San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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February 8th, 2009
Runners club waives membership dues

Run with Moe: A Column
By MOE JOHNSON
San Marcos Runners Club

The San Marcos Runners Club met a few weeks ago and elected officers at its first meeting of the year.

David Alexander was elected president again, Randall Wood was elected as vice president and a Doug Framke was elected second vice president.

A new format followed by many other clubs provides that officers will serve one-year terms, then the vice president moves up to serve as president. Talking with David and having served as president for many years myself, I think that is a good change.

New leadership is good in most cases, and it makes for a stronger club when other members become part of the organization and administration of club functions.  David Alexander has done a great job these past two years, as well as several years before that, and the club is probably as organized and viable as it has ever been.

When San Marcos puts on a run locally and the club is involved in the organization of the run, many of the runners in the Central Texas area know that it will be a good race.

There was one other change that really makes the club different and a great reason for belonging to the club. The members voted to eliminate yearly dues as a requirement to join.  The San Marcos Runners club sponsors one run each year to raise funds for the operation of the club.

The Country Roads 10K has become an increasingly popular run in San Marcos.  From this run, the club now has enough money in its account to cover most of the expenses of items for the year. The money has been used to buy more equipment used in putting on races for organizations that use a race to raise funds.

The club does not charge the organization a fee for helping with the race, because it’s mainly concerned with promoting the sport of running in the area.  It might not seem like much, but mile markers, finish chute, cones for the road, direction signs, runners numbers, etc. all come with a cost, and the runners club has been able to add to its collection each year to the point that it can put on a good race for the organization.

The club belongs to the national Road Runners club, to which the club pays dues. In the past, this was covered by members dues, and was tight going in some years.

Instead of dues being paid, the members are asked to put in service time to help with the principles of the club in promoting running in the community. San Marcos has about 12 runs per year in town and members will be asked to help out at three events to earn volunteer credits.

Members can do this by helping out at a race, helping with a club function, contributing to the newsletter, or being a member of a committee within the club. When members get involved in club functions, it just makes the club stronger and benefits the purpose of the club. There is no cost to the member but a little time.

Members can get a few volunteer credits in a few weeks by helping out with the ARA-Moe’s Better Half Marathon and the CASA Speak Up For Kids 5K on March 1.  There will be plenty of opportunities for volunteer work at these two races and many of them can be done before the race and still allow the volunteer to run in one of the races.

Direction people, registration, pre-race packet stuffing, aid stations, lead vehicle, setting up the course, setting up the refreshment table for the runners after the race, handing out finish awards for the runners, taking off the timing chips of the runners are all examples of duties that are needed for putting on a race that runners enjoy.

While a lot of work goes on many weeks before the race it is the volunteers on the day of the race that make it a success.  In the past, we have had great volunteers, and I have heard many favorable comments from runners on the quality of the volunteers at this race.

Runners for the most part realize it takes a good group of people to put on a race and often say, “Thank you,” as they pass by an aid station or to volunteers after the race.

We are always looking for volunteers. If you can help out, call me or contact Eloise Hudson at CASA. It is actually a fun event to volunteer for. Many of the people have been with the race for several years, and that makes it easy to administer for the race organizers. Each volunteers will get a free T-shirt, as well as a good feeling for benefiting CASA projects and Kiwanis Scholarship programs.

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