US Trail Running Conference Webinar provides actionable steps to grow trail communities

Industry experts outline successful initiatives that have contributed to positive and sustainable growth

The third webinar in a nine-webinar series introduced by the US Trail Running Conference and presented by the leading trail registration platform UltraSignup, was hosted on Thursday, March 25. The session subject: Growing Your Trail Running Community featured four industry leaders that have been successful in doing just that. Active at Altitude, organizers of the US Trail Running Conference and the webinar series, reported 90 race directors and event organizers registered for the webinar, representing 37 states, as well as Canada, Scotland, Macedonia, Portugal and Romania.

The four industry leaders on the expert panel were Michele Hartwig, owner of Ornery Mule Racing, Scott Gall, Race Director and owner of the Runners Flat, Ian Golden, owner Red Newt Racing & Finger Lakes Running Company, and Steve Schneider, 
partner at Rogue Trails. Each shared key factors that they have implemented to 
successfully grow their local trail running communities. From Hartwig, “Engage your community, instill confidence, have a positive attitude, and be inclusive”.

Gall suggested, “Offer opportunities such as trail runs, support trail maintenance projects, share experiences through events, and share the lead, letting others take charge and then help and support them. Golden posited, “Know thyself, as you 
represent your brand. Know your community, know your resources, and maintain your brand with authenticity and consistency.”
Finally, Shneider shared the importance of having a “Local champion, fully utilizing the resources that are available to you, creating meaningful partnerships, and making sure you engage in trail love.

“There were so many great takeaways from the webinar including actionable steps to grow community,” said Nancy Hobbs, executive director, American Trail Running 
Association (ATRA). “Hearing examples of kindness, inclusivity, and camaraderie were 
inspiring and reinforced the impact trail running has on so many individuals near and far, and the importance of community.”

Each webinar is presented by industry leaders in their respective fields, and offers 
information that can boost a race director’s knowledge and afford insight into innovative practices to implement at their events. Every participant receives a checklist resource document after each webinar that details key actionable items, while there will be an opportunity to follow up on deliverables through an online forum, and in-person or 
remotely at the 2021 US Trail Running Conference to be held October 27-30, in
Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The fourth webinar in the series is scheduled for April 22, at 11.00 am MST, and is 
focused on Engaging a Community of Climate Action Champions. Growing Your Trail Running Community. Panelists for this session include Zoë Rom, Assistant Editor at Trail Runner magazine, and Vic Thasiah, founder of Runners for Public Lands. Race directors, event organizers and anyone interested in attending can register for the 
session as a stand-alone, or for the complete series at a discounted rate. The recordings of the first two webinar sessions will also be available for anyone that registers for the complete series.

More info:
For details on the webinar series and to register, go to
Contact Event Director, Terry Chiplin for further information,, or 303-304-9159

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