Road Runners Club of America

Growing the Running Community Since 1958

Education Program

Friday March 29

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM - General Session

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.
Terry Diller
Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 2.32.30 PMDiller 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.

Coaching Level I and Level II Sessions
See Coaching Certification Cohort page for schedule details.

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Education Sessions - Presented By:

Bib Swappers, Bib Mules, Course Cutters, Oh My!
Join this session to learn more about what events are doing to enforce race rules and to identify cheaters. Learn about tips for ensuring due diligence and “due process”  for suspected cheaters and how to address their behaviors at your event.
bee.mcleodBee McLeod - Bee is head judge for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile.  She is a past-RRCA President; Former Cox Communications Director of Performance Management, Network Operations Department.  She received the Browning Ross Spirit of the RRCA award in 2014.

Increasing Sponsorship in a Soft Market
Join this session to learn about best practices in working with sponsors and integrating them into your event. The session will also cover ideas for increasing sponsorship in a soft sponsorship market.
Craig Sweeney
CraigSweeneyCraig is Co-Founder & Strategic Partnerships Director of the Louisiana Marathon & Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon.  His primary focus has been is on the property side, and he has represented brands with endurance events from San Jose, CA to Orlando, FL and between.  He has developed teams to plan, organize and implement successful strategies for world class productions with a primary focus centered around sponsors and partners to cultivate activation strategies that maximize ROI.  Married for 17 years to Mignon with 4 boys (Merritt-14, Grant-12, Nate-9 and Reid-3), Volunteer Cross Country and Track & Field Coach for Junior High and Middle School.

Essential Club Policies and Recommended Governance Tune Ups
Join this session to review, as stated, essential policies for clubs to have in place and the importance of engaging in regular governance tune-ups of policies and procedures.  This session will focus on the importance of member code of conduct policies, conflicts of interest policies, bylaw review, and much more.
Mitchell Garner and Stephan Wright - Ann Arbor Track Club & Oregon Road Runners Club
mitch.garnerMitchell Garner has served as RRCA President from 2016-current and Ann Arbor Track Club President  from 2009-2018.  Mitch is a lifelong runner and a member of the Ann Arbor Track Club’s men’s masters 60+ team.  Currently he is an attorney and principal with the law firm of Allotta | Farley Co., L.P.A. He graduated cum laude from Yale University.

steve-wright_thumbStephen 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 the 5k to ultramarathons.

Runner Self Defense Demonstrations
Join this session to get hands on demonstrations for runner self defense.  Learn tips to help keep yourself safe on the run.  

David & Sarah Vincent - David Vincent's Martial Arts and Fitness
Bios coming soon

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM Education Sessions - Presented By:
Elevating the Race Experience to Attract Participants
Join this session to discuss how to attract participants to your events by providing a quality experience for everyone involved in the event.
Eric Stuart - Crescent City Classic 10K
Screen Shot 2019-01-28 at 1.10.41 PMBorn in Schenectady, NY, Stuart attended Louisiana State University on a track scholarship. He was a 6x all-SEC in 800 and 1500 meters.  He earned a BA and MS from LSU, and spent twenty-five years with Hewlett Packard in various sales and management roles. In 2012, he took early retirement to manage the Crescent City Classic and a series of other races. He is married to Terry Thomas Stuart for forty years and they have three kids and six grandsons.

Managing Leadership Changes in Your Organization
Join this session to engage in discussion about the importance of managing leadership changes for your club, especially when it comes to technology hand-offs and other key considerations.
Rebecca Wells
Rebecca.WellsOriginally from Richmond, VA, Rebecca earned a degree in Journalism from Texas A&M University. She embarked upon a career in education, as first a teacher, then later becoming an instructional coach and ultimately earning her Masters of Education from the University of Texas to be become the dean of instruction at an urban high school. After almost two decades in education, she is now pursuing other passions. Always an avid participant and lover of sports, Rebecca is excited about being 'behind the scenes' of races/events to help make them great experiences for all.

Managing Event Cancellations
Managing the event cancellation process is a "must-have" plan for every race director in this day and age.  Join this session to review lessons learned from Big Sur Marathon Race Director, Doug Thurston, who has had to face multiple event cancellations due to wild fires and weather.

