Candidate Statement: Keith Knipling

I’ve been a member of the VHTRC since 1999 and, over the years, have have participated in most club events both as a participant or volunteer. I have served on the Board the past two terms, from 2013-2017.

The VHTRC just celebrated 25 years of promoting trail running in northern Virginia, Maryland, and DC. Our marquee races are top-notch, our innumerable low-key no-cost runs are unique and exemplary, and we now give back to the great outdoors through monthly trail-work outings. Our RDs and volunteers deserve the credit for carrying out this mission — not the Board.

The Board’s job is less glamorous and is, in many respects, not to screw it up (among other things, ensure that we don’t spend all the money and don’t get sued). But the Board can actively do more, and I see two immediate challenges it must address.

Longtime Board members, Anstr Davidson and Alan Gowan, are stepping down, creating a considerable leadership and experience vacuum.

A second issue is with our online presence. In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the Club website is not the central hub of information that it once was. (Do yourself a favor right now and peruse the old archives and read Anstr’s commentary on the news of the day or John Dodds’ musings on various minutiae.) Now it seems that our story is being lost to the digital ether. And then there’s the listserv and the (unofficial) Facebook group. How well do the club’s online resources serve its members, and the broader trail running community, in 2018 and beyond?

Fortunately there are many good candidates running for the Board, all of whom will bring new ideas and new energy to the leadership of the club. My biggest asset is that I’ve been around long enough to understand the VHTRC’s heritage and how some things work. I’ll try not to screw it up.