Connect With Us on Social Media

The RRCA is the oldest and largest organization in the US dedicated to distance running.

Join RRCA Today

With over 2,400 member clubs and events representing over 250,000 running club members, why run with anyone else? Join the RRCA today!

Donate to the RRCA

We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Your financial contribution supports our programs. Give today!

Sign Up For Email Updates

Keep Pace with the RRCA. Sign up now for monthly email updates about the RRCA. Don’t worry we will not sell or give away your email address.

Convention Education Program

Our education program is designed to educate club leaders through our Club College® sessions and also provide continuing education credits (CEC) for our RRCA Certified Race Directors and Certified Coaches as noted. Upon request, certificates for CEC’s will be provided at the conclusion of the session

Thursday April 23 - Roundtable Discussions 4:00 - 5:00 PM

The roundtable discussions are an opportunity for attendees to engage in informal discussions on the topics outline below in advance of the kick-off reception.  Each roundtable will be hosted by an RRCA representative to help lead the discussion and take notes about problems outlines and ideas for addressing challenges. 

  • Best Practices in hosting an expo booth to promote your event/organization
  • Implementing RRCA Programs into Your Club or Event
  • Social Media 101
  • Starting a Kids Run the Nation program in your community
  • Working with your CVBs – Des Moines Sports Commission
  • Managing Conflicts of Interest in your club
  • Key policies & procedures for financial oversight of your club/events
  • Developing a masters racing team
  • Engaging younger members in clubs
  • Course Certification - Why and How
  • Technology Table - RunSignUp
  • Technology Table - The Driven Race & Club Solutions

Friday April 24 - General Session - 9:00 - 10:15 AM

RRCA Insurance Program and Risk Management for Clubs & Events

Attendees will learn about best practices in risk management from recent lessons learned from insurance claims, litigation, and more.  Learn about the RRCA insurance program and how it benefits your club and event.  This session is part of the RRCA’s Club College and RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 hour of continuing education credits (CECs) for attending this session.

Presented by:  Terry Diller - Diller has worked in the insurance industry for nearly 30 years.  His agency has handled the insurance program for the RRCA for 20 years, and he as been instrumental in updating the policies as needs change and evolve for the running community.  He has also handled the insurance programs for other sports organizations such as the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, the AAU, the United State Tae Kwon Do Union and Cycle Oregon.  Terry runs on a daily basis and considers the four Boston marathons he completed to be the highlight of his running career

Friday April 24 - Education Sessions - 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Informing Runners Starts with a Great Website and Social Engagement

Talking to fellow runners and race attendees seems pretty simple, right? They’re a friendly crowd. Tell them what they need to know, when they need to know it, and they get involved. So why aren’t you getting more likes on your posts? Why can’t people find information on your website?  How can you tell if platforms like Facebook are even showing your message? This workshop will teach you everything from what time to post to get the most likes, to using Facebook Insights, in-depth messaging, user-centered website design and web governance strategies. Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. This session is part of Club College. Presented by Sarah Lefeber, and Jacob Heflin

    Sarah Lefeber is Lead Strategist for content at MITTERA. Sarah’s specialty is finding and crafting messaging strategies that create meaningful audience interactions.  Her experience includes media relations and reporting for the Des Moines Register, Associated Press, ICADV, and World Vision. Most recently, Sarah worked as the Communications Director for Senator Swati Dandekar’s congressional campaign. Sarah graduated from Simpson College with a B.A. in Journalism and Sociology.
    Jacob Heflin is the UX Designer at MITTERA. He specializes in user-centered digital processes through research, interaction design, and interface development. From mobile apps to responsive websites, Jacob takes pride in building products that are modern, practical and beautiful. His background in development and design runs the gamut from business and non-profit websites to geographic information systems and social networking. Jacob graduated from Northwest Missouri State University with a B.S. in Interactive Digital Media: Visual Imaging.
Women’s Running Programs

