Second Annual Trail Running Conference announced

TC & AK 2013 Conference
Event Director Terry Chiplin with Ultra runner Anton Krupicka at the 2013 Conference

Event Director Terry Chiplin has announced that the 2nd Annual Estes Trail Ascent – Trail Running Conference will be held October 9-11, 2014, hosted at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. After a successful inaugural Conference in June 2013, attendees and fans of the sport were canvassed to help determine the program for 2014. One key change is that the Conference now covers three days, rather than two. The first day is now dedicated to Trail Race Directors, while days two and three are for Trail Runners. Chiplin adds, “It was clear that we needed to split up sessions so that the individual needs of the two groups could be met more effectively.”

Thursday October 9 will feature workshops on a number of key subjects that Trail Race Directors have identified as important to help develop Trail Races in the USA. Subjects include:  how to attract and retain sponsors, promotion and marketing, creating a green, eco-friendly event, and public use of the land and permitting. The day is expected to start at 9.00 am, and conclude at 6.00 pm – lunch and refreshments are included, and cost for the Trail Race Director day is $125.00. Trail Race Directors also have the option to stay on for the Trail Runner days at a discounted rate.

Friday October 10 & Saturday October 11 focuses on Trail Runners. Both days feature outdoor participatory workshops and group runs focusing on technique, uphill/downhill running, form, and stretching. There will be an opportunity for participants to try out gear and products during these sessions. Additionally, there will be in-classroom workshops on subjects ranging from trail maintenance and sustainability to trail shoe development. There will also be a greater variety of guest speakers, one criticism of the 2013 inaugural event.  The Conference will partner again with ATRA (American Trail Running Association), with the goal of helping to promote and develop Trail Running in the USA.  Something Chiplin also hopes to achieve in 2014, is to find ways to make trail running more accessible and perhaps more relevant for a larger populous. “At this year’s conference Adam Chase (Running Times trail guru and co author of The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running), spoke about making trail running sexy,” said Chiplin, “For 2014, I’d like to work with attendees to determine how to make trail running more attractive. We need to find ways to get kids involved, and to change the image of trail running from being a tough mountain–based sport to something that can be accessible and attractive to everyone.”

Jax Fall trail

The 2 days devoted to Trail Runners will also include an expo, featuring manufacturers with Trail Running related products, and service providers, expanding on the successful format at the 2013 inaugural event. Interested sponsors can see more details on the opportunities available at this exciting event at this link. Exhibitors in 2013 included Ultimate Direction, New Balance, Pearl Izumi, Salomon, Nathan, Ultraspire, and VFuel.

Fall is a perfect time to host the event in Estes Park, with Fall colors at their peak, fresh mornings and bright sunny days. Temperatures for that weekend in the last few years have been around 60F. The image on the left is a runner on a local trail in early October 2011. The goal for the three days is to attract 40 Trail Race Directors for day 1, 150 Trail Runners for day 2, and 250 Trail Runners for day 3.

The Conference finishes with a Trail Race on Sunday October 12 on a local trail in Estes Park. Although the trail race has a limited entry of 100 runners, there is plenty of opportunity to spectate or volunteer to help out with the race. The course includes 5.9 miles of single track trails and dirt road boasting 1800 feet of elevation gain with a low point of 8500 feet and a high point of just over 9000 feet. The event is organized by the Estes Park Running Club, that also presents the Estes Park Marathon, and other running events in the Estes Park area.

Accommodation is available at a discounted rate at The Stanley Hotel for Conference attendees – other accommodation options are also available in the Estes Park area. Contact Event Director Terry Chiplin for more details.

The Conference is the result of a partnership between two Estes Park based organizations – Estes Park Medical Center provides s a 25-bed critical access acute care facility with a 24-hour emergency department, 24-hour ambulance service, emergency air transport, medical/surgical services, obstetrics, home health care, and hospice. Active at Altitude provides experiences that educate, inspire and empower an active, healthy lifestyle.

Registration is open now – full details can be found at the website for the Estes Trail Ascent – Trail Running Conference.  The Conference is a must attend event for Trail Runners and Trail Race Directors, and we look forward to seeing many of you in October 2014!

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