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The RRCA is dedicated to supporting the growth of grassroots running clubs, training programs, and running events while promoting the common interests of runners throughout the United States.
Founded in 1958, The Road Runners Club of America is the oldest and largest national association of running clubs, running events, and runners dedicated to promoting running as a competitive sport and as healthy exercise. The mission of the RRCA is to promote the sport of running through the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country. The RRCA supports the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages of life by providing education and leadership opportunities along with programs and services that benefit all runners.
The Road Runners Club of America is the national organization dedicated to promoting the development and growth of running clubs, running events, and supporting the interests of recreational runners throughout the country. The RRCA strives to provide quality programming that can be replicated throughout the country by member clubs from small towns to large cities. These programs promote and support running and runners at all stages in life. The RRCA is dedicated to providing the running community with educational information and programs that will keep them safe, healthy, and informed. Furthermore, the RRCA strives to promote excellence in nonprofit management by providing services, benefits, and regular communication that supports this vision.
The RRCA Values
- Running, runners, and the promotion of running as a healthy lifestyle choice
- The strength and support of its network of grassroots members and volunteers, and as such, we strive to maintain positive relations with all of our members
- Diversity in its member clubs and encourages all clubs to maintain an enjoyable atmosphere for all members
- The promotion of safety for all runners and the development and enforcement of laws and infrastructure that protects runners’ safety
- Running as a competitive sport and we support the Zero Tolerance Policy developed by USA Track & Field for the use of performance enhancing drugs in the sport
- The participation of people who support the sport of running
- The financial contributions and support of members, sponsors, volunteers, and donors to the organization
- Good communication with its members and the running community as a whole
- Prudent financial management that enables the organization to achieve its mission while ensuring adequate cash reserves
- Strong relationships with national and local media that cover the sport of running and running as a healthy lifestyle choice
The RRCA is a grassroots organization. But what does this mean? In reality, it means different things to different people, as there is no legal definition for the term grassroots as it relates to nonprofit organizations. However, academia has attempted to provide some framework for the term “grassroots.” Grassroots generally refers to local people working together or organizing to find solutions to problems in their communities. Grassroots organizations are often contrasted with organizations founded by community “outsiders.”
Based on the general term “grassroots,” the RRCA is a grassroots organization. The RRCA is a national association of clubs and events, and our National Office does not organize these entities locally. Organization of running clubs and events is the responsibility of local people. The RRCA, in turn, provides services, benefits and programs to support the grassroots (locally organized) clubs and events. We do not dictate management or operations to our members, but we do provide guidelines and guidance on best practices. This is what makes the RRCA a “grassroots” organization.
The RRCA is an IRS 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization governed by a 9-person board of directors that is elected by the membership at the Annual Meeting of the Membership. See the RRCA Bylaws for more details. The organization is managed through its National Office under the leadership of its CEO.
The RRCA is divided into four regions. Each region consists of a number of states with a Regional Director who is an elected member of the RRCA Board of Directors. Each state has a volunteer State Rep that is appointed by the Regional Director.
The RRCA is an association of running clubs, training programs, running events, runners and corporate supporters. To be a member of the RRCA, your organization must:
- Support the mission, vision and values of the RRCA
- Pay RRCA dues annually (membership terms);
- Allow participation in clubs and events without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical condition, or age (minors may be excluded from membership/participation at the discretion of club/event leadership).
- Comply with RRCA bylaws and follow RRCA guidelines,
- Operate in accordance with local, state and federal laws pertaining to such organizations.
The RRCA was founded on the all-volunteer, nonprofit running club and running event model, and this business model continues to represent the majority of the RRCA membership, today. Find more information about starting and managing a local RRCA running club.
* The RRCA uses the term “running” as a catch all word that encompasses the broad spectrum of “running” in the United States including competitive running, jogging, fitness walking, race walking, and wheelchair fitness on roads, trails, and tracks.