Present: Keith Barrett and Kensington, Toby Brown, Vicki Copeland, James Daniel, Donna Davis, Chad & Ginny Dufrene, Sheila Eaton, Pete Edwards, Heather Hood, Ben Hughes, Audrey Jackson, Ashley Larson, Mitzie & Terry Lawhead, Karen Lott, Erika Miller, Todd Pohnert, Becky Ryder, Walt Struthers, Ryan Tickle, Candy Voss, Kelly Walch, Pamela Willmore
President Audrey Jackson began the meeting with introductions and a welcome to new and returning members. With a growing Pine Belt Pacer membership, Audrey invited those present to contribute to a discussion of overall club mission and goals. Those present agreed that the club should continue to grow in numbers while promoting fitness, running and walking at all levels. The group also agreed that the three established Pacer events (Steam Whistle 12K, Hobble Then Gobble 5 mile Run and Labor Your Legs 5k) are the races the group will actually sponsor. Advice and assistance may be offered to other groups as possible. Becky pointed out that the group as grown from 12 members more than ten years ago to a group of more than 300 runners and walkers representing a wide variety of ages and abilities. Audrey will use the ideas from this discussion to develop goals for the upcoming year.
Audrey also plans to conduct a member survey to identify interests and seek additional input. For example, members at the meeting asked that the survey include a question about the best day to hold Steam Whistle 12K (New Year's Day or the Saturday before) and whether Pacers would interested in an adventure run.
The group discussed possible alternatives to the Gran Prix series. At a previous meeting the Pacers agreed to forgo the Gran Prix in 2012 while looking at other ways to celebrate outstanding runners.
Plans for the annual Pacer Banquet will be handled by Jim Coll. The event will probably be held in the next 6 to 8 weeks, the exact date to be announced. Members present were encouraged to volunteer for the banquet committee. Toby suggested that members wear 2011 race medals to the event.
Audrey plans to use a newsletter on the website to help keep members informed about club news. Audrey also reminded members to contribute race PRs to Ginny Dufrene who maintains these records for the Pacers.
Social chairs Keith Barrett and Pam Willmore discussed the groups' interest in more social events. Past events like a downtown run associated with Christmas events, a Halloween run in costume were discussed as possible events. A 2012 Track on Tap series was suggested or a group run followed by a potluck meal.
Becky reported as Longleaf Trace liaison. Plans for the nature center, to which the Pacers have contributed, continue. Pacer member Tom Smith is heading up the graffiti removal effort and Donna has put some Pacer information up on the board at Jackson Road (other members are welcome to add to the display).
The Pacers now have a storage unit to house the trailer. This will allow the trailer to be used for the transport of race day supplies only, with other items kept in the storage unit.
Becky and Ginny showed a shirt sample for a Pine Belt pacer shirt. Pre-orders will be taken, using forms Deborah is placing in the membership renewal envelopes.
Walt volunteered to contact and update the Pacer sponsor list.
The discussion turned to other races planned in the area. A half marathon on the Trace, sponsored by Hattiesburg Clinic to benefit ARC was discussed by new member Heather Hood. Sheila Eaton announced that the 5k for Relay will be held in Petal on April 28th. Ben Hughes plans on holding the Mighty Magnolia Tri on the 2nd Saturday in October.
Charles Jackson, Ashley Larson and James Daniel are planning a 5k sponsored by Raise Your Pints beer club and the Keg and Barrel.
The group agreed that the Pacers should use events like these to promote the club, distributing membership information and talking about the group with other runners.
Several Pacers will be running the Mardi Gras Marathon - check Facebook for a plan to meet afterwards.
As for Pacer events, Toby is considering serving as Labor Your Legs race director once again. Other issues to be determined in regard to this event include the establishment of a sponsorship committee to assist the race director and a decision on the charity to receive proceeds.
The group discussed future business meetings and ideas for increasing attendance. In 2012, the meetings will include a chance to learn from the expertise of other members on a variety of fitness topics. These mini in service programs will be held prior to the actual business meeting.
The next meeting will be held as part of the annual banquet, date to be announced.