Minutes of Reston Runners Club Annual Meeting

February 21, 2021, 4:00 pm
Virtual Zoom Meeting due to COVID restrictions on public gatherings

A quorum of members was present, including all current and incoming members of the Board of Directors. Secretary Claire Tse established the presence of a quorum and laid out the agenda and procedures for the meeting.

Remembrance of Departed Members

The club remembered two members who passed away in 2020. Leslie Stanfield gave a remembrance of Pat Brown, and Jerry Bonnes gave a remembrance of Joe Stowers.

President’s Report

President Mike McCord gave a recap of major events and issues facing the club in 2020 and a look ahead to 2021. He noted that the COVID pandemic dominated the club’s year in 2020 as it did all other aspects of our lives. The board paid particular attention to understanding and following various federal, state, local and RRCA public health and safety guidance. To that end, in accordance with the Governor’s orders, the club suspended group activities in March 2020, resumed them in July, and was forced to suspend them again in mid-November 2020.

The President reported that the club had no known positive COVID cases, or cases of member to member transmission, in 2020, and that the club had received no complaints about our distancing or masking practices from our neighbors in the Reston community. He also noted that club members improvised a way to keep the spirit of community alive by instituting lawn- chair gatherings in parking lots after informal small-group weekend runs.

He reminded members that the Board also developed a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion statement which is a good first step, but that more needs to be done on being the diverse and welcoming club we want to be.

He also noted that the Board spent much of its time in 2020 on our financial situation in light of COVID, forced us to confront the need to square our dues with our fixed costs. He thanked all members who took the time to participate and vote in our special meeting to change our dues structure on that September 20, 2020.

Looking ahead to 2021, we expect to be back to normal by next year’s annual meeting and hopefully earlier than that. The board has new ideas in mind, such as doing runs from the library followed by a discussion on training or other topics of interest in one of their meeting rooms. But everything depends on us being able to get back to running and walking together.

Membership Statistics

Board member Jack Tozier presented statistics on club membership from 2017 through 2020, showing a trend of continuing decline in paid memberships. He highlighted the membership numbers before and after the members voted to eliminate family memberships in September

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2020. In January 2020 there were 389 members including 70 family members. In January 2021 that decreased to 246 members including 42 “grandfathered” family members.

Treasurer’s Report

Club Treasurer Mary Shedlock summarized the club’s 2020 financial statements, which were posted on the Club’s website, and gave the club’s current financial status.

For calendar year and fiscal year 2020, the club’s net income was -$9,826.00, compared to net income of +$4,589.56 in 2019. This decrease was driven by the pandemic, which forced the club to cancel both of its races and most of its programs. Program income fell dramatically in 2020, and overall club income dropped from $120,576 in 2019 to just $40,359 in 2020.

Club President Mike McCord noted that excluding the funds in RMR account, the club lost as much money in 2020 as it has left in its main bank account to get through 2021, and that the club balance sheet is likely to worsen as RMR refunds go out. However, the board believes we have sufficient resources to make it through 2021, and we will continue to cut expenses where possible. He also noted that the club’s financial situation could have been far worse in 2020 had the RMR committee not had sufficient warning to avoid up to $30,000 in RMR race expenses for items such as facility rentals, police support, and food.

Reston Runners Community Fund (RRCF)

Reston Runners Community Fund Treasurer Mary Shedlock and Secretary Mike McCord provided a report on the finances and activities of the RRCF for 2020.

The RRCF’s core program and donations continued: 4 scholarships of $1,000 each to the most deserving South Lakes HS and Herndon HS male and female senior track/cross country athletes, as selected by the coaching staffs of those two high schools. In addition, in 2020, the RRCF provided $1,000 each in general support to the broader SLHS and HHS track and cross country teams for travel and other support costs. The RRCF had 2019 income of $4,250.29, expenses (all donations) of $6,000, and net income of -$1,749.71.