Join this session to learn about developing successful Women’s Running Programs for your club.  The session will focus on creating a program environment that engages women in a positive environment. RRCA Certified Coaches earn 1 CEC. This session is also part of the RRCA’s Club College. Presented by Julie Tipple and Eve Reynolds

    Judy Tipple found that running brought her out of my house through her neighborhood, then the bike trails, then running groups all over town, races, and eventually marathons.  She has run fourteen marathons; the last one was Boston, where in her 60’s, she placed 2nd in her age group.  She now focuses on the half marathon distance.  In 2005, she started the Cornbelt Pacers Women’s Running Group that twelve women participate in the first year.  The program now has twelve dedicated and enthusiastic leaders involved with the group.
    Eve Reynolds joined the Women’s 101 Running Program as a participant in 2010.  Now she is one of the leaders.  She joined the program to learn how to run a 5k and pace herself.  In 2011, she ran her first full marathon and qualified for Boston.  Since then she has ran twenty-two marathons.
Security Planning for Events

Event safety should be a top priority, but not every race can afford a bomb-sniffing dog. Join this session and learn about important aspects of keeping your event safe and practical measures for all budgets when implementing a safety and disaster plan. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. Presented by Sgt. Jack Beardsley, Kandi Reindl, and Brian Becker

    Kandi Reindl began her local government career with the City of Des Moines in 1991, working first in Community Development before moving to the City Manager’s office in 1999. As Assistant to the City Manager, she has helped build the special events program, which now oversees more than 200 street events annually, including past events such as the Hy-Vee Triathlon and RAGBRAI.  Kandi also serves as the liaison to the Police, Clerk and Legal Departments, staffs the City Council’s Legislative Subcommittee as well as the Metropolitan Advisory Council.
    Sgt Jack Beardsley is the officer assigned to be responsible for coordinating all Special Events occurring within the City Of Des Moines. The nature of the events varies from Drake Relays, State Fair activities, parades and fun runs to Presidential and dignitary visitations warranting special escorts and security.
    Brian Becker bio coming soon
Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative

Human health is affected by many factors, such as the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and whether we can walk or bike to work or school. Health is also influenced by factors such as human choice and behavior, genetics, access to healthcare, transportation, income, and whether an environment is safe. Attendees will learn about the efforts of the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative to create a culture shift to create healthy communities and how you can get involved in your own community.  This session is part of Club College. Presented by Jami Haberl

    Jami Haberl joined as the executive director for the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative on December 1, 2014. Haberl’s passion for health and well-being started as a young child in rural Iowa and this passion has followed her throughout her career. The Healthiest State Initiative is a privately led, public initiative intended to inspire Iowans and their communities to improve their health and happiness. In addition to her role leading the Healthiest State Initiative Haberl serves as part-time faculty for the College of Health Sciences at Des Moines University. Haberl is a graduate of Iowa State University with a BS in Community Health Education and a graduate of Des Moines University with MS in Public Health and Healthcare Administration.

Saturday April 24 - Education Sessions 9:00 - 10:15 AM

Branding Your Club or Event with Online Registration

The days of leaving paper membership or event forms around town or posting PDF forms on a website for downloading, printing, and snail mailing are a thing of the past.  Is it time to make your club or event website look like it’s 2015 and not 1995? Join this session to learn about best practices for online membership management, event management, website content management, and much more. Presented by Bob Bickel and Pete Jacobs

    Bob Bickel originally conceived of, created, and financed RunSignUp in 2009. He has had a long career in technology, and in 1994 began focusing on Internet middleware-the stuff that makes website work-at companies. A runner since high school, Bob ran competitively through his years at Bucknell University, and returned to his running roots in 2003 when he began to volunteer as an Assistant Coach for the Moorestown High School Track and Cross Country Teams.  In 2006 he opened the Moorestown Running Company with Dave Welsh and Joe Halin. Additionally, Bob helps direct several charity races in the area, and helped create a home Cross Country course for the Moorestown High School by building a system of wood chip trails.
    Pete Jacobs grew up in Annapolis, Maryland and went to college at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Following graduation, he moved to New Orleans and then later to Houston, TX. Pete played soccer competitively until age 30 when he decided to run a marathon just to “check it off his bucket list”. He quickly became addicted and 20 marathons later decided to start the Sienna Running Club. A year later, the club organized a race, which led to Pete’s first experience as a race Director. This experience helped him develop the basis for The Driven Race & Club Solutions products
Managing the Back of the Pack for Safety, Enjoyment, and Fair Sport

