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Convention Education Program

Friday May 2 - 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 May 2 - Education Sessions - 1:45 - 3:00 PM

Successful Networking with Run Specialty Retail: Making it a Win Win

RRCA Coaching Certification instructor and run specialty retail owner, Cari Setzler, will share ideas and outline best practices for clubs and events to work with run specialty retailers to make their relationships mutually beneficial. This session is part of the RRCA’s Club College.

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 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. Cari also directs the Health Bridge Road Runners and is the assistant girls track and field coach at Johnsburg High School. She has practiced small animal medicine at The Animal Hospital of McHenry since 2004, while managing The Running Depot in Crystal Lake, IL.

Injury Detection, Prevention, and Recovery Strategies for Coaches

Treatment of an overuse injury is more than a mandatory stint of rest; collaboration and thinking “outside the box” contribute to the building blocks for successful recovery and return to activity.  These and other insights have been the hallmark of our speakers practice for the past twenty plus years. RRCA Certified Coaches will earn 1 hour of Continuing Education Credits (CECs) for this session.

Presented by: Kirk M. Herring, DPM, MA, FACFAOM, FAAPSM, Certified RRCA Coach - Known simply as “Doc” by coaches, runners and triathletes, Herring is a Board Certified Podiatrist, Fellow of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine and RRCA coach specializing in sports medicine.  He is nationally ranked age group USA Triathlon duathlete racing regularly in national and international championships as a member of TEAM USA.  He has conducted research, authored a number of articles and provides expert opinion on a variety of running specific topics for publications such as JAPMA, Biomechanics, Podiatry Today, Podiatry Management, Runner’s World and Running Times; including subjects such as overuse running injuries, prediction, prevention and recovery, biomechanics, as well as running shoes and technical socks.  He has served as the team podiatrist for Eastern Washington University, Spokane Community Colleges as well as local and regional high school cross country and track programs.  Dr. Herring has regularly lectured at a variety of professional meetings including annual meetings of ACSM, APMA, WSPMA, CPMA, and RRCA.  He frequently volunteers, serving on medical teams at local, regional and national endurance sport events such as Ironman Coeur d’Alene and the Western States 100.

Keeping Events Safe - Practical Measures for all Budgets

As the title outlines, 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 hour of continuing education credits (CECs) for attending this session.

Presented by: Al Odenthal Odenthal is head of race security for the Lilac Bloomsday Run and has been helping with security for Bloomsday for nearly two decades.  He has also served as Chairman of the Lilac Bloomsday Association.  He graduated from the FBI National Academy and spent 26 with the Spokane Police before retiring as Assistant Chief. He headed up Spokane’s bomb squad for most of the 1990’s and was the shift commander on April 29, 1996 when a pipe bomb packed with nails and screws exploded outside Spokane City Hall.

Saturday May 3 - Education Sessions 9:00 - 10:15 AM

Best Practices in Creating and Sustaining Adult Training Programs

Join Dwight Mikulis, MD RRCA Rep, to learn best practices on how to create and sustain group training programs for adult runners.  This session will focus on programs for beginners to advanced training programs.  It will cover strategies for pricing programs, recruiting coaches, coordinating training, and more.  The session will also provide recommendations for turning runners and walkers into program repeaters and engaged club volunteers.

Presented by: Dwight Mikulis Dwight is Past President of Howard County Striders (HCS) (2000 RRCA members) and current Maryland Representative for RRCA.  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. Putting into practice what he teaches, Dwight had 8 PRs in 2013 in different race distances ranging from 2 miles through 50K and was named Most Improved Male runner for HCS.  He enjoys all kinds of running including trails and ran Rosaryville 50K and Stone Mill 50 Miler on back to back weekends last year. Dwight also enjoys giving back to the running community as a pacer with the Baltimore Pacers. He will be pacing the Kentucky Derby Marathon, Baltimore 10 Miler and Baltimore Marathon in 2014.

Complying with the ADA & Making a Win:Win Environment for Events and Challenged Athletes

After working for several years, the Lynchburg Roadrunners Club (LRRC) has developed detailed guidelines for participation by athletes with disabilities. Join this session to learn about LRRC’s lessons learned and new best practices. The club developed their guidelines to provide its members, event directors, and the community with guidelines for equitable participation for all persons in LRRC sponsored running events with particular focus on the safety of everyone involved.  These guidelines are set out to facilitate the inclusion of athletes with disabilities in road racing events. The guidelines are not intended to cover all events or situations. Hopefully, the guidelines will foster discussions among event directors, members of the disabled community, law enforcement and public safety personnel, and others involved with a particular event. 