Doug Thurston
Doug Thurston, Indie 5K, Austin, November 2018 copyThurston is the Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation and Race Director for the Big Sur International Marathon in Carmel, CA. The organization is a $3.5-million nonprofit that produces three event weekends and an award-winning youth fitness program, Just Run! Doug has been in the role since 2013, and he has over 34 years of experience in the sport as a race director, including the U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Columbus, Ohio in 1996. He is a finisher of more than 600 road races including 25 marathons as well as 32 triathlons and scores of mountain bike races and century rides.
Coaching Level I and Level II Sessions
See Coaching Certification Cohort page for schedule details.

Saturday March 30

9:00 AM - 10:15 AM Education Sessions Presented by:


Course Measurement Tips - Ensuring Correct Race-Day Course Setup
Join this session on an in depth discussion about course measurement, and more important, ensuring correct race day set-up of your course.  Discuss lessons learned from properly measured courses that fall short on race day due to human error, and more.
Doug Thurston
Doug Thurston, Indie 5K, Austin, November 2018 copyThurston is the Executive Director of the Big Sur Marathon Foundation and Race Director for the Big Sur International Marathon in Carmel, CA. The organization is a $3.5-million nonprofit that produces three event weekends and an award-winning youth fitness program, Just Run! Doug has been in the role since 2013, and he has over 34 years of experience in the sport as a race director, including the U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Columbus, Ohio in 1996. He is a finisher of more than 600 road races including 25 marathons as well as 32 triathlons and scores of mountain bike races and century rides.

Understanding SafeSport Act for RRCA Members
Join this session to get a basic understanding of the US SafeSport Act and what it means for RRCA members that are not USATF members.  Participate in the RRCA's Abuse Awareness Training and leave the session with a certificate of completion.
Jean Knaack - RRCA
jeanKnaack is the Executive Director of the Road Runners Club of RRCA Executive Director Jean KnaackAmerica where she has served in the role since 2005. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Nutrition. She earned a Master's of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from George Mason University. She regularly counsels running club and event leaders around the country on various topics of importance to the running community.

Lessons Learned from Engaging a Paid Race Director for a Marque Club Owned Event
Join this session to discuss lessons learned from engaging a paid Race Director for club-owned events.
Chad Holmes - Houston Striders and George Rehmet - Pamakids and RRCA
Chad.HolmesChad Holmes is a career geoscientist currently residing in Houston, TX.  For the past decade, he has been a regular participant in local races and destination marathons, as well as an athlete and a volunteer with the Houston Striders running club. After several years' experience on the board of directors, Chad was elected President in 2018 and currently remains in that role. The Houston Striders organize the annual Houston Half & 10K event, which Chad helps oversee as club lead on the race committee. 

47578095_10156826754073427_1058112115887308800_oGeorge Rehmet is a San Francisco native who currently lives just south of the city in Daly City, California. Rehmet currently belongs to the Pamakid Runners and Dolphin South End Running Club of San Francisco. He has served as volunteer and race director for his running clubs. For Pamakid Runners, he served on the board from 1999 to 2008. He is currently the co-race director of the San Francisco Half Marathon/5K, which usually has over 8,000 participants. He also serves as the RRCA Western Director and Vice President for the RRCA Board of Directors.

RRCA Certified Coaches Continuing Education Program

Helping Your Runners Stay Healthy - Coaching CEC
Join this session to gain a deeper understanding of controversies related to heart health and exercise, nutrition fads, and injury prevention. 
Mark Cucuzzella, MD
Mark.CMark is a Professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine. He is also a LtCol in the US Air Force designing programs to promote heath and better fitness in the military. He’s also been a competitive runner for over 30 years — with more than 100 marathon and ultramarathon finishes — and continues to compete as a national-level Masters runner. He is the race director of Freedom’s Run race series in West Virginia and director of the Natural Running Center, an education portal designed to teach healthier running . Mark is also the owner of Two Rivers Treads — A Center for Natural Running and Walking in his hometown of Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Coaching Level I and Level II Sessions
See Coaching Certification Cohort page for schedule details.

