Cherry Blossom, Inc. Board of Directors and Race Committee
October 17, 2005 Meeting
Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel
The first meeting for the 2006 race began at 7:00 pm following dinner and distribution of random
prizes. Becky Lambros modeled the women’s warm-up suits that will be provided this year, which
The following committee members were present: Phil Stewart, Becky Lambros, Anna Berdahl, Irv
Newman, Jean Arthur, Nina Trocky, Bruce Lung, Michelle Carter, Steve Esmacher, Candice
Mothersille, Danny Calloway, Bob Dalrymple, Nancy Betress, Steve Solbeck, Arlene Solbeck,
Muffet Chatterton, Mark Newman, Rachel Miller, Rick Freedman, and Kathy Freedman.
Phil Stewart displayed the t-shirt art, and distributed minutes of the wrap-up meeting for the 2005
race. He announced that the credit unions have signed on as title sponsors through the 2011 race!
He distributed a copy of the credit union annual report, which highlighted the race and the
fund-raising efforts on behalf of Children’s Miracle Network.
Phil said that this is the annual meeting of Cherry Blossom, Inc., and elections are held every two
years. This is an election year. He noted that Gary Ceponis has stepped down following his move to
North Carolina, although he will be present on race weekend. Phil said that criteria for board
membership are that a person must serve in a team captain position, and have served two years on
the race committee. He proposed that Brian Laush and Candice Mothersille be elected to serve as
board members. Mark Newman moved, seconded and unanimously adopted, that Brian Laush and
Candice Mothersille be elected.
Bob Dalrymple moved, seconded and unanimously adopted, that the following persons be elected
to serve as officers for Cherry Blossom, Inc.: Denny Steinauer, President; Anna Berdahl, Vice
President; Irv Newman, Secretary-Treasurer; Becky Lambros, at-large, and Phil Stewart, Event
Irv Newman distributed copies of the 2006 race budget, and noted that it is a working document. He
urged all committee members to review it in terms of their areas of responsibility. He noted that the
budget has increased by $50,000 over the 2005 budget, and that there is a $43,000 increase in net
assets. The race expects to register 14,500 people to achieve 10,000 finishers. It is hoped that
more people will ride Metro to the race this year, which will result in additional revenue. He
highlighted various changes to the budget, including the redesign of the brochure, increased
postage and printing costs for the brochure, the increased support for the 5K race from Chris
Tatreau, travel costs to send both the top male and female runners to Japan, the need to replace
certain medical supplies, additional bibs, t-shirts for the 5K runners, warm-up suits for staff, and an
additional vehicle for the lead women. Phil added that the organization is in a position to conduct
the race for two years without a title sponsor.
Jean Arthur requested and received permission to do research on a better way to clean the roads at
the water stations.
Becky Lambros recommended that the tent for elite athletes be upgraded with carpeting to keep
those runners out of the mud that is typical on race day. Mark Newman suggested that the medical
tent also needs carpeting.
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Phil noted that Brian Laush will need to check the dollar amount designated for rental equipment
Bob Dalrymple requested information on motorcycle insurance.
Phil requested a golf cart with a gator for the medical tent, and requested that Irv follow up on that
With regard to the number of porta-johns, Phil noted that the race increased the number from 85 to
120 in 2005, but people still complained. He suggested that the number at the turnaround be
increased by one or two. Jean requested more at Thompson’s Boat House, and Phil suggested that
the number be increased from two to four at each place. He noted that the 5K will not affect the
need for porta-johns, and that the 5K will be capped at 400.
With regard to the upgraded 5K, Phil explained that the impetus for change comes from the
increasing number of people in the advance start. The advance start was originally designed for
people who are physically challenged and need additional time to complete the course. Now there
are walkers in the advance start. The number of participants has grown from 12 or so to 35 and
then 70 in 2005. Starting that many slow people in front of the pack of runners causes problems and
results in complaints from runners. He will tell walkers to enter the 5K; anyone slower than 2:20 will
be encouraged to enter the 5K instead. The 5K will now be a bonafide race, with all the amenities of
the ten-mile race, including t-shirts and awards. He plans to admit 300 5K participants, and have
100 slots for moving people out of the ten-mile race. The 5K will have a $15 entry fee. The ten-mile
entry fee will remain the same for the third year. Steve Esmacher will have more support and an
independent timing entity, but it won’t be timed with the ChampionChip. Packet pick-up will be in the
same place as the ten-mile race, and prizes will be given out at the awards ceremony.