Presented by Kevin E. Shroyer: Shoyer grew up in York, PA.  He graduated from William Penn Senior High School in 1978 before continuing on to York College of Pennsylvania to further his education.  Kevin graduated from York College in 1982 with a BS in Criminal Justice.  He was hired by the Lynchburg, VA Police Department in August 1982 and has lived in the Lynchburg area ever since.  Kevin left the Lynchburg Police Department in March 1998 to join the Lynchburg Public Defender Office to serve as their Investigator, a position he still holds to this day. Kevin runs numerous races on a yearly basis, everything from 5Ks to the marathon.  Kevin is married to his high-school sweetheart, Kristie, and is the proud father of two lovely daughters, Korinne, who passed away in May 2002, and Kolby, who graduated from Liberty University in May 2013 with a degree in Business Administration.  Kevin is currently the President of the Lynchburg Road Runners Club.  He also serves as the Race Director for the Point of Honor 5K & Youth Mini-Mile, dedicated to his late daughter’s memory that supports organ donation education and awareness in Virginia.     

Also presented by Grattan Garbee: Garbee began running in 1977 in outdoor track as an 8th grader in Lynchburg VA. He continued to run year round, competing in Cross Country, Indoor Track, and Outdoor Track at Brookville High School while also running numerous local road races between seasons.  He continued to run competitively during college, first at East Tennessee State University for a semester, before transferring to Lynchburg College for the remainder of his college career.  After his competitive running days at LC were completed, Grattan worked for a couple of years in the athletic shoe industry before returning to LC to coach the men’s and women’s distance runners while simultaneously earning his MBA.  After coaching for a couple of years, he took a long break from running only to wake up years later at 210 lbs, with 240 cholesterol and the realization that a lifestyle change was needed.  Since his return to running, Grattan has completed over 50 marathons, ultra marathons, and other long adventure runs including a R2R2R adventure at the Grand Canyon.  Grattan is currently employed as a Systems Analyst with Centra Health.  He lives in Lynchburg, VA with his wife Lavinia Garbee.  Garbee serves as Vice-President of the Lynchburg Road Runners Club. 

Coaching for Ultrarunners

With the continuing growth in the ultra/trail running section, coaches have clients who want to go longer, but do not understand how to do structure a training plan accordingly. The session wouldn’t be dogmatic in the approach of training but will focus on specific, tangible ways to plan for an ultra with regards to mileage, elevation, distance and progressions that are ideal for the runners you coach. RRCA Certified Coaches will earn 1 hour of CECs for this session.

Presented by: Ryan Knapp - Knapp is a Boston-based running coach and founder of Miles to Go Endurance, where he specializes in coaching trail, mountain and ultra runners Empowering athletes of all levels and ages to unleash their physical talent and potential, he is passionate about challenging each individual athlete’s spirit, mind and body. Knapp followed in his father’s footsteps and began his coaching career at age 10. He brings an diverse coaching background to endurance, having coached and played baseball, basketball, soccer and even bowling! Knapp is a certified RRCA Running Coach and also holds certifications from the International Triathlon Coaching Association (ITCA), the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Knapp has guided athletes into the Top-10 this year at Heartland 100, Rouge to Orleans Ultramarathon, Hawk 50 and is in the midst of training three female athletes to run across America in 2015. He is also the Head Coach for Comfort Zone Camps Grief Relief team and he been featured in Triathlon Magazine as well as in Greatist’s 5k Training Guide, How to Run Your Best 5k. When he is not coaching, Ryan can be found running in the trails and mountains with his fiance Jess and Mollie, their mountain loving Border Collie.

Saturday May 3 - Education Sessions 10:30 - 11:45 AM

Club Governance:  Implementing Best Practices in Your Organization

The RRCA has really cleaned-up its act on the governance, oversight, and management front compared to challenges the organization faced a decade ago.  During this session attendees will learn about best practices the RRCA Board has adopted to govern the RRCA and to provide financial oversight to safeguard funds, which can be implemented in all RRCA member clubs and events. Learn about best practices in working with charities and promoting your own charitable work in your community, and much more.

Presented by: Jean Knaack - Knaack is the Executive Director of the RRCA where she has served in the role since 2005, bringing almost twenty years of nonprofit management experience to the position. 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. Through her work with the RRCA she is a fitness advocate promoting running as healthy exercise and a competitive sport on a national scale. She has experience managing the financial operations of organizations ranging in size from $100,000 to $10 million. Jean has extensive skills in organizational and financial development, board and member relations, and program planning and implementation. She is an avid runner and has completed several marathons and countless road races and triathlons. She was a finisher at the inaugural Ironman Louisville race in 2007, finished Ironman France in 2009, and Ironman Coeur D’Alene in 2010.

What to do When the Government Shuts Your Race Down

The shut down of the Federal government forced several races to postpone their events or alter their course.  Other events waited anxiously on the sidelines to see if their events would suffer a similar fate.  The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon, the RRCA’s National Half Marathon Championship was forced to postpone the event for a month.  Join this session to learn about best practices and lessons learned in dealing with event cancellations due to circumstances out of your control.  RRCA Certified Race Directors earn 1 hour of continuing education credits (CECs) for attending this session.

