Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Running Club

I moved this past weekend hence the reason I havent posted in almost a week. Better reason then my usual laziness. I did get some running in.

On some recent runs with the guys I normally run with we have been discussing whether we are going to continue to be in the Youngstown Road Runners Club, YRRC. I think I mentioned this before, but its really gotten away from what we would want out of a club. It's like why should we spend our money on this. Im back to work now but after being laid off for 4 weeks and not knowing what ahead I rather save my money or spend it on a race. Its a given Im going to spend so much money a year on running/racing. So its best to be prudent with it. I figure February first is the cutoff date since if im not paid by then I wont get a discount at the Distance Classic half marathon in March.

The other main reason is the club has seemed to go from a fun club to one thats mostly money oriented. Has much has a non profit organization can be. The number of people regularly attending has dropped noticably. Some days its almost sad how few are there. It seems most decisions are made with saving/making money in mind and not about the members enjoyment. They have gotten rid of many fun things, a corn roast, 100 mile club to name a few to save money. They keep using the reason of putting more money for the shoe program or endowment while building a good size bank account. Maybe if enough of us dont pay it will send a message. Since money is their main concern Im not sure I want them to have mine. Of course maybe I need to be more charitable.


Some guy named John said...

Another way to send a message would be to take your friends to a board meeting and voice your concerns to the club officers. They'd probably appreciate that sort of involvement.

Of course, there are lots of different kinds of running clubs. The local RRCA/USATF affiliate to which I belong costs me $12 per year. BUT I get free entry to one road race per year and $1 or $2 off races in the club's year-long championship series. And there's a series of free summer track meets that I enjoy. Plus, the best running store in the region offers a 15% discount to club members; getting one pair of shoes there more than covers the membership dues. And you also get points for volunteering at races that can be used in lieu of cash for membership dues. I consider it a heck of a bargain.

Unfortunately, I live too far away to take part in the group runs and summer training program.

Bruce said...

John, back in May my buddy had sent an email to the President, basically he had a cut expenses/money first attitude. Yes perhaps we should all go to next meeting and voice our concerns.

Your club already sounds like better bargain. I pay $25, all family memberships, they did away with cheaper individual membership. Only a $3 discount at the one race they put on. No local championship series. We do get a discount at local running store. If I could break even on race discounts I would definitely sign up. Currently no volunteer point system but they have tryed to do something like that but not for disount on memberships. Too many things get done away with in name of cutting expensives.

Girl In Motion said...

It's too bad about the money. I don't belong to a club but our two local ones are free.

Jim E said...

It sounds like your club is in poor shape financially, and it may get worse as people get unhappy and leave. Is there another you could join?

I love my club - nice people, cheap monthly races, weekly group runs, relay teams, etc.

Bruce said...

Jim the thing is its not hurting finacially. Last report I saw, might be dated they had over $15000 which included a $5000 bond. Most of the people seem nice. I do like sounds of your club, I wish this one was more like it. Its seemed to change, few showing up for the weekly runs and greater emphasis on cutting costs when its really not needed.

The other options arent has good a fit. Theres a trail club I joined, its cheap and worth it for the race discounts but most of the runs are too far from home.

Bruce said...

Flo, how can you not join a free club?? Just to have it on your resume.

Joe Garland said...

My experience is in the NYC area, where there are lots of clubs and things may vary widely from where you are. (New York Road Runners is not a club, but an organization that puts on races; I'm a NYRR member and thus get discounted entries into events.)

Two issues. First is cost. I've been a member of three clubs. One's dues are about $75, another's is $25 ($40 for families), and the third is free. I happen to now be a member of the third (and was a member of it for many years earlier in my career). We're a loosely-structured group with regular workouts.

Second, what are you looking for in a club? I left my former club because it got to the point where some wanted to focus on the social aspects of having enjoyable group runs and the periodic group appearance at races. Others wanted to make it into something more competitive, with training others considered overly serious. Because I was in the latter group (and was a coach at the time), I left.

This was a club started (before my time) by someone who simply thought having a club for local runners was a good idea, and it grew from there. Unfortunately, I don't think we got the critical mass to sustain that vision, which was sad.

Is there any reason why you couldn't hook up with runners who share your objective of having organized runs and other events and participating in races as a team? Have reasonable dues to pay, e.g., RRCA dues, and otherwise go pay as you go. If you have a dinner, people pay X each or get separate checks. People order uniforms and pay for them.

Maybe find out whether people stopped showing up because of the same disillusionment that you had. If so, instead of organizing something new, try to change the existing structure.

Good luck.