The 2015 Trail Running Conference builds on the success of this year’s event, seeing a 50% growth in attendance over the inaugural Conference in 2013, attracting nearly 150 attendees. This year’s event added a day devoted to trail race directors, with input from expert panelists on a broad spectrum of subjects trail race directors had identified were most important to help develop sustainable, successful Trail races. Nearly 30 race directors representing more than ten states attended this segment – the first event of it’s kind in the U.S.
Further developments from 2013 included the addition of fun runs featuring demo shoes from New Balance, HOKA, and Altra, with nearly 70 runners taking part; an expanded vendor expo; a Trail Running Film Festival at the Reel Mountain Theater that presented two Trail Running movies including the U.S. premiere of MUT Runner from top Team USA’s Sage Canaday; and new sessions ranging from trail running & spirituality, to lifelong running. One panel session on each day of the Conference was broadcast live over the Internet and was watched by viewers across the U.S., and from as far afield as Europe.
Interactive workshops were another new addition for this year’s Conference, with high energy input from Dr. Aaron Florence and Physical Therapist Valerie Higgins from Estes Park Medical Center on stretching and flexibility, and Adam St.Pierre from Boulder Center for Sports Medicine on running form. EPMC, a foundational Conference partner, were also well represented with meaningful and practical insights from Dr. Frank Dumont, Dr. Scott Taylor, and Dr. Aaron Florence, all taking part in speaker panels.
The event is held in partnership with the American Trail Running Association (ATRA), a national non-profit organization that represents and promotes trail and mountain running. ATRA Executive Director Nancy Hobbs, said: “The solid foundation laid in the inaugural year provided a wonderful stepping stone to an even better year two. There was a more diverse group of attendees representing event directors to fans of the sport. The discourse was positive, engaging, and thought-provoking. The addition of group runs with elites, interactive sessions, and a movie night rounded out the program which included a variety of sessions with well-informed speakers all of whom were excellent ambassadors of trail and mountain running. Year three will certainly deliver an even better program and we at ATRA encourage everyone who loves our sport to make their plans now to attend next October.”
The Conference included a prize draw to raise funds for ATRA – the prize draw, combined with a portion of proceeds from the Trail Running Film Festival, secured just over $1000 for ATRA. The image left shows Adam Chase, President of ATRA, receiving the donation check from Event Director, Terry Chiplin.
The Film Festival also raised nearly $150 for Estes Valley Recreation & Park District. Skyler Rorabaugh, Executive Director of EVRPD is also pictured receiving a donation check from Terry Chiplin.
Terry Chiplin, Event Director, and owner of Active at Altitude, comments: “The conference exceeded my expectations. Last year was very good, but this year was fantastic. We took attendee comments to heart from last year and, based on the feedback we received, created a more comprehensive program which included all facets of the sport from trail running technique to trail race directing. We plan to harness all of the excitement and enthusiasm from this year’s conference and work toward year three when, in partnership with ATRA, we will host the event again in Estes Park, CO, America’s Trail Running Destination, in October 2015.”