- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 15, 2002

A major movement is under foot that could threaten the existence of the Road Runners Club of America, the grassroots running organization that has guided runners and running clubs since 1958.
RRCA has been hamstrung by a financial crisis and disagreement among current and former board members and other key players concerning its leadership and future course.
The unrest has come to a head over RRCA's decision to significantly raise dues, which pay for the overhead and programs out of the national office in Alexandria, liability insurance to cover races organized by RRCA's 700-plus member clubs and other expenses.
"The recent raising of the dues and insurance costs by the RRCA Board of Directors has forced many club and event boards to agonize over their relationship with the RRCA," said Harold Tinsley, RRCA past president and an official with the Huntsville (Ala.) Track Club, in an e-mail circulated to many current and past RRCA members. "Individuals including many long-time RRCA supporters and past presidents and other board members have also agonized over what to do next."
So Tinsley and others have created the American Association of Running Clubs (AARC).
"A board of directors has been established, Articles of Incorporation filed, firm insurance quotes obtained and work begun to obtain non-profit status," he wrote. "A letter has been drafted to notify those clubs that have expressed an interest in an alternative insurance and/or non-profit source of the option now available."
The new board consists of six people, including three RRCA past presidents: Tinsley, Jeff Darman and Don Kardong.
Tinsley added, "Please bear in mind that this organization [AARC] is in response to requests. Should the RRCA return to its roots and magnificent historic service to the sport, it would be our pleasure and desire to immediately begin discussions for merging the two organizations."
Maybe someday an RRCA/USA Track & Field alliance?
Blame the coach Two days ago, sprint queen Marion Jones announced that she has left her long-time coach, Trevor Graham, and now will work with Canadian Derek Hansen.
The timing of the announcement was precious just days after Jones and training partner Tim Montgomery were named American athletes of the year and Graham was selected as coach of the year by USATF.
Graham had coached Jones since she went pro in 1997, and since then she has been ranked the world's top female sprinter for six straight years. However, she has not improved her times in the last few years.
Geb gets a mil
Haile Gebrselassie, the Olympic and world 10,000-meter champion from Ethiopia, earned $1million last week in Doha, Qatar, by setting a world best 27 minutes, 2 seconds for 10 kilometers in a road race.
Getting noticed Leon Settle of El Paso, Texas, was not a household name until this week, when he was slapped on the wrist by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for testing positive for ephedrine, a prohibited substance, and disqualified from his first-place finish June8 in the 300 meters at the 57th Cezmi Or Memorial Athletics Championship in Istanbul, Turkey.
Double deaths Two runners died in different marathons on the same day last Sunday, which may be a first. Jim Lindstrom, a 59-year-old finance executive from Boston, died after completing the Reggae Marathon in Negril, Jamaica, and Grant Hirohata Goto, a 33-year-old runner from Hawaii, died after collapsing at the finish line of the Honolulu Marathon.
The Associated Press reported that Lindstrom collapsed about five minutes after receiving his medal. His recorded time was 7:11:46, placing him 130th of 139 males and 23rd of 25 in his age group.
My wife and I spent a mid-November weekend in Negril three years ago and the heat and humidity zapped us during a 10-kilometer training run.
Goto of Hawaii completed Honolulu in 4:57.
Today's event
The Annapolis Striders 24th Anniversary Run 15K starts at 10 a.m. at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. Information: 410/268-1165.

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