Nina Trocky said that runners who are injured want to participate and should be accommodated in
the early start. Bob Dalrymple agreed that the race director should be tough on advance starters,
and Bruce Lung suggested that they be required to produce a medical certificate. Anna Berdahl
suggested that they be required to write a letter to the race director with their application as seeded
runners must do. Nina noted that that would rule out people who become injured in the last few
weeks before the race. Phil said he will attempt to develop a definition of “physically challenged.”
Phil stated that there are problems with slower runners lining up inappropriately in the starting
corral, so the 2006 race will have color-coded bibs to designate appropriate starting corrals for
runners based on their predicted time. We will start with three large corrals and see how that works.
More may be needed for the 2007 race.
By motion of Bruce Lung, seconded and adopted, the budget for the 2006 race was approved.
Phil Stewart reviewed some broad initiatives that are being taken in the 34th running of the race. He
distributed a draft of the brochure, which has undergone a total redesign after being unchanged for
many years, and which will be a glossy, four-color brochure with photos. He requested that
committee members review it for content and send him any requested changes by mid-week.
Phil said that the 2006 race will feature an advance start for about 30 elite women at 7:50 am. This
will result in a separate, more visible race for them, and greater TV coverage. The race will be able
to announce in advance that a world record will be set, as there has never been an all-women’s
ten-mile race. A planning meeting was held recently with affected committee members, and there
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are a lot of angles to consider. It is expected that the first runner across the finish line will be a
woman as there is usually a six-minute difference between the men’s and women’s winning times.
He said that the race opening ceremonies will take place prior to the women’s start.
Kathy Freedman noted the need to close the road earlier to accommodate set-up of the start/finish
lines and corrals. Phil requested that she provide specific information as to the time needed.
Anna Berdahl noted the need to inform runners that the opening ceremonies will take place prior to
the women’s advance start so they don’t respond to the National Anthem by running to the start line.
Phil said that the 5K participants will be able to register on-line, and he will consider whether they
will only be allowed to enter on-line.
Phil noted that PayPal will be used to facilitate purchase of Cherry Blossom merchandise on-line,
rather than setting up a separate merchant account, which would cost about $4,000 for the
software. Muffet Chatterton suggested that merchandise be available when people register for the
race, and that that be included in the blast e-mails.
Phil said that a contingency planning committee will be created and meet during the next month to
look at things that could go wrong and formulate plans to minimize the decisions that have to be
made and to be as prepared as possible. Bob Dalrymple suggested that the permit request include
a bomb-detection dog to check the staging area.
Michelle Carter said that a new volunteer form has been posted on the Web site, and volunteers will
choose where they want to work and receive an instant confirmation and instructions on where and
when to report, as well as an ending time. She sends out 500 to 700 e-mails each year, and people
respond individually and raise questions. This should reduce that volume of e-mail messages
somewhat. In response to suggestions from Bruce Lung as to how to communicate with his
volunteers, Michelle requested that he put his suggestions in writing.
Phil said that there will be a subcommittee meeting on merchandise in the next few weeks. Muffet
requested ideas from committee members. Rick Freedman said that he and Kathy would like to
meet with Phil in the next few weeks to discuss a number of matters.
Phil said that the on-line registration will open at 10:00 am on Monday, December 12. About fifteen
to twenty percent of the entries will be accepted via mail. The brochure mailing will go out about one
week before on-line registration opens.
Steve Esmacher said that he has made a list of questions and things that will be needed for the
upgraded 5K, and will send the list to Phil.
Nancy Betress requested information on the awards structure for the 5K, and suggested that the
awards ceremony for the 5K be started early to keep people on site.
George Banker said that he will talk with Rick and Kathy Freedman to tighten the team registration
dates, as there is still a lot of abuse in that system. He will not allow homemade forms, and will
insist on having the e-mail address of the team captains. He will only communicate with the
captains. This should allow Phil and the Freedmans to spend more time on the Capitol Hill teams
and less with the running clubs, which are the biggest problem.
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Candice Mothersille said that more clear plastic bags are needed for 2006, and requested that a
supply be ordered just for bag check rather than relying on bags left over from other functions. She
also requested that she have a back-up person in case of an emergency. Irv Newman expressed
the view that the bag check system is unduly complex, and mentioned some self-serve containers
he saw at another race. Jean Arthur noted that the weather at this race is always cold and wet, and
suggested that runners be permitted to keep their warm-up clothing until they are comfortable taking
it off, and throw it into a container at the start. Phil requested that Irv contact the Twin Cities
Marathon and obtain information about their system.