More people are getting into running, but they aren’t all fast runners.  We need to ensure the safety and positive experience of ALL participants including volunteers.  Join this session to learn about best practices in managing the back of the pack for enjoyment and safety. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. This session is also part of Club College. Presented by Rachel Tambling, Betsey Boudreaux, and Mark Barrett

    Rachel Tambling is the president of the Willimantic Athletic Club in Connecticut. She is an experienced race director, managing races from half marathon to 5k. Her club offers three walker-friendly events each year, a designated last place finisher at every race, and two couch-to-5k training programs associated with club races. In addition to her role as race director and club president, she is a frequent back of the packer in races with her mom, a race walker. Rachel does some race pacing - usually at the back of the pack. She has also had the dubious honor of actually finishing last more than once while recovering from knee surgery.
    Betsy Boudreaux has been actively involved in the New Orleans running community since she began running 10 years ago. In addition to serving as Vice President for her home club, Bestbank Track Club, she also serves as Volunteer Coordinator for the Shamrockin’ Run 8k race, Big Easy Running Festival Half Marathon, and Ironman New Orleans 70.3 event.  She is on the race committee for the Crescent City Classic 10K.  Her role as the Local Community Relations Liaison for the Rock’n’Roll New Orleans Marathon requires that she establish contact and relationships with hundreds of businesses, neighborhood associations, churches, etc. that may be impacted by the traffic detours or road closures associated with the race. Her experience as a USATF course measurer also keeps her busy not only in the New Orleans area but throughout the state and region. A veteran of countless road races, 18 marathons, five half Ironmans and numerous sprint distance triathlons, Betsy completed Ironman Florida in 2012.
    Mark Barrett is the RRCA State Rep for Oregon, an RRCA Certified Coach and an RRCA Certified Race Director.  He has directed races since 1995, from a 5K to a marathon to a 69 mile relay.  He has run thousands of miles and hundreds of races, including the Hood to Coast Relay 22 times.
Natural Stride Running

Join this session to learn about key elements of Natural Stride Running.  RRCA Certified Coaches earn 1 CEC. Presented by Cari Setzler

    Setzler, DVM is a Coaching Certification Instructor for the RRCA’s Coaching Certification program. She earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology at Aquinas College while earning All-American Honors 8 times, national runner up in the indoor 1000 meters, and was inducted into the Aquinas Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014. She continued on to Michigan State University where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. She is a certified level II USATF endurance coach, USATFCCA level II sprint/hurdle, and is certified in running mechanics through Newton Running. In 2010, she co-founded Fast Finish coaching where she has helped athletes ranging from the first time 5K runner to the Olympic trials hopeful reach their goals. Cari is the assistant girls track and field coach at Johnsburg High School. She is currently the chief of staff veterinarian at the Banfield Hospital in Algonquin IL.
Ultra and Trail Running Key Considerations

Ultra and Trail Running Key Considerations – Join this session to learn about strategies to dispel the myths of trail and ultra running and how to integrate trail and ultra events into a road centric running community. Presented by Amber Crews and Justin Nostrala

    Amber Crews is a board member of the Capital Striders Run Club in Des Moines, Iowa, where she serves as the Secretary and Merchandise Coordinator. She an RRCA Certified Coach that specializes in trail and ultra running. Amber has completed over 25 marathons and ultras and is working towards her goal of 50 marathons (or farther) in 50 states before she turns 50. She mostly enjoys 50ks and 50-mile events with challenging elevation profiles.
    Justin Nostrala teaches Art (Drawing, Painting and Design) at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.  He lives in Indianola with his wife and two boys.  Justin began running Track in 1975, and ran Track and Cross-Country through High School and College.  After graduating from college in 1986, Nostrala competed in several marathons including Des Moines Marathon and New York City Marathon.  He now runs on dirt trails full time and is in training to complete his first 50K this March.