The pandemic disrupted the momentum the RRCF had built up in 2019 by working with Reston elementary schools, as schools were closed most of 2020. The fund hopes to resume those programs such as sponsoring fun runs.

Report on Runners Marathon of Reston (RMR) for 2021

RMR Race Director Anna Newcomb announced that RMR race committee decided this week that they would have to cancel the RMR scheduled for April 2021, making the second consecutive year the club’s main race will be canceled due to the pandemic. The committee had reached the point where it would have had to start committing funding to the race but it did not appear that the club and its race partner, Potomac River Running, would be able to secure the necessary permits for the race.

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Anna went on to explain the committee’s proposed refund policy to offer full refunds of 2021 race entry fees, but not of 2020 entry fees. Registered participants will be offered a chance to run the 2022 event for $25.

Board of Directors Election Results

Club Secretary Claire Tse announced the results of the annual elections for the club’s Board of Directors. The following members were elected or re-elected:

Mike McCord, President
Catherine Nelson, Vice President
Mary Shedlock, Treasurer
Claire Tse, Secretary
Director of Walking Programs – vacant, no member agreed to be nominated Elsy “Roz” Cherry, Member-at-Large
Dan Grove, Member-at-Large
Jeannie Johns, Member-at-Large
Caitlin McBride, Under-40 Member-at-Large

The club recognized the service of the following departing board members: Director of Walking Programs Mary Goebel and Member-at-Large Jack Tozier.

Proposed Amendments to Club Constitution

The members voted on two amendments to the Club’s constitution proposed by the Board of Directors. These amendments were provided to members two weeks in advance, as required, via email, with links on the club’s website, Facebook page, and e-news. The text of the proposed amendments was also provided in the meeting invitation.

Amendment #1

Amendments Package #1 would revise the constitution to conform to changes members adopted in our special meeting of September 20, 2020. It also corrects pre-existing errors or inconsistencies in our constitution. This amendment contained three parts:
PART 1-MEMBERSHIP: Reflects that membership is now on an individual basis only and runs one year from the date a member joins or renews, rather than a uniform calendar year basis. It also reflects the elimination of free family memberships for spouses or children of past Presidents.

PART 2- ELECTIONS: Corrects outdated language stating the board members were either officers or at-large members (the Director of Walking Programs is a third category of board member already recognized in our constitution) and clarifying that members vote for all board members (not just officers) and may from time to time vote on other matters beyond board elections.
PART 3-MEETING FORMATS: States that meetings may also be held in a virtual format, as is currently required by public health regulations.

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Text of AMENDMENT #1
PART 1 - MEMBERSHIP
III. MEMBERSHIP
Current wording: “The only requirement for membership is the payment of dues for the membership year. Past presidents of Reston Runners are granted lifetime family memberships in recognition of their service.”

Proposed language: “Members of the club are required to pay annual dues. Past presidents of Reston Runners are granted lifetime memberships in recognition of their service.”

Current wording: “Annual membership begins on January 1 and lasts until 31
December. Individuals who are members for a calendar year are eligible to vote for officers in the election year of their membership and in the following year.”
Proposed language: “Annual membership shall run one year from the date on which a member initiates or renews their membership and pays the annual dues. Current members are eligible to vote in board elections or on any other matters that may be put to the membership for a vote.”

AMENDMENT PART 2: ELECTIONS

V. MANAGEMENT
Current wording: D. Election of Officers
Proposed language: D. Election of Board of Directors
Current wording: 3. “Election Results. Officers will be elected by plurality vote, that is, candidates receiving the most votes are elected. The At Large positions will be awarded to the 4 individuals with the most votes.”
Proposed language: 3. “Election Results. Officers, and the Director of Walking Programs, will be elected by plurality vote, that is, candidates receiving the most votes are elected. The At Large positions will be awarded to the 4 individuals with the most votes”.
AMENDMENT PART 3: MEETING FORMATS
V. MANAGEMENT
Current wording: F. Procedural Requirements for General Meetings
1. “Announcement of General Meetings. General meetings of the entire membership must be announced at least fourteen days in advance.”
Proposed language: F. Procedural Requirements for General Meetings
1. “Announcement of General Meetings. General meetings of the entire membership must be

announced at least fourteen days in advance. Meetings may be held in a virtual format.”