Rachel Miller said that Drs. Fine and Demarest will return as co-medical directors. She will talk to
Michelle and suggest changes in the volunteer form for the Web site. She would like to have the
same five ambulances she had this year. The hats for the medical team worked well, and she would
like to have more spotters. She noted that the minutes of the wrap-up meeting discussed moving
the medical tent, but she emphasized the need to have it close to the finish line. Rick Freedman
suggested moving it to the river side of the road. Phil suggested that having a golf cart with gator
will help if the medical tent is moved. Rachel said that some of the medical supplies were left out
overnight this year and need to be replaced. She requested that more ice be provided this year, that
the heater be provided again, and suggested that Mylar blankets be provided for all runners at the
finish. She also endorsed the idea of some kind of flooring for the medical tent.
Phil said that the race will initiate drug testing for the elite athletes this year as part of the PRRO
circuit. A lot of testing in the running industry is done out of competition, and there is no testing
among non-marathon events. The Professional Road Racing Organization has taken the lead on
this issue and will do drug testing at its own expense. Representatives of the U.S. Anti-Doping
Agency will conduct the tests for performance-enhancing drugs, and volunteers will shadow them.
He said that he, Bill Orr, and Irv Newman will go to the New York City Marathon to observe the
testing procedures there.
Nina Trocky said that she has a floor plan for the expo based on the actual layout from the 2005
race, which changed somewhat on race weekend. She has added four volunteers to help with
crowd control, to help Steve Solbeck inside the hotel, and to help with customer service for the
vendors. They will also pick up trash and flyers that are dropped. She said she may need some
volunteers on Friday, but perhaps she can use some committee members who are present in the
With regard to a fight that broke out between two participants this year, Phil said that he has sent a
registered letter to both parties asking them to sign a statement that they will not engage in such
behavior or be barred from the race. He has checked with his legal advisors and is on solid ground
in this regard. He will remind them of their pledge before on-line registration opens.
With regard to the disappearance of some shirts in 2005, Phil suggested that an “equipment
manager” is needed.
Nina suggested that vendors be given check-in times, and be told that all set-up activity must stop
by a certain time Friday evening. She requested two radios for Friday evening. She recalled that
one year name tags were provided to committee members, and said that name tags are good in
terms of hospitality and to provide additional information resources.
Bruce Lung discussed problems he has encountered because his course marshal volunteers do not
show up on time or have difficulty finding their check-in point. He said it may be necessary to send
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people directly to their posts in the first two to three miles. This will work fine if they are repeat
volunteers. He will be able to check on them and supplement as needed as the bus goes down
Independence Avenue. Becky Lambros suggested that his number of volunteers be increased to
counteract the no-show rate.
Phil said that the storage shed is in good shape, with areas being designated for merchandise and
medical supplies. He urged MCRRC and Capital Running Company to take some of the cases of
Anna Berdahl said that some thought needs to be given to the children’s race. With the early start
for women and more time needed to clear the start line, the time to conduct the kids run is
shrinking. If we have good weather in 2006, more kids will come out. She suggested, as an
alternative, that the kids race be conducted on the 5K course, and that the 5K start be delayed to
accommodate the kids first. Extra course marshals will be needed. About 20 minutes are needed for
the kids race, but if it is a nice day and more show up, more time will be needed. She also
suggested that consideration be given to returning to the one-mile distance for the kids, which has
been shortened in recent years. The staging area for the kids can be the same as for the 5K. She
said that she will make a site visit and look at the layout.
Irv said that he will talk to the hotel about providing an outside phone line for credit card sales on
Kathy Freedman noted that the truck parking lot that was used last year at the Hyatt is no longer
available, and suggested that parking meters on Crystal Drive behind the race hotel be bagged and
reserved for the large vehicles.
Danny Calloway said that this will be his last race. He is preparing for retirement, and will be moving
out of the area. He has enjoyed working with the race committee.
Bob Dalrymple noted that the minutes of the wrap-up meeting referred to a problem that resulted in
sending some of the shuttle buses into Virginia, and discussed various solutions with
Michelle Carter. With regard to motorcycle insurance, Phil noted that the issue was clarified in 2005,
and he is covered. Bob determined from Phil that the same five motorcycles will be needed this
Danny reminded committee members to be vigilant in observing their surroundings and to report
any suspicious activity to the police.
Irv thanked the committee for their expressions of sympathy upon the recent death of his daughter,
and Mark’s sister, Barbara.
Phil noted that the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 16, 2006, at the Ramada hotel
The meeting adjourned at 9:25 pm
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Rick Freedman, Race Administrator