year, the event drew 800 people in 2010. The club has regular meetings and weekly group runs for interested parties. Club members are very involved in expanding youth running opportunities.
6. Manhattan Cross Country Club – Pat Melgares, President
- Formed in 2004 in response to a lack of age-appropriate events for kids in the area.
- Signature event: “School Fitness Challenge” : benefits local school programs
- 2011 goal: 100 volunteer, 1,000 participants, $10,000 for the schools
- Conducts 6-week running program for kids; grown from 15 to 57 kids in 6 years.
- Applying for several grants focussed on youth education programs.
- Upcoming Event for adults: Straight Shot Mile Wednesday evening, June 2.
7. Sunflower Striders – Topeka Running Club - Brad Rhoden, President
- Club has @ 200 members, 5 group runs per week, monthly board meetings, and an annual banquet, monthly newsletter, website
- Club interested in supporting greater community and include events such as:
- Labor Your Legs – free event on Labor Day
- Trash Pick-up event
- Water fountains
- Prison Running Program for female inmates
- Club Events include:
- Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon
- Thanksgiving Day Run
- Help with Run for Life 10 mile Run
- Help with Rescue Run 5k
8. Washburn Running Club – Dave Provorse, President
- Part of Washburn University Marathon Training Class & WU Running Club
- Dave is the faculty advisor; Students are actual leaders
- Signature event: Run For Life 10 mile race; benefits organ donation
- “Fistula 5k” – new event to raise money for medical needs in Africa
9. Trail Nerds – Ben Holmes, President
- Subgroup of KC Track Club; Mud Babes is women’s group in Trail Nerds
- 14 race events held each year
- 8 organized runs a week at different area trail running locations
- 30 to 60% increase in event registrations with recent boom in trail running
- Raised $53,000 last year ($45 K of that in single event)
- Trail Building events – “Earn your dirt” ethos
- Donate to Trail organizations to help maintain trails in the area
C. Closing – Janice Woolery
National Award nominations, Volunteer Recognition Program, and State Championships were discussed. The floor was opened and Gary Henry suggested an event geared around the sesquicentennial of the State of Kansas in 2011. There was a brief discussion and the meeting was concluded.