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM Education Sessions Presented by:

Key Considerations in Hosting Trail Races
Join this session to learn about the growing world of trail racing and discuss strategies to implement trail races as part of your organization's offering of events.
Nancy Hobbs & Richard Bolt - ATRA
Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 3.48.38 PMNancy founded the American Trail Running Association (ATRA) in 1996 and is also chairperson for the USA Track & Field's Mountain, Ultra & Trail Running Council. She is also treasurer of the World Mountain Running Association.

Marketing Strategies for Promoting and Growing Your Club-Owned Events
Join this session to learn about and discuss marketing strategies for promoting and growing your club-owned events.
Hans Wang - Houston Striders
Hans.WongHans is a senior technical advisor who lives in Houston, Texas.  He joined the Houston Striders in 2013 and was elected to the Board as an At-Large Director in 2016 and again in 2018. He is a weekly workout coach, social activity coordinator, and contributor in both creative and technical tasks for the club. Since 2017, Hans has also held the position of Marketing Director for both the Houston Striders and their main annual event, the Houston Half Marathon & 10K. 

Keeping Your Club Finances in Good Order
Join this session to review key policies to have in place to help keep your club finances in good order, to help prevent fraud, and to ensure long-term success for your organization.
Barb Jewel, CPA - RRCA Finance Committee Member
Barb.JewelBarbara Jewel started running in 1974, motivated by her then-boyfriend-now-husband, Dave. “I remember having to buy men’s running shoes, because we couldn’t find any shoes made for women,” said Barb. Barb’s running was pretty low key for the next 20 years, and she didn’t run her first marathon until she turned 40. She ran the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon that October in 3:33 and qualified for Boston. Barb serves as the manager of the finish area for the Badgerland Striders’ Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. She is also the Treasurer and past President of the Racine Area Running Club, and a member of the Lakes Area Running Club.  Barb is a CPA and serves on the RRCA's Finance Committee.

RRCA Certified Coaches Continuing Education Program

Understanding Running Form & Injury Prevention - Coaching CEC
Join this session to learn about key concepts related to good running form and the role it plays in injury prevention.  This session is led by Golden Harper, found of Altra Running, and an expert in this subject area.
Golden Harper - Altra Running
G HarperGolden was raised in his family's running store, where he was always trying to improve the running experience. He studied Exercise Science at two Universities, where he was particularly focused on biomechanics, kinematics, and coaching. During this time, he wrote several research articles on running-related injuries and running technique. Curiosity and research led him to create ZeroDrop technology in 2009. What began with a few stores in the US, Altra is a now household name with runners, experiencing significant global expansion. Building a global brand for passionate runners, hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts wasn't easy, but it was worth it. Altra's success is built on community, adventure, and steady progress.

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM Education Sessions Presented by:

Building a Strong Brand Image for Your Club
Join this session to review best practices in developing and implementing a cohesive brand image for your club.  Developing a well-thought out brand for your club will help it stand-out.  This session will identifying and communicating your club persona  through the use of images, color schemes, and more.
Fred Ruckert - New Orleans Track Club
FredRuckertRuckert is an experienced marketer with a demonstrated history of working in the sports and broadcast media industries. Skilled in advertising, branding, broadcasting, sports management, social media, event planning, and marketing strategy. Strong marketing professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Marketing / Business Administration from University of New Orleans.

Plan for the Worst - Hope for the Best - Review of Critical Safety Plans for Events
Join this session for a review of critical safety and emergency plans for events.
Ted Metellus - New York Road Runners
TedtheManMetellus is Senior Director of Event Development and Production at the New York Road Runners. Ted is a 20 year veteran in the event production industry and has a diverse professional background, which includes Marketing, PR, and large scale Charitable and Participatory Events. Employers and clients have included Pallotta TeamWorks, Competitor Group and The Rock n Roll Marathon Series , Eventage Event Production, Philadelphia Triathlon, Ironman and LifeTime Fitness, just to name a few. Ted was the 2016  National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security (NCS4) Professional of the Year. The Award is given to an individual that demonstrates outstanding leadership in addressing safety/security issues.
He has been influenced by some of the most talented event professionals in the industry and has a willingness to grow and learn that compels him to achieve more.  

