The regular meeting of the Nittany Valley Running Club was held on Tuesday, August 5, at the Hi-Way Pizza on Westerly Parkway. In attendance were Boyd Brumbaugh, Marty Mazur, Dave Eggler, Marv Hall and Jim Taylor.
With the change of seasons, we moved on from Sam Adams Spring to his Summer Ale. The big topic was a post Art's Fest 10K data dump. Jim Taylor did a great job with the race, and though we had hoped for more, we had nearly 500 runners. The accounting for the race is not final, but it looks like we didn't quite clear as much as last year, which would probably mean an adjustment in our gift to the Herm Goffberg Fund. What held us back? Maybe the biggest thing was the University's continual messing with our course. It seems it's unusual when we can actually run the 10K on our certified course due to campus construction. Though most post race comments from runners were favorable, those that were unfavorable centered on the course. Maybe next year we'll get our old course back. In the meantime, we chewed over ideas to make the course better. We found that the kid's race is a big money maker, so we need to promote it more, and make sure we do a better job next year with the timing and results for it. We also discussed the fact that the AF race is now one of the cheapest races to enter. Next year, there will be a price increase. The price increase will probably be modest and may only affect race day entries. Heck, if we're going to have to deal with the perhaps 50% of runners who crowd the registration table the morning of the race, we might as well make a buck for the club off of it, because even entries on packet pick-up day the day before race day are nowhere near the hassle that so many race day entries can be. These and other ideas need to be hashed out for the next Art's Fest. Jim Taylor plans to have a "strike while the iron is still hot" meeting for next year's race on Tuesday, August 19, at 6:30 at the Westerly Parkway Hi-Way Pizza.
Another topic that we discussed was keeping membership numbers up. Our renewal rates are down a bit. This may be due to the electronic newsletter. People no longer get a physical reminder in the mail, but actually have to download the newsletter to get reminded (I'll have to start counting page hits on each newsletter!). Ideas: Send out an email reminder about dues separate from any newsletter announcements; Send out a bulk dues postcard at renewal time; Make it easy to sign up for the NVRC or renew at race registration time.
We didn't have an Econo-Race series this summer, but we did start up a weekend group run that seems to be picking up. Maybe when people come back to town in the Fall, we'll get even more runners for the regular runs.
More nice comments have come in about the Maps pages on the web site. As soon as Marty gets together a few more running routes, we'll move toward publishing a pamphlet in the spirit of John Lucas's brochure of 20 years ago.
We've forged ahead on improving club communications. We will soon be phasing out the NVRUN-L email list. It is being replaced by the NVRC Yahoo! Discussion Group, which was started since the last meeting. The web-based bulleting board is significantly more convenient and flexible for the list administrators, and also more useful and flexible for users. More on this in the newsletter.
Next Meeting: October 7.