Saturday April 25 - Education Sessions 10:30 - 11:45 AM

Marketing through Earned Media Exposure

Marketing your event goes beyond issuing press releases about road closures, special guests, sponsors, and results.  This session will explore the importance of working with your local media to earn exposure for your events by sharing engaging stories, outlining community benefits, and more. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. This session is also part of the RRCA’s Club College. Presented by Lance Bergeson, Dave Mable, and Doug Sawyer – Moderated by Ryan Lamppa

    Doug Sawyer is an award-winning television producer with connections across Iowa. Doug serves as Promotion Manager/Public Service Director for Local 5, the ABC-TV affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa. He has over twenty-five years experience in television and radio, working in Chicago, Denver and Des Moines. He has worked in a myriad of positions including as a radio producer, a photographer and a television director. Doug also worked in public relations and advertising while in Chicago and served as a speechwriter for the Mayor of Chicago. He was inducted into the North Central College Athletic Hall of Fame as the first soccer player in the school’s history. Doug spends his free time with wife and their three daughters, volunteers to coach youth sports and supports his local church.
    Lance Bergeson has been a running and triathlon blogger for Des Moines Register media since 2008. He also has regularly written feature and race stories on the biggest endurance races in central Iowa, including the Hy-Vee Triathlon, the Des Moines Marathon, Dam to Dam and the Hy-Vee Road Races. Lance has run in the Boston Marathon three times – in 1997, 2008 and 2012. He is planning to complete both the Chicago Marathon and New York City Marathon this fall, with the goal of running under 3 hours at Chicago. He is married with two children and lives in Ankeny.
    David Mable is the editor and founder of Iowa Momentum, a monthly sports and fitness magazine published in Des Moines. Mable has been an avid runner and cyclist for most of his life and enjoys covering events as much as doing them.
Strategic Planning for Clubs, a Case study of the Oregon Road Runners Club’s Plan

Running is the greatest metaphor for life.  You get out of it what you put into it.  The same is true with Strategic Planning. Changes from Oregon Road Runners Club’s newly crafted Strategic Plan moved from idea to reality in 2014, as members from across the club stepped up and made focusing on marketing and communications, branding, administration governance and improving their race events organizational priorities. Merely announcing its goals for future strategic planning is simple. However, learn what Oregon Road Runners Club did that is different, resulting in a proactive successful program that isn’t just a report filed in a notebook collecting dust. Presented by Stephen Wright

    Wright, a former CEO and Fortune 500 marketing director, is President of the Oregon Road Runners Club (Portland), a volunteer club that hosts a full spectrum of 15 annual race events as well as training, from 5k to ultra-marathons.
Brilliant! – Why Runners are so Smart!

From ancient times to modern, the beneficial effects of endurance exercise (i.e. long distance brisk walking and running) have been observed in brighter minds and more cheerful dispositions.  Now neuroscientists have been able to observe and show, through brain imaging technologies, the physical changes that occur in the brain as a major training effect of brisk walking and running, structural brain adaptations that produce those improved minds and emotions of endurance athletes. BRILLIANT!  RRCA Coaches earn 1 CEC. Presented by Gary Westlund