Presented by: Steve Nearman - Endurance Enterprises LLC founded the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon in 2007 and produced the first race in 2010, seeking to offer runners a first-class destination race in the newly-built resort of National Harbor. The man behind Endurance Enterprises LLC is Steve Nearman, who has covered the running industry professionally for 31 years, first with the Washington Post and then with The Washington Times, and numerous industry and mainstream publications. He has seen first-hand for decades what goes into producing a memorable experience for athletes and is dedicated to giving his participants, sponsors, race officials and volunteers every reason to come back to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Half Marathon year after year after year. In January 2013, Runner’s World magazine published its results of the nation’s best half marathons. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge made the list of the 27 BEST half marathons in the United States out of more than 1,500 half marathons. 

Saturday May 3 - Education Sessions 2:00 - 3:15 PM

Developing an Inclusive Youth Running Program

Angelo and Sherry Celesia received the RRCA’s Outstanding Youth Program Director(s) award for 2012 for their leadership with the Tidewater Striders New Engery Program (a Kid Run the Nation Fund grantee).  The Celesia’s will join the RRCA in Spokane to talk about the New Energy outreach program call New Engery P.O.W.E.R. (Program Of Wonderfully Exceptional Runners).  Now in its second season as a program of the Tidewater Strider’s, this running group is designed especially for special needs children and their parents. This session will focus on best practices for engaging physically challenged youth in your programs. This session is part of the RRCA’s Club College.

Presented by: Angelo and Sherry Celesia  - In 2008, the Celesia’s answered the call for volunteers from the Tidewater Striders president to rekindle the club’s youth program. Recently becoming empty-nesters the Celesias channeled their love and energy for running to other youth. Angelo had coached various youth sports and Sherry was currently coaching a Girls on the Run program. Both were also successful business owners. This combination coaching/business background served as the basis for a marketing program to revive the club’s youth program.  Their marketing efforts paid off. They recruited a volunteer coaching staff approximating 25 adult club members whose motto was We Love to Run. The number of youth in New Energy rocketed from 20-30 to about 200. The original program expanded from one to three cities, involving boys and girls with various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Developing a Medical Team and What is Road Race Medicine

As outlined on, races and events are selling out in record time, the numbers of participants are reaching unprecedented levels. The total number of events held each year in the United States and in Europe has reached levels beyond anyone’s expectations. Road racing has now become a big business. During this explosion of growth, we have also been witness to a heightened sense of concern for runner safety and emergency preparedness. Join this session learn about important elements of proven medical standards and protocols for events.  Learn about operational planning and logistics for all types of distance events. Learn about the goals and benefits of getting more involved with the International Institute of Race Medicine to benefit your events and the running community.

Presented by the International Institute of Race Medicine Executive Director Chris Troyanos: Troyanos has an extensive record when providing medical leadership and logistical support at a number road races.  He has a 36 year history with the Boston Marathon - 20 of those years as the events Medical Coordinator. His leadership skills have lead to a collaborative public safety approach to endurance medical care. Chris organizing a medical committee of over 50 medical professionals and another 1400 on-site medical volunteers. He has been the primary liaison to the various cities and towns supporting the race. His partnerships and relationship building skills have created strong ties with the Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and numerous participating hospitals.  As the Medical Coordinator to the Boston Athletic Association, he was instrumental in developing the medical coverage plan for the Boston Marathon.

Understanding the Ins, Outs, and Informatics of Social Engagement

Simply printing or emailing a club or event newsletter or flier in this day and age no longer works as a means to engage with club members.  In our ever evolving world of digital technology and communication, clubs need to develop and implement comprehensive communication strategies to reach out to current and potential members.  The RRCA’s program coordinator, Andy Smith, will lead a panel discussion on best practices in social engagement which includes social media, blast emails, websites, blogs, and more. This session is part of the RRCA’s Club College.

Presented by: Andy Smith - Smith comes to the RRCA from The Washington Post, where he served as a Community Editor, working to develop strategies and programs to improve the paper’s local web presence. He has a background in sports communications, spending four years in Media Relations for the University of Pittsburgh’s Athletic Department. He earned his master’s degree at Georgetown in 2009 and his undergraduate degree from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Course Measurement and Certification

The RRCA Convention would not be complete without the important session on course measurement and certification.  Accurate courses are the corner stone of our sport and USATF course certification ensures that records can be recorded.  All RRCA members are encourage to host their events on certified courses.  Join this session to learn the details about course measurement and certification.  Speaker bio and photo coming soon. RRCA Certified Coaches can earn 1 hour of CEC.