Community Service Efforts

Amy and Brian are both very actively involved in the running community.  We believe that part of our involvement should include community service and outreach efforts.  Here are some of the community service efforts we've completed.

Trail Work:
We annually organized a trail work day (or two) in Amherst, helping to maintain the trails we regularly use and love.  Over the years, we have been joined by folks from 413 Trail Runners and Western Mass Distance Project, and helped complete needed maintenance on about 3-5 miles of trail each year.  This work included removing and cutting back brush, widening the trails, removing hangers around the trail, removing a collapsed bridge, and relocating a few bridges that had been washed away.  This has been an annual tradition since at least 2010.

(Amy and Brian, building a trail at Mt. Tom)

7 Sisters Trail Race:
In 2014, Amy served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Seven Sisters Trail Race, which is a LaSportiva Mountain Cup race.  She coordinated the approximately 30 volunteers to help with registration, parking, aid stations, timing, chip collection, and post-race food.  In 2015, Amy stepped up at co-RD, mostly focusing on race-day logistics.  In 2016, Amy stepped up as Race Director for the Seven Sisters!  Brian is one of the head volunteers on the race day also, helping with set-up, course directing, chip collection, and break-down. 

(Caught in action, Amy directing volunteers at Seven Sisters)

Vermont 100 Race Directing:
In 2015, Amy took over as Race Director of the Vermont 100.  Working with an amazing race committee, Amy was the point person for sponsorship contacts, participant communications, permitting, vendor coordination, and countless smaller tasks.  In 2014, Amy shadowed Julia (the previous RD), including serving on the race committee, to learn as much as possible.  Since 2014, Brian has been an incredible volunteer for the VT100 (while still running each year), helping with the site set-up and break-down, as well as numerous post-race logistics.

(Discussing race course details with Zeke at VT100)

Race Volunteering:
Amy and Brian both regularly volunteer at local races.  Every year, they are regularly seen manning aid stations, sharing homemade potato leek soup to tired runners in the middle of the night, finish line timing, or helping load gear at different events throughout New England.

Vermont 100 Course Clearing:
Prior to taking on Race Director duties, Amy was in charge of the course checking for the VT100 course since 2009.  She led crews throughout the course to check for downed trees and/or other obstacles that need to be taken care of prior to the race day. 

(Beaver dam found flooding the VT100 course, with Zeke Zucker deconstructing the dam, and Amy encountering knee high grass on portions of the VT100 course)

Amy has volunteer coached at the Amherst Middle School cross country team and the Amherst High School cross country ski team.  She weekly attends practice to work with the teams, often pacing them through workouts, answering questions, attempting to inspire them with my stories, and suffering through planks with them.

Running Study Subject:
About once a year, Amy gets roped into being a subject in the PhD thesis study.  Topics have included: VOMax as an indicator for 5k race times, efficiency of heal striking vs. forefoot striking, form improvement with orthotics, and form alterations as runners fatigue.  This is the only time you can get Amy on a treadmill, but it's well worth it to help contribute to science that improves our sport.

(Amy, on the treadmill for her VOMax testing, and heal striking for science)

Used Shoe Collection:
In 2014, Amy organized two used shoe collection drives at Jones 10 Miler and Seven Sisters to offer an opportunity for runners to recycle their shoes for reuse in Africa.  She is partnering with ReRun Shoes for this effort.  Between the two shoe drives, over 600 pairs of shoes were collected.

(At the Jones 10 Miler shoe collection drive - Amy with ReRun Shoes founder)

Learn to Orienteer Sessions:
Amy partnered with local orienteering gurus to organize weekly 'Learn to Orienteer' sessions in the Valley in 2014 & 2015.  Our goal was to teach orienteering skills to local runners (particularly trail runners) and break down the learning barrier for participation in the sport - of course, another important goal is to have fun!  Amy is an intermediate orienteerer, at best, but she enjoys the challenge of the sport and would love to encourage other to give it a try.

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