    Gary Westlund, Certified American College of Sports Medicine Health Fitness Specialist and USATF Level II Coach, is the Founder and CEO of Charities Challenge with RxExercise (exercise as medicine) fulfillment as its mission. Coach Westlund has coached many hundreds of runners and marathoners, in addition to the fastest race walkers in MN, while setting lasting records himself in race walking. He has traveled with 30 of his teams to destination events around the world, teams that have also raised nearly two million dollars for health-related causes. Gary specializes as a coach to athletes challenged by a variety of chronic diseases, especially those living actively and well beyond arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other health challenges. Diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia that required Total Hips Arthroplasty, Gary himself joined the challenged-athlete special population. Because he “walks his talks” regarding RxExercise, Coach Gary has returned to satisfying competition in race walking and running to become the “fastest athlete on 2xTotal Hips Replacement” in MN.
Working with Professional Athletes

As elite U.S. distance runners continue to show success on the roads, it is more important than ever for race directors to understand best practices in working with professional athletes that are either U.S citizens or foreign competitors.  This session will focus on working with elite athletes along with sharing of information about ongoing and emerging developments in doping control for the sport. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC.  Presented by Bill Burke, Phil Stewart, and Benjamin Tilus

    Bill Burke is a lifelong resident of New Orleans and actually started his event production career as the co-race director of the World Famous Crescent City Classic 10K in the fall of 1979.  In June of 1993, Bill founded Premier Event Management and has owned and operated the company since that time. Bill has produced regional, national and world championships for the sports of Duathlon and Triathlon for both USA Triathlon (USAT) and the International Triathlon Union (ITU).  In both 2004 and 2008, Bill produced the Olympic Triathlon Trials for the United States that sent American athletes to the summer Olympic Games.
    Phil Stewart is the editor and publisher of the Road Race Management newsletter and the Road Race Management Directory of the Running Industry. Through his company, Road Race Management, Inc., Phil organizes the annual Road Race Management Race Directors’ Seminar and Trade Exhibit, an annual sport-wide industry gathering. Through Road Race Management, Phil was a co-creator of the RRCA’s Race Director Certification Program and is the author of the book used for the course, Organizing Running Events. Most recently Road Race Management has launched a database outlining athletes that currently are or have served doping bans. He is the event director of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, the premier springtime running event in Washington, D.C. The event is part of the Professional Road Running Organization World Championship Circuit and is continually rated as one of the outstanding races in America.
    Benjamin Tilus is the head Track and Cross Country coach at Carlisle High School.  He is also the invited athlete coordinator for the Dam-to-Dam race, which attracts over 7,000 runners to Des Moines each year.

Saturday April 25 - Education Sessions 2:00 - 3:15 PM

Developing a Statewide Grand Prix Series

For 34 years, the Arkansas RRCA has hosted a grand prix series that now boast more than 20 races.  Join this session to learn how clubs and events work together at the state level to host the series and lessons they have learned over their 34-year history.  This session is also part of the RRCA’s Club College. Presented by David Meroney.

    Meroney has served for the last three years as the Arkansas State Rep. During his tenure he has done an outstanding job in promoting the RRCA by recruiting new clubs, administering the 20-race, statewide Arkansas Grand Prix Series, and conducted three Annual RRCA State Meetings. The Arkansas Grand Prix consists of 10 RRCA State Championships and 10 non-championship races.
Crisis Management

Ever wonder what you’ll do, how you’ll react when something goes terribly wrong in your race? Planning, preparation, anticipation are the difference between a successful event and a disappointing outcome. Take every little detail very seriously- sometimes they’re the start of a major problem. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. This session is also part of the RRCA’s Club College. Presented by Joe Moreno

    Joe Moreno has been an avid runner and marathoner for almost forty-five years. His passion for the sport has led him to volunteering and eventually race directing many events. For over twenty-five years Joe has organized, founded, and resumed several races in the Quad Cities area. He currently directs the Quad Cities Marathon, Firecracker Run, and Freedom Run. He serves as a Board of Director on the Running USA organization as well as several other boards.
Developing a Medical Plan

Join this session to learn about important elements of proven medical standards and protocols for events of all sizes including: determining proper extent of coverage, identifying key players in the community that contribute to your plan, and much more. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. Presented by Rich Green, Tom Patava, and Philip Blumberg