Developing Runner Safety Programs for Your Club
Join this session to learn how to implement a turnkey runner safety education program for your own club.  This sessions is a designed as a train-the-trainer session to build off of information shared in the self defense demonstrations from Friday.
Brenda Groskinsky - runLawrence
Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 11.57.39 AMBrenda Groskinsky has been an avid runner for most of her life, running track in high school, and participating in the Hood 2 Coast (H2C) 200-mile relay held in Oregon (as well as other 200-mile relays when the team didn't get the lottery pick) more than 15 times.

RRCA Certified Coaches Continuing Education Program

Coaching High School Athletes for Performance - Coaching CEC
Join this session to learn about key strategies in motivating teens and coaching them to personal and team-wide success.  Review the importance of consistency, hydration, healthy-eating, sleep and more as it relates to the teenage athlete.
Laura Magann - RRCA Certified Coach
MagannLaura is an RRCA Certified Distance Coach; the founder and past president of Tri-City Track Club in Morgan City Louisiana; an eight-time Louisiana Class B State Cross Country Championship Head Coach; and a three-time Louisiana Class B State Outdoor Track Championship Assistant Coach. Along with her coaching responsibilities, she currently serves as Nurse/Health and Wellness Coordinator at the Episcopal School of Acadiana.
Coaching Level I and Level II Sessions
See Coaching Certification Cohort page for schedule details.

3:30 - 4:30 PM - Education Sessions Presented by:

Creative Concepts to Engage Runners in Your Group Runs/Training Programs
Join this session to learn and discuss ways to creatively engage runners in your groups runs or training programs.  Learn how to tie your club brand into your engagement strategies.
 Thomas Nguyen - Move Ya Brass
Screen Shot 2019-01-22 at 12.02.51 PMA Native New Orleanian, Thomas joined the Move Ya Brass Krewe in the second week of its inception and has helped the group with its administrative functions ever since. Thomas’ drive to exercise stemmed from his own battle with Type-2 Diabetes, which drove him to run more and participate in many races & half marathons throughout the city.  He is an RRCA Certified Coach.  Move Ya Brass is a fun, funky fitness and lifestyle group from New Orleans that promotes creating a community of people from all walks of life. You come as a stranger, but you leave as family. Our mission is to promote a happy, positive and healthy workout environment to help you become the best version of you!

Understanding Online Reviews Platforms to Help Promote your Business
As a race director, you want to use every available marketing arrow in your quiver to attract runners. Join this session to discuss how runners are finding and researching your events in 2019, where online reviews platforms fit in the mix and how you can use these platforms to promote your events. Mike and Katie will cover industry research, a marketing lifecycle framework and actionable insights.

Mike Sohaskey & Katie Ho - RaceRaves
Sohaskey_RRCAMike is Co-founder and Chief Racing Officer at RaceRaves, the leading online reviews community for runners to share their race experiences and find their next challenge. Mike honed his creative and critical thinking skills as a research scientist, earning a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Stanford University. He has completed over 100 races (including 37 marathons and 8 ultras) in locations from Antarctica to Zimbabwe.

Katie Ho
Ho_RRCAKatie is Co-founder and Chief Raving Officer of RaceRaves. Katie is a former marketing executive for companies innovating at the intersection of media and technology including Shutterfly, TiVo, and Disney, where she led the teams responsible for driving revenue growth. She holds M.A., B.S. and B.A. degrees from Stanford University.

Getting the Most from Your Race Announcer

Join this session to review best practices when working with your race announcing and how their work can elevate your event in the ears of your participants.

Mike Wattigny

Experienced Therapeutic Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the biotechnology industry. Skilled in Advertising, Sales, Event Management, Media Relations, and Public Speaking. Strong sales professional with a Post Graduate work in Public Relations focused in Public Relations from Tulane University.

RRCA Certified Coaches Continuing Education Program

Coaching with Style - Coaching CEC
Join this session for an overview of communications styles and how you can utilize them to best communicate with athletes you coach and use them to develop and define your own coaching style.
Cari Setzler - RRCA Coaching Instructor - Coaching CEC
SetzlerSetzler, 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 and was national runner up in the indoor 1000 meters. Cari then continued on to Michigan State University where she earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. She is also a certified level II USATF endurance coach 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.

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