Along with Executive Director Eva Dunn-Froebig we had the honor of representing RWM at the Road Runners Club of America national convention in Albuquerque, NM from May 2nd through May 5th. The convention was hosted by the Albuquerque Road Runners, which has 515 members. We tried to do a good job representing our club and our city. The convention offered lots of useful information, which hopefully will benefit our membership. RWM is somewhat unique in its operation and in its success. However we need to keep thinking ahead in order to maintain the vitality of the organization.
A choice of workshops was offered on each of the two full days of the convention. The three of us split up in order to attend as many different sessions as possible. The workshop “Engaging the Transitioning High School Runner into the Club” became a lively roundtable discussion where the presenter learned as much as the rest of us. “What Runners Want,” ”Putting On Your First Ultra Race” and “Engaging Beginning Runners/Walkers Into Your Club” were some of the others attended. We should have left “Managing Your Nonprofit Club and Events” for Eva to attend but she made us go! The final workshop was “Emergency CPR Training” which all three of us participated in.
It was not all work and no play. There were group runs in the mornings that took us on tours of Albuquerque’s “Old Town District,” lunches with guest speakers and a banquet each night. Our favorite speaker was Olympic marathoner Meg Keflezighi. He seems to be as humble as he is fast. At Friday night’s banquet held at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, Scott met Tom Flemming who was there to be inducted into the RRCA Distance Running Hall of Fame. He noticed Scott’s RWM shirt and pulled him aside to tell him how much he had loved being in Missoula in 1971. Mr. Flemming and other Olympic hopefuls spent that summer training here. He wanted to know all about how Missoula has changed. Our RWM attire was quite a conversation starter. Many people had heard of Missoula or were intrigued by the club name. One fellow said to Dara, “You’re from Missoula! I love Missoula! I hope to die there!”
Next year’s convention will be in Spokane on Bloomsday weekend. We would encourage as many members who can to attend, since it will be so close. You might be surprised at what you learn, who you meet, and what they learn from you.
It was an honor and a privilege to represent Run Wild Missoula at this convention. Thank you all.
By Scott & Dara Rouse