Amendment #1 was adopted by a vote of 93% of members present in favor, 5% opposed, and 2% abstaining.

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Amendment #2.

The proposed amendment would grant the board of directors the authority to increase or decrease the dues within a limited range of up to 10% in any year. This would provide the club’s managers discretion similar to what a typical homeowner’s association board has. This change would become effective January 1, 2022.

Current Wording of section VI, FINANCES:
“A. Dues are determined by a majority of the members at a general meeting and will not be changed more than once per year.”

Proposed Amendment: Effective on January 1, 2022, revise subsection A to read as follows: Subsections B through E would be unchanged.

“A. Dues are determined by the board of directors. The board of directors may change the dues by no more than 10% percent of the current dues. If the proposed change will be greater than 10%, then a majority of the members at a general meeting will need to approve the new dues. Dues will not be changed more than once per year.”

Amendment #2 was adopted by a vote of 86% of members present voting in favor and 14% opposed.

Green Jacket Award

Club President Mike McCord presented the Club’s 18th annual Joe Fleig “Green Jacket” award for sustained service to the club to John and Joan Koss.

Thank you to volunteers

The board thanked all the volunteers who support our weekly runs and walks, training programs, and races, including the RMR race committee, the course committee, and those who provided water support. President Mike McCord thanked John Nusbaum for his years of providing water support for our Saturday runs, and noted other members who had done so.

Member Discussion

In addition to agenda items proposed by the Board, several members asked the Board to consider preparing a policy for a future membership vote that would prohibit non-members from participating in our programs or social events if they don’t pay the dues, arguing that failing to do so causes both financial and equity issues. Other members expressed concerns that such a policy would be counter-productive to increasing our membership and to our brand as a welcoming club.

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Training and Programs

A note on temporary coronavirus precautions
Some aspects of normal club operations (denoted in red text) have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, currently, there are no formally-scheduled runs/walks, there is no water support, and there are no social events.  Many of the training programs described below have also been suspended.  These activities will return when health conditions permit. The club complies with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Fairfax County, and RRCA public health and safety policies.

 

Several of our members are RRCA-certified running instructors. These members, and others, volunteer their time for various programs which Reston Runners sponsors. Some of these programs are held every year. Others vary from year to year; depending upon interest of both volunteers and participants. Some of these programs incur costs and have a fee for participation.  Our programs include:

  • The Interval Training Program is a once a week evening program of track workouts during the summer, usually on Wednesday evenings at South Lakes HS.
  • Youth In Motion (YIM): volunteers conduct a once-a-week summer program for youth ages 3-14, usually on Sunday afternoon or early evening
  • Women’s Training Programis an eight-session program, conducted in the early spring, for women who want to begin a new exercise program or get back into exercising
  • 10 Weeks to 10K Training provides training and support for individuals training for a fall 10K, 10-miler, or similar race distance.
  • RMR Marathon Training is program that runs from January through March for runners preparing for the Runners Marathon of Reston in April (or other spring marathons).
  • Trail Running is available for those who prefer rugged terrain
  • Marine Corps Marathon: Sunday summer and early fall club runs offer long run training on-your-own options for those preparing for fall marathons.
  • JFK 50-Mile support is a program for both those who wish to run in the annual 50-mile UltraMarathon and those who wish to volunteer to support the runners.
  • Our Airport Run is an annual fall training event for those preparing for fall marathons or ultra-marathons. This one-way run starts at Reagan National Airport and heads back to Reston on the Mt. Vernon, Custis, and Washington & Old Dominion trails. A mid-way aid station is provided.
  • Thanksgiving Day Run is a fun-for-the-whole family event that consists of a cross-country 5K (approximate) and lots of prizes

For more information please visit our training programs page.