    Rich Green has been the Director of Medical Services for the IMT Des Moines Marathon since 2006. In that time, the Marathon Medical team has provided care for an event that has grown from 4500 runners to over 10k in 2014. The services provided include a designated command post directed by the Des Moines Fire Department, Police coordination and support, five on course medical tents, EMS support,  Finish line medical care and a designated Foot and Ankle care site.  Prior to serving in his current role with the IMT DM Marathon, Rich has been the Director of Medical Services for large events such as the 2004 National AAU Junior Olympics games.. He was a member of the medical committee for the 1999 US Senior open in Des Moines. He has consulted with various groups including the National Jr Olympic games in New Orleans and Grand View University Sports Medicine Program. Rich is a Physical Therapist that works for Mercy Clinics and provides Orthopedic and Sports Medicine services to a full range of clients.
    District Fire Chief Tom Patava manages the Special Operation Section for the Des Moines (Iowa) Fire Department.  Chief Patava received his Associate of Fire Science Degree from Des Moines Area Community College, Paramedic certification from Mercy College of EMS, and Certified Public Manager designation from Drake University.  Throughout his twenty-three year career with the Des Moines Fire Department, he has managed various sections of the fire department including his current Special Operations assignment, the Emergency Medical Services section, the Fire Prevention Bureau, as well as an assignment as a Shift Commander.  Additionally, he spent six years as a part-time flight paramedic with Mercy Hospital in Des Moines and is currently a volunteer firefighter in the where he community resides.
    Philip Blumberg is the Clinic Administrator for Des Moines University. As clinic administrator at Des Moines University, he leads a multispecialty clinic with more than 25 licensed health care providers. He also serves as a guest lecturer and chairs faculty search committees.  Blumberg has a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from the University of Iowa and double majored in religious studies and gerontology as an undergraduate.
Creating a Fitness Community, Meet Me Downtown

We all know that running races can be good for communities. Drawing on the tried-and-true running race model, running clubs can develop free programs to enhance economic development, community health and wellness, and civic improvements. RRCA Certified Race Director Randy Accetta will explain the successes in Tucson, AZ; Phoenix, AZ; and Boise, ID, providing strategies for using running to make cities better. This session is also part of Club College. Presented by Randy Accetta

    Randy Accetta is an accomplished educator and runner.  He is the Communications Mentor for the top-ranked McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona, where he has twice received Teacher of the Year honors.  Additionally, he has co-authored two continuing education courses on how to coach runners, and he has written running-based articles that have been published in Running Times, Runners World and the New York Times.  A former 2:19 marathoner who competed in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, Randy has a long history of coaching runners, including his role as the RRCA Director of Coaching Education.  He is also an RRCA Certified Race Director.

Saturday April 25 - Education Sessions 3:30 - 4:30 PM

Course Measurement Workshop

Join this session to learn hands on skills for measuring and certifying a road race course following the standards outlined by USA Track & Field’s Road Racing Technical Council. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. Presented by Toni Youngman and Duane Russell

    Toni Youngman is the Education and Training Chair for the USATF Road Racing Technical Council (RRTC). Her duties for this position are to train and educate the United States running community on why and how to measure long distance road races. She is also the regional certifier for Kentucky and New Hampshire. She is the owner and operator of Runzamok, a long distance running measurement business, and has measured events such as the Walt Disney World Marathon in Florida and the Reggae Marathon in Jamaica. She lives in Orlando, but will coordinate a training session anywhere in the U.S.
    Duane Russell has a long history of competitive running and working running events. He has raced from the half-mile to marathon distances in track, road, and trail races.  He is most proud of his 2:44:01 finish in the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon (1983). While working for BKB Ltd., a Denver, Colorado race production company, he began measuring road race courses.  He has since made a “hobby-job” out of it by forming RaceMeasure in 2005 (  Duane has measured over 250 courses, from one mile to the marathon.  He is an IAAF Grade “A” measurer.  Duane is the RRTC Vice-chair West, reviewing all certificates for courses submitted for USATF posting in the western half of the U.S.  He is the USATF/RRTC State Certifier for Colorado, Idaho, and Nevada, reviewing and approving all paperwork for any new course in those three states, ensuring each measurement conforms to USATF/RRTC standards. He also trains other measurers, through workshops at various running conferences around the U.S., and personal instruction when requested.
Leave No Trace Program

