As you may or may not know. Our president, Carla Nolan, and our event director, David Yancey resigned, simultaneously last week. Since I didn’t have any warning, I have to admit, I have been really hussling to get everything covered and maintained. No worries, though. I started Run Tampa many years ago, first starting this website, which was focused around the calendar, then I started hosting group run, then I started coaching, then I started the club and newsletter. Back then, I did everything, including hosting every group run, all the coaching, and managing destination races. It was a full-time job, but I devoted all my tme to it until the club grew to 350 members. I then brought on Coach Maria Williams, and later, the whole leadership team.
They did an amazing job and grew the club to 450 members. But, things change, and David Yancey wanted his own business. I understand that. He is forming his own running club, which will have a specific focus on doing good for the community, certainly an honorable goal, and one which I fully support.
Anyway, I want to update all the club members and members of the community who may feel startled and a bit stressed by the sudden changes. I know change is hard. I was totally surprised. I had retired over the last six months; so, this is life-changing for me as I assume the reigns once again.
Not to worry. It’s all OKAY. Please read the update below, which I posted on Facebook.
UPDATE: There are still many questions in many minds, as we go forward. So, here is an update. You all know me. I’m an open book, fitting for an ex English teacher. (couldn’t resist the pun). I am a communicator. I’ll try to keep you updated and in the loop in the hope that it will result in encouragement as opposed to stress.
1. ATMOSPHERE/ATTITUDE: There is absolutely no animosity on my part. As hard as it has been for everyone, going forward we have to look at the positives, and there actually are quite a few. I could see almost nothing good when this happened, but as the smoke cleared, I realized all will be fine. I didn’t say easy. I know you’ve all been stressed, and I have, too, but let’s focus on what families do when there is a stressful situtation. They hug each other more, they talk, they make an effort to understand each other’s point of view, and they focus on solutions rather than problems.
2. GROUP RUNS: Going forward, everyone will have more options for group runs because, of course, RT will continue, but Dave will have his as well. I’ll never be upset when I see pics of my runners in their group photos. I’m a grownup, and we’re all friends.
***I have always said, running should occupy the part of your life that serves you best. Logically, that will change over the years and from day to day. If running causes you stress, then something needs to change because one of the greatest benefits should be the mental benefit of running with your friends.***
3. GROUP RUN TIMES: I have always preferred later start times. For now, our group runs will be 6:30 a.m., but if I get enough input from people who would prefer 7:00 a.m, I will change it to that.
4. THE UMBRELLA PHILOSOPHY: RT was a community before it was a club, and as a community it has over 5,000 members (FB plus newsletter subscribers who aren’t on FB). I have always thought of it as an umbrella community. We’ve always had lots of people, here, who are members of other running clubs. I like being a place where everyone can communicate, where everyone comes together. I’ve always restricted promotion of events to RT events or the events of my Run Tampa advertisers, which I always will, but everyone is welcome to come to this wall to chat about running, ask for advice, and share their successes.
5. CHANGES: I will be making some changes, as I announced yesterday. The first, and likely most impactful, is changing the Courtney Campbel Causeway group run to UTBT, giving us two UTBT runs each month. I am sorry to hit you with more changes, now, but I’m trying to take RT back to it’s roots, do things more like I did the first four years. It worked. Not to say that the few changes over the last years were bad. I don’t mean that, but my personality and Carla’s are very different, and we have different leadership styles. What feels comfortable to one person may not with the other. I’m not so much the themed run wear a costume kind of girl, but I love seeing others do it. So, now you have two options. That is OKAY! THAT IS GREAT! Diversity is good. Variety is good. Opportunity is good!
6. DESTINATION RACES: I’m working on a plan for future destination races for RT. They will not be ‘all-inclusive’ and they will not include travel, giving everyone more flexibility. I will likely have a whole new vote. We’ll start over after everything settles down more. 2018 is still far away. The voting will take place here on this wall and will last just 48 hours.
7. COACHING PROGRAM: Maria will continue to offer programs to all Run Tampa runners, but they will not be identified as Run Tampa Coaching. They will be offered by her business, On Track Running. That has been her business all along. Anyone will be welcome in her program. It just won’t work out for her to be our RT Head Coach, anymore. I am sad about this, but it’s the way it has to be. Her runners will be welcome at all RT events and welcome on all RT destination races – of course! She has always had her own business, On Track Running. You will simply register through her company. As always, I support her, fully.
8. GROUP RACE EVENTS: I will still identify some area races as RT events as I always have. The next is the Hippie Dash. I will select the races based on the reputation of the race and what I think will work well for our members. Just to be clear, a group race event simply means that I will be there, that I’ll take a pre-race group photo, and because it’s a RT group event, you can expect a boatload of your RT friends to also be there. It does not mean there is any financial relationship btn RT and the race. Many times I don’t even know the race director. I do not – and never have – made any race an RT event because the race director asked me to do so or because the RD purchased an ad.
9. TINSEL RUN: You may be wondering about the Tinsel Run. That will remain an RT event. Much more on that later.
10. ONE MILE 3- RACE SERIES: David was planning a 1-mile, 3 race series, in the fall for RT. I’ve told him he came keep it and rebrand it as his own. I will encourage you to do it, and I will make those races RT events.
11. MAY NEW RIVER DESTINATION RACE: I have canceled this. Initially, I told Dave I would take this over, but when I received the records on Friday, it was down to just ten participants, and more canceled in the next couple of days, understandably, with the uncertainty at the time. Most had not paid more than the $25 deposit. I am providing 100% refunds. I’ll get the last refunds processed today.
12. SOCIALS/PARTIES: These will continue, of course. There likely will not be entertainment/skits, etc., but I love playing trivia at our parties, and the times we did it, it was a great success. So, look for that to be a regular feature.
13. CAN YOU HELP WITH A RECOMMENDATION FOR THIS? I’m looking for a company or individual to handle the bookkeeping for the club, keep track of the Paypal account, link it to Quickbooks, monitor registrations, download the RunSignUp data, send out new member packets, pay the sales tax to the state, interact with my CPA to file the taxes and meet with me, monthly, to go over it all. I am NOT looking for a volunteer or someone reading this to do it. I want to hire a company that does this kind of thing all the time. If you have any suggestions, please pm me.
14. APPAREL: I mentioned this in a prior post, but in case you didn’t see it, I plan to have some shirts with me at each group run for several weeks because I need to liquidate the inventory. Prices will be GREAT! Then, I will narrow the selection down to one style for sleeveless and one for short sleeves, one or two colors. Then, they will be available online. I will carry one of each size to group runs to make it possible for people to check sizes before ordering.
15. If you can think of anything else I need to go over, please ask. The more you know and understand, the less stress there will be.