Ultrarunners have passion and grit. I am comfortable with that as a statement of fact. Apply those same traits to the creation of a non-profit running organization, and wow…
Just over two months ago, some 15 runners gathered to discuss the creation of a new club. The meeting was somewhere between hectic and chaotic. Amazingly, we quickly settled on a concise mission, “to inform and inspire mountain runners in Truckee-Tahoe.” A name would not come for weeks later.
We were all coming from different places and several of us met only for the first time that night. Mike Tebbutt tells the story of how the ball got rolling on his end. Peter Fain brought his vision for a signature 100k race. Others came on different paths.
On my end, I wasn’t looking for new running buddies. I was motivated by the idea of an organization that could provide credible representation for runners in the Truckee-Tahoe area. I’d like to see more ultras produced here. I want to share my passion and to help others find joy running on our beautiful mountain trails.
After the meeting, the difficult club name discussion continued over email. Peter put a stake in the ground and I took it seriously: let’s have this thing up-and-running by May 1. We finally came to consensus on Donner Party Mountain Runners, so things could start to move forward. In the meanwhile, our new Facebook group attracted hundreds of runners in the first week, providing a place for runners to find new friends, new places, and new times of day to run.
Hours and days were spent researching the legal process for incorporating a public non-profit, creating bylaws, appointing an initial Board of Directors. And then lots of techie work needed to happen… the Donner Party Mountain Runners website, a signup process, calendar, email and tools for the volunteer Board of Directors.
Now here we are on April 21… ten days ahead of schedule. Donner Party Mountain Runners is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a member of the Road Runners Club of America. We are now accepting members and have some great programs in the works. Please help us by becoming a FOUNDING member today, for as little as $35.
As for me, I found something much more than new running buddies. I rediscovered the excitement of creating something persistent with the most amazing, dedicated, responsive, passionate, and down-right gritty group of people I’ve ever met!