The purpose of this web site is to assist promising young distance runners in making the transition from collegiate to professional running.  The intent is to provide athletes with a comprehensive overview of what it takes and what is involved in becoming a professional distance runner - competing on the track, the roads and in cross country.  By increasing the number of talented runners training at a high level - from the 800 meters up through the marathon - the U.S. will continue its re-emergence towards competitive excellence in long distance running both nationally and internationally.

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A Message from the Track & Field Athlete's Association

Dear Athletes and Supporting Members,

 

As many of you are aware, the integrity of the results of a national championship was compromised at the USATF Indoor Championships in February. Proper procedure was not followed after the women’s 3000m, resulting in the disqualification of the winner, Gabriele Grunewald. In the men’s 3000m, Andrew Bumbalough was disqualified for contact he never made, which is clearly evident in the race footage.

USA Track and Field reinstated Grunewald as the winner of the women’s 3000m two days after the race, but with no explanation as to why proper procedure had not been followed and how they would prevent this from happening in the future. 

USATF has not responded with regards to the disqualification of Bumbalough.

The Track and Field Athletes Association proposed to the USATF that there be athlete representatives observing the protest and appeals process at future USATF championships. This proposal intended to improve transparency and accountability going forward for all parties involved. The proposal was sent directly to the USATF and was also presented openly to the public, garnering almost 1000 signatures in a matter of days.

USATF canceled a conference call initially scheduled for Monday, March 10, 2014, to discuss this proposal and since then has ignored all follow-up requests to reschedule from both the TFAA and the USATF Athlete Advisory Committee.

Why would our national governing body ignore the athletes association, their own athletes advisory committee (which is required by the Ted Stevens Act) and the 1,000 athletes, coaches, agents, sponsors and fans who signed the petition calling for change? 

The lack of action is the most recent in a long-string of failures to engage in meaningful dialogue with the TFAA and the AAC.  We've identified a number of issues that would enhance the professional side of our sport: improved transparency in the processes for protests, greater visibility into the bid processes for national championship sites, revenue-sharing opportunities and more.

We support USATF in their mission of driving "competitive excellence and popular engagement in our sport" and we recognize them in their role as a national governing body, but we do not agree with the tactic of shutting out THE ATHLETE VOICE.

It is unacceptable for the collective voice of the athletes to be disrespected and dismissed. Track and field is our life, our dream, our soul. It is OUR sport. We are aligned with our fans in our quest to improve our sport. We cannot sit idly by while its integrity is compromised and our calls for action and change fall on deaf ears.

It's time for action! This communication is just the first step. We call on your support and input as the TFAA prepares and acts on a series of important initiatives.  

Please tweet the following link with the hashtag #USATFChange to support our stance that our collective voice should not be ignored:
http://bit.ly/usatfchange

If you need help composing tweets or posts, we have prepared some for you:

We the athletes will not stand for our voices being ignored http://bit.ly/usatfchange #USATFchange

Please support the TFAA in protecting the collective voice of the athletes http://bit.ly/usatfchange #USATFchange

It is unacceptable for the collective voice of the athletes to be dismissed. http://bit.ly/usatfchange #USATFchange

Why would our national governing body ignore the athletes, coaches, agents, sponsors and fans? http://bit.ly/usatfchange #USATFchange

Track and field is OUR sport and we want to make it better. Our voice will not be silenced. http://bit.ly/usatfchange #USATFchange

There must be open communication between the athletes and their govening body http://bit.ly/usatfchange #USATFchange

Regards,

The TFAA Board

Alexi Pappas's Roads Scholar Blog: February

Each month, 2013 RRCA Roads Scholar Alexi Pappas will provide a blog post offering an update on her training, competition and life in general as a post-collegiate road runner.

 

February is short but meaningful! It is a month best characterized by love and… snow storms. 

 

Indoor Track is short but meaningful! It is a season best characterized by love (a feeling of affection for the chance to finally step on a rubberized artificial running surface after many months of the hill-mud-stricken unevenness that is cross country!) and… snow storms! Good thing we’re racing inside.

 

My February Indoor season was short but meaningful. I took home a W and PR at the UW Dempsey in the 3k and 5k respectively. I got a taste of racing again and am well prepared for the spring season. 

 

In February, I ran the longest tempo of my life around a one-mile loop with a man and his dog. The biggest challenge was not the distance, not the man, and not the dog, but the tree that fell down in the middle of our workout— we proceeded to run around the fallen object, thus lengthening our workout by at least 5 meters every mile, thereby pushing us to the outer limits of mental toughness. Needless to say I am a better runner because of this experience. I will not blink should a palm tree fall onto the Stanford track during a race this spring.

 

I look forward to racing on the road again this March—I will compete in the US 15K Champs, the Gate River Run in Florida. It will be my longest race ever. 

 

But the real question is, which other elite athlete will be paired as my roommate...?!

 

As when elementary school teacher switches the seating arrangement of a classroom, all of us kids wait in anticipation for just who we will be sharing our pencil sharpener (toothpaste) with next.

 

Your Loyal Roads Scholar, 

 

Alexi

 

Follow Alexi on Twitter: @AlexiPappas

The RunPro Camp is designed for distance runners who are interested in pursuing a professional running career. The next RunPro Camp will be held July 17-19,2014 in Arlington, VA.  For information about the camp – including application informatin, deadline to apply, the schedule, and topics covered - click here

RunPro Camp Testimonials

 

“There was a great group of athletes and advisors at the 2013 RunPro Camp. I cannot even begin to count how many times I have thought back to things I learned that weekend as I have continued my running this year.”


Laureen Kleppin – 3rd Place Overall Female 2014 LA Marathon

 

"I had always planned on running after college but didn't quite know how to pursue it. The RunPro Camp answered all of my questions about finding a training group, sponsor, and agent, as well as advice for getting into races. I wouldn't be where I am right now if it weren't for the experts there who shared their insight."

 

Amanda Winslow, NJNYTC & Oiselle


 

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