Why I ran for the TRL Board – and why you should, too!

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By Janne Heinonen

Four years ago, I was walking to my car, elated from the last Stumptown cross country race, contemplating the season and how much it meant to race with the Lizards. A teammate approached, suggesting that I consider running for the TRL Board. Over the past year, I had become a regular at Tuesday track workouts and in the fall, Saturdays on the grass and the cross country series. To me, the Board seemed like running nobility, holders of unknowable wisdom about how to run the club. What could I possibly add? Still, I was grateful for the TRL running community and was interested in contributing what I could. So I agreed to run and later joined the Board as Vice President, then as Secretary.

After four years on the TRL Board, almost two during the pandemic, my view of the Board is quite different but no less positive. Several Board members bring many years of experience and help shape the backbone of the club. But there is no secret running club manual, no running nobility, no roadmap to the future. Nothing made this more plain than the pandemic. What makes the Board work is that its members love running. They are committed to supporting the running community because they recognize how important it is in each runner’s life. They are committed to celebrating every success – whether it’s qualifying for the Olympic marathon trials, a 5k PR, or venturing out of a warm house and into an atmospheric river.

Through the pandemic, the Board navigated ever-changing restrictions and considerations for keeping our members safe, while aiming to provide virtual events and social connection to keep the running community moving and healthy. As in-person races, events, and group runs resume, the club seeks to adapt to the new realities and grow back stronger. To do this, the Board needs ALL voices: new and “experienced”, competitive and social, trail and trail-averse, ultramarathoners to milers. Please consider running for the TRL Board!

In case you are not yet convinced, here are some specific reasons you should consider running:

  1. You love TRL and want to contribute to making the club work
  2. You are frustrated with TRL and are willing to work together to improve it
  3. You are interested in learning how club decisions are made
  4. You want to ensure that your perspective in represented
  5. You have ideas for new club events or resources
  6. You want to connect with other club members

Cover photo: Joel Kramer, Wikimedia commons.

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