In 2014, the Marine Corps Marathon aimed to decrease any impact the event had on the environment. The organizers of the event are happy to share their best practices information with RRCA members. With more than 60% of the Marine Corps Marathon course located on National Park lands, the race partnered with the National Park Service and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics by asking runners and spectators to be considerate while discarding trash such as water cups, plastic bottles, gel packs and clothing items during the “People’s Marathon.”  Join this session to learn how your organization can develop a similar program. RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 CEC. This session is also part of Club College. Presented by Bret Schmidt

    Bret Schmidt is the Operations Manager for the Marine Corps Marathon since 2003.  Prior to the Marine Corps Marathon, Schmidt was a member of the United States Marine Corps. He enlisted in 1980 and received the Military Occupational Specialty of 0311 infantryman. His 23-year military career included duty stations like Marine Barracks Washington, where he was a member of the Marine Corps Silent Drill Team, Camp Lejeune, NC, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and Quantico, VA. Schmidt also completed deployments to the Middle East in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. In August 2003, Schmidt retired from the Marine Corps with a final rank of Master Sergeant.  Schmidt has been an avid runner for more than 30 years, beginning in high school and continuing throughout his adult life. He has run 20 marathons, including 12 MCMs, and boasts a personal record of 2:59:00. He has competed in multiple triathlons, including the 1986 Hawaii Ironman and hundreds of 5K, 10K, and half marathon road races.
Coaching Youth for Performance

This session will provide an examination of competitive running for middle school and high school aged youth. This session will focus on developmentally appropriate physical training, racing tactics, nutrition, interaction with parents, and related topics. RRCA Certified Coaches earn 1 CEC. Presented by Brenty Ayer and Dr. Bobby Gessler

    Brent Ayer is a Coaching Certification Instructor for the RRCA’s Coaching Certification program. He has been active in the sport of running for over 40 years. He was a founding member of the Frederick Steeplechasers Running Club while still in college. He was their club president from 2000-2003. Brent is an RRCA Certified Coach and holds USATF Level I & Level II coaching certifications. He has coached the Frederick Striders Youth Track & Field Club for many years. Ten years ago, he launched the Hood College Cross Country program followed by the Track & Field team.  He has been recognized as a Maryland AAU Track Outstanding Coach in 2004 and as the Hood College Coach of the Year in 2005. Brent holds an MBA and served as Finance Administrator to seven different members of the United States House of Representatives where he worked for over 30 years.
    Bobby Gessler, MD, FACS is a Coaching Certification Instructor for the RRCA’s Coaching Certification program.  He is a graduate of the University of Maryland and obtained his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1983.  Currently he is a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical School and is a Fellow in the American College of Surgeons.  Bobby has served as Chairman for the Department Of Urology of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Affiliated Howard County General Hospital for over 10 years.  Dr. Gessler is an RRCA Certified Coach and Instructor and has USATF Level I and Level II coaching certifications in the endurance and combined events respectively as well as being a certified Level I Course instructor for the USATF.  For the past 10 years, Bobby has been a coach of the Howard County Junior Striders program and is the Cross Country coach and assistant track coach for the Institute of Notre Dame in Baltimore City. He also serves as program coordinator for an accomplished adult running group in Howard County Maryland affectionately known as “ Bobby’s Babes and Buds.”

The education program is subject to change and topics may be added or changed as planning proceeds. 


Official RRCA Sponsors

  • All Sponsors