 

Club-Sponsored Races

Reston Runners organizes and conducts two annual races, a 5k for women only, and a marathon/half-marathon:

  • Seize the Day 5kis a 5-K race for women of all ages. Mother/daughter teams are encouraged
  • Runners Marathon of Reston is a club-sponsored, certified full marathon and half marathon held in early April

For more information on these events see our race page.

Events are also organized informally by groups of club members who simply arrange to meet each other at a set time and place and go for a run. Because these activities are not formal, they are not posted on the web site. Often, you can find out about them by listening to fellow runners. For example, if you are interested in running on Thursday mornings, ask around and you might find a group that is meeting and running. These informal groups often use social media tools to communicate activities.

 

Other Activities and Benefits

The club conducts several social activities, such as an optional breakfast after each weekend run, an annual summer picnic, and an annual club meeting. Reston Runners is often asked to provide support to community events, particularly athletic events. For example, the club does not conduct its normal week-end run on the day of the Reston Triathlon because most of our members either participate in or volunteer to support that event. Reston Runners supports a Community Fund, a financially independent tax-exempt organization, which raises money for community causes, in particular providing scholarships to local high school students who have excelled in running. Reston Runners conducts a program called “Finish Line Services” which provide equipment and people to time local races. Members of Reston Runners are provided discounts at the Potomac River Running store, at the YMCA, Fusion 360.

 

Volunteers

Reston Runners relies exclusively on volunteers to make all the events and activities successful. Water is provided, trails are marked, web pages are updated, eNews is sent, events are organized and executed, permits are requested, records are maintained, equipment and supplies are purchased, bills are paid. There is a lot to do and all are welcome to pitch in. Volunteering not only helps the club function but it provides an opportunity to meet people. Most volunteers agree that helping out is part of the fun of belonging to Reston Runners.

 

Communications

Our primary communication is via our website and our weekly eNews. The website, which is updated regularly, contains our schedule, including course maps, as well as information about all our activities. The eNews is sent out weekly to club members. Information is often provided in announcements at the beginning of each run/walk.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Mike McCord, 

President

February 2021

 

 


To Register and pay by check, first complete and submit this form by clicking "Sign Up." Next make out your $35 check to Reston Runners, mark for Membership Registration. Mail your check to:
Reston Runners P.O. Box 2924 Reston, VA 20195

New Member or Renewing Member

Weekend Run/Walks

 

A note on temporary coronavirus precautions

Some aspects of normal club operations (denoted in red text) have been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, currently, there are no formally-scheduled runs/walks, there is no water support, and there are no social events. These activities will return when health conditions permit. The club complies with the Commonwealth of Virginia, Fairfax County, and RRCA public health and safety policies.

 

We meet every Saturday morning at 8 AM at a parking lot at a school, shopping center, or pool in or near Reston. After introduction of new runners and walkers and brief announcements, everyone heads out at their own pace for either a 3-mile walk or a 5-mile run. The Saturday courses are usually marked by volunteers. On Sundays, we meet at 8:00 during the winter, spring and fall and at 7:00 AM during the summer for a 10-mile run, a 3-mile run/walk, or a 6- mile run/walk. We also include an option for longer runs on Sunday for those runners training for a fall marathon. Many, but not all, of the Sunday events include an option to run on trails.

The start locations and courses for our Saturday and Sunday run/walks are posted on our web page. Water is available at the start/finish on both Saturday and Sunday as well as in at least one location about midway on the Sunday course. After our weekend runs, those who wish to do so gather to eat, drink, and socialize at a location designated on the web page and usually announced at the start of the run/walk.

Our regularly scheduled run/walks include people of all ages and of all running and walking paces. Whatever your pace, it is likely that there will be others at the same pace, particularly when the weather is good and there is a larger group.

 

Weekday Run/Walks

If a weekday run fits your schedule better than our standard weekend runs, we also have smaller informal run/walks on weekdays, including Tuesday and Thursday evening runs on the W&OD trail and a Tuesday morning run from the Spectrum Center.  See the Website Calendar for schedule and details.

