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

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Convention Education Program

The RRCA Convention has over eighteen different education session opportunities for club leaders, event directors, and coaches to learn about best practices, how to manage critical issues, and much more.  We are pleased to present our four-part Club Governance Series which will be lead by seasoned club presidents Dwight Mikulis and Stephen Wright.  We also offer several opportunities for RRCA Certified Race Directors to earn continuing education credits (see RD CEC below).  We are also pleased to launch our Level II Coaching Certification In-Person Session for current RRCA Certified Coaches.  Learn more about the Level II Coaching Certification and how to register for this special session (coming soon).

Thursday March 17

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM - Coaching Level I Certification Cohort

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM - Regional Meetings (new time this year) - Join your Regional Director along with other members from your region to get acquainted before the Opening Reception and to discuss items of interest for your organization.

Friday March 18

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM - RRCA Insurance Program and Managing Risks for Clubs & Events (RD CEC)
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.

    Speaker: 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.

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM - Coaching Level I Certification Cohort

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM - 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. Learn about successes in Tucson, AZ; Phoenix, AZ; and Boise, ID, and how running is making their cities better.

    Speaker:  Randy Accetta Dr. 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. Accetta is the RRCA Director of Coaching Education, and he is also an RRCA Certified Race Director.

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM - Governance Series I: First Steps for New or Returning Board Members
Join this session to learn about board orientation, the importance of board member handbooks, job descriptions for Officers & Directors, consent agendas, committee participation, and mentoring relationships.

    Speakers: Dwight Mikulis and Stephen Wright. Mikulis is past president of the Howard County Striders in Maryland (2000 RRCA members), and he is currently the RRCA’s Maryland State Rep. He completed the RRCA Coaching class in 2008 and has been managing/creating group training programs under the trademarked The Next Step® banner since 2006. Wright a former CEO and Fortune 500 marketing director, is president of the Oregon Road Runners Club (Portland), a nonprofit club that hosts a full spectrum of 15 annual events as well as training programs from 5k to ultra‐marathons.

10:30 - 11:15 AM - Working with Municipalities (RD CEC)
Join this session to learn about best practices from our expert panel when working with municipalities and the various governmental agencies you may encounter during your event planning process.

    Speakers:  Lori Chance, Sarah Ausherman, Terrance Hopkins Lori Chance is the Manger of Special Events and reservations for the Dallas Parks & Recreation Department. Sarah Ausherman manages the Office of Special Events for the City of Dallas.  The Office of Special Events is a regulatory authority of permitting outdoor events and commercial filming activity for the City of Dallas.  Her team permits close to 900 events per year, which range in size from 75 to 300,000 attendees.  Ausherman also served as the Executive Director for 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer.  She was responsible for the development of the organizations structure as well as the vision and management of all 26.2 with Donna events.  Terrance Hopkins is a Senior Corporal with the Dallas Police Department Tactical & Special Event Planning.

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM - Coaching Level I Certification Cohort

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM - Governance Series II: Legal Responsibilities, Strategic Planning, and Effective Behavior for All Board Members
Join this session to learn about the important legal responsibilities, structural requirements, and best practices for nonprofit boards that goes well beyond, “we all just want to run and have fun.”
This session will cover the importance of document review and setting measurable goals for the organization.  The session will explore the question of “what kind of club are you and who do you serve?”  Throughout the session, engage in dynamic board role play to highlight how to contribute positively as a member.  Don’t miss this session even if you are a veteran board member. Learn about “Blockers”, “Avoiders”, “Dreamers”, “Money Dude or Dudette”, “The Past President”, “Drama King/Queen”, “Know it all”, “Busy Bee” and “The Deep Thinker”

    Speakers: Dwight Mikulis and Stephen Wright

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM - Event Cancellation (RD CEC)
Join this session to learn about recent trends in event cancellation.  This session will be based on a presentation give at the recent Road Race Management Race Directors Meeting and will highlight results from the RRCA survey conducted on event cancellation.  We will discuss lessons learned from events that have been canceled in recent years.  We will also discuss what the RRCA is doing to try to combat fraudulent/shady operators. 

    Speakers:  Jean Knaack Knaack is the Executive Director of the RRCA.  She provided a similar presentation at the 2015 Road Race Management Race Directors meeting.

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM - Developing Engaging Club Training Programs
Join this session to learn about successful models of clubs developing and leading successful training programs for beginners to sub-elites.  The Annapolis Striders offer year-round training for distances ranging from 5K to Ultramarathon to compliment their Championship series of races, including this year’s RRCA Maryland Ten Mile Championship. The Dallas Running Club offers half, full, and ultramarathon training programs along with intermediate 10K and beginner 5K programs. The club has team of over 60 experienced pace leaders and coaches guiding their programs. All participants receive a technical training shirt or swag item and detailed training plan written by RRCA certified running coaches.

    Speakers: Vishal Patel and Susan NobleVishal is an avid runner, triathlete, and adventure racer.  He started running in 2006 as a means to lose weight.  Two years and 110lbs later, he completed his first half marathon, the Dallas White Rock Half Marathon.  Soon after, he joined the Dallas Running Club and completed his first marathon.  After crossing the distance off of his bucket list, he began volunteering as a pace leader for the DRC Training Program and now serves as the Training Director.  Susan Noble has been on the board of the Annapolis Striders since 2006 where she has served as the Vice President of Training and Education for five years.  Susan became an RRCA Certified Running Coach in 2008 and a USATF Level 1 coach in 2015. In addition to her Strider coaching duties, she founded and coached several youth running groups. Among them: HERO Boys, a school-based run club for boys in 3rd-5th grade, which has grown to over 400 boys in 3 states.

