Candidate Statement: Thomas McNulty
What's in a shirt?
Whether it be white, blue, old, new, alternate or a different hue the VHTRC shirt means so much to us all. We all proudly wear them at every chance we can. Our blue trains are renown and well regarded wherever we go. And how can it not bring you joy as you're running around MacRitchie Reservoir Park in Singapore and people continually yell out, "Happy Trails!" to you? Or how a girl sees the shirt you are wearing in a Safeway and says, "Oh my gosh! VHTRC! I run in some of their races! How cool!" We see the shirt and know that I'm running with a friend. And people everywhere know that if they see our shirt a good time is about to happen and that this person knows what they are doing when it comes to trail running. (which isn't always the case, but I think we all wing it pretty well!)
Now recognition and being cool isn't what's in a shirt. The shirt means so much more as to who we are as a club. I joined VHTRC shortly after running in a kilt along the AT trail, dressed as a Scotsman for the Halloweeny Fat Ass 50k 2010. I still remember that day; meeting Gary, Tom and countless other people that made me understand the trail better, have fun, relax and enjoy it all. From that point on, I wanted to be a part of this great running club, I wanted a blue VHTRC shirt!
With that shirt comes a responsibility to give back. Giving back by simply encouraging someone on the trail, leading weekly training runs, introducing anyone to the joys of trail running, to crewing a runner through a race, pacing a runner, standing around on the top of Bird Knob in the middle of winter while trying to keep food warm for everyone, staying up all night cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner for 400 plus hungry runners, crew and family. But I know that I have so much more to help the club. That is why I am declaring my candidacy for the board this year.
I truly hope to serve you all on the board, but no matter what the outcome I see a few items would help the club move forward in the future.
*Training runs: Nothing gives me more joy than seeing someone enjoy the trails for the first time, surprise themselves with conquering goals, or becoming the expert. I've seen all of this leading my trail runs out at Great Falls park each week for the club. I'd like to have more training runs for not only new trail runners to get to, but for us to get together for more runs during the week or provide our brother and sister trail runners traveling through an opportunity to experience what VHTRC is all about.
*More runs in other areas: While many of our club members are up towards the DC area or even out by the Massanutten Mountains, so thus many of our events or runs are here. But we do have a large contingency in Richmond and down in Lynchburg or Charlottesville. I'd like to see a few runs or get togethers more often with our bothers and sisters down south without them having to travel all the time to us.
*Integrating websites and social media: Which goes in with the trail runs in that it as a club we need to step back to fully look at and utilize Facebook, Twitter, Meetup, listserv, etc. All these things would only be an asset to the club if we could fully integrate them in with our current website in the right way, so that it were a one stop shop.
*Storage: As already brought up on the listserv, we are in need of a good storage space. I think that given the vast amount of materials and supplies that the club does have, it only makes sense to find a permanent, centralized and good storage area for all the clubs gear.
Even in the short time that I've started running on trails, the trail running community seems to have no signs of slowing down on it's skyrocketing growth. It seems that every year it gets harder and harder to get into the race we want or the lottery numbers just seem WAY to big. Thankfully, the club always seems to have an event or run that reminds us of why we joined in the first place. It isn't about the "Goal" races or those PRs, it's about getting together with good friends and enjoying some time outside together.
Thanks for your consideration and hope to get together with you soon! See you on the trails!