 

Best Foot Forward

Many of our events include a group we call “Best Foot Forward”, or more affectionately BFFs. This group is helpful for new or aspiring runners or anyone who would prefer a shorter course and a mix of running and walking.

Meetup.com

Reston Runners has its own group on Meetup.com. Many of the runs mentioned are posted regularly on Meetup. Occasional ad hoc events are also posted on Meetup.com. To join, register at Meetup.com and join Reston Runners.

 

Volunteers

Reston Runners relies exclusively on volunteers to make all the events and activities successful. Water is provided, trails are marked, web pages are updated, eNews is sent, events are organized and executed, permits are requested, records are maintained, equipment and supplies are purchased, bills are paid. There is a lot to do and all are welcome to pitch in. Volunteering not only helps the club function but it provides an opportunity to meet people. Most volunteers agree that helping out is part of the fun of belonging to Reston Runners.

 

Communications

Our primary communication is via our website and our weekly eNews. The website, which is updated regularly, contains our schedule, including course maps, as well as information about all our activities. The eNews is sent out weekly to club members. Information is often provided in announcements at the beginning of each run/walk.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Mike McCord,

President

February 2021

 

10 Weeks to 10K - 2020 Program Design

Due to the unique circumstances of the Covid-19 Pandemic, this year's training program  is as follows:

  • Maximum registration.Registration for the program will be limited to 50 persons plus ten coaches. (In 2019, 82 participants and 13 coaches participated.)
  • No designated in-person capstone race.In previous years the program has been affiliated with the Perfect 10 (10K or 10 miles.)  The Perfect 10 is accepting paid registrations and has a notice stating “We hope to see you out on the course in person on September 27th. However, if government guidelines regarding COVID-19 determine it best, the Perfect 10K/10Miler may be converted into a virtual race.” We have certainly enjoyed the race in previous years, however, we feel that the race fee would be excessive, should the event go virtual.  Additionally, some participants might be inclined to opt out of an in-person group race due to COVID concerns.  Therefore, instead of encouraging participation in the Perfect 10 this year, we will instead strongly urge each participant to run and continuously time any 10K or 10 mile course of their choosing, either an in-person race or a solo run, on any day from September 26 to October 18, as their capstone accomplishment of the program.  Those who report their finishing time and date of completion to us will receive a certificate.  
  • The 10 Weeks to 10K program lead reserves the right to cancel the remainder of the program at any time before or during its commencement, if, in the sole judgment of the program lead, any of the following occur:
  • State, local or federal guidelines that are substantially in conflict with the program are issued;
  • The behavior of participants and/or coaches deviates substantially from the safety policies established, and the program lead and coaches are unable to address the deviation to their satisfaction; or
  • One or more program participant(s) and/or coach(es) reports positive COVID test results to the program lead, and continuation of the program is deemed to present a significant risk of further spread.

In the event that the program is canceled, the program lead may elect to continue it as a virtual program, with each individual completing training runs or walks on his/her own.  In the event of cancellation after the second program meeting, the major expense of ordering T-shirts will be incurred, and refunds will not be made to participants after that time.

Candidate meeting locations and courses:

  • Lake Audobon Pool at Twin Branches.There are nearly 30 parking spots in the pool parking lot, with overflow parking on Twin Branches.  An out-and-back course of Twin Branches to Glade towards Reston Parkway provides a distance of three to five miles with substantial evening shade.
  • Hunters Woods Elementary School (alternative:Hunters Woods Shopping Center).The parking lot provides sufficient parking, and could be used until the school year begins.  Colts Neck to Quorn, left to the T at Quorn, and back is about 1.7 miles and nicely shaded, and a Paddock Road/Steeplechase route passing Hunters Woods pool provides additional mileage.  
  • Lake Fairfax Park.Roads with sufficient width within the Park, as well as adjacent roads (Blaze, Dasher, Hunt Club, Ring, and portions of North Shore) will allow a three mile course.
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