    Saturday March 19

    8:00 AM - 8:45 AM - Breakfast with Technology Sponsors (RD CEC)
    Come meet our technology sponsors in a breakout room for breakfast and a brief presentation of their services before the education session begins at 9:00 AM

    9:00 AM - 5:30 PM - Coaching Level II In-Person Session - Developing Training Plans
    Select RRCA Certified Coaches are invited to join this session to start the process of becoming an RRCA Level II Certified Running Coach.  An additional sign-up will be required to participate in this session.  This session will continue during the 2:00-5:30pm block.  You must attend both sessions to get full credit for attending. 

      Speaker: Randy Accetta, Director of Coaching Education

    9:00 AM - 11:45 AM - Coaching Level I Certification Cohort

    9:00 - 10:15 AM - Growing Youth Running in the U.S.  - A Town Hall Meeting
    Join this session to engage in a robust discussion on how the running community can grow the sport among youth in the U.S. We will explore opportunities and best practices in program leadership, information sharing, fundraising, and more to help organizations raise awareness about the benefits of creating healthy and active youth through running.

      Speaker:  Erica Gminski, Doug Thurston, and Mary Ross Gminski is the RRCA’s Youth Program Coordinator.  completed her masters in Sports Industry Management at Georgetown University in 2014, and gained industry experience at a Washington, DC area sports nonprofit representing the charitable efforts of multiple professional sports teams. Doug Thurston is the Executive Director and Race Director for the Big Sur International Marathon in Carmel, CA.  He has over 32-years of experience in the sport of running as a race director. The award-winning youth fitness program JUST RUN is a key element of the health and fitness outreach of the Big Sur International Marathon, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The program began in 2004 and focused on a small number of schools within Monterey County. However, because it is website based, turn-key, free, and easy to implement, it expanded each year locally and throughout the country to serve over 100,000 youth that have logged a total of 2.7 million miles.

    9:00 AM - 10:15 AM - When, Why, and How to Pay a Race Director
    Join this session to learn about when, why, and how to pay a race director in an all volunteer run club or event.  This session will cover key considerations and lessons learned by the Dallas Running Club.

      Speaker: Coming Soon

    9:00 AM - 10:15 AM - Working with Charities and Using Crowdrise to Fundraise for Partners
    Join this session to learn about utilizing Crowdrise for fundraising with your charity partners and for your club programs and scholarships.

      Speaker: Coming Soon

    10:30 AM - 11:45 AM - Governance Series III: Financial Management and Tactical Planning
    Join this session to learn about important responsibilities for boards related to financial management and internal controls with a reminder that “it’s not just the treasurer’s job.”  The session will cover the importance of internal controls to help guard against fraud including budgeting, review procedures, and treasurer oversight.  Tactical planning will focus on technology spending, marketing to younger runners, gender diversity, board sub-committees, working and competing with outside groups, and more. 

      Speakers: Dwight Mikulis and Stephen Wright

    10:30 AM - 11:45 AM - Developing a Citywide Running Club
    Join this session to learn about featured clubs around the country that are local leaders for their running communities.  Learn about their programs, events, and marketing approaches to engage their local communities. 

      Speakers:  Mary Ford and Wain Rubenstein  Ford is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Track Club. She is a sales and marketing executive with over 20 years of experience. She has completed over 20 AJC Peachtree Road Races, 13 marathons, 5 triathlons, and numerous 10K and half marathon races. Ford has a degree in Economics from the University of Virginia and a masters degree from George Washington University.

    2:00 PM - 3:15 PM - Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Attack, Strokes, and Other Serious Issues
    Join this session to learn about recognizing symptoms of serious medical conditions and what you should do as a race director, volunteer, or participant to assist a someone.

      Speakers: Bill Borowski and Janice Penrose Borowski is the Director of Athletic Training Services at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation Outpatient Services.  Penrose is the Executive Director of Race Guards. Race Guards is comprised of volunteers trained in CPR, AED and First Aid who are committed to assisting race participants with any medical or physical support need in a race.  Race Guards work in concert with the medical director and medical support team at the events to provide medical support from start to finish.

    3:15 PM - 4:30 PM - Course Certification (RD CEC)
    Join this session to learn about USATF’s course certification process. 

      Speaker:  Logan Burgess and Matthew Compton Burgess is Project Director and Event Course Certifier for the Southwest region for USA Track & Field. Comptonis the owner of Compton Time & Measure, founded in 2104.  Before that he was the Operations Manager of Racing System, a Division of Run On!  He has certified over 98 courses and measured many more.

    3:15 PM - 4:30 PM - Open Forum/Round Table Discussions
    Join RRCA leaders who will lead Q&As about key issues facing clubs and events. 

      Speakers: Coming soon

    3:15 PM - 4:30 PM - Open Forum/Round Table Discussions
    Join RRCA leaders who will lead Q&As about supporting and implementing RRCA programs including Championship Events, Kids Run the Nation, Runner Friendly Community designation and much more. 

      Speakers: Coming soon

    Additional sessions are being finalized and will be listed soon.

Official RRCA Sponsors

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