A Plea to the Western States Board for Transparency and Accountability

Dear Western States Endurance Run Foundation Board of Trustees,

Transparency and accountability should be key principles for all non-profit entities and the Western States Endurance Run Foundation (the Foundation) is no exception. The race is the premiere ultramarathon in the Western Hemisphere; any failure to acknowledge this is based on ignorance or denial. With that status comes great responsibility to both those directly associated with the race and the sport at large. While I have the utmost respect for most, if not all, major decisions the Western States Endurance Run Foundation Board of Trustees (the Board) has made, I have been asked to “make a request, suggestion, or plea directly to the Western States Board of Directors” as part of today’s WSER synchroblog about the race. My suggestion is that the Board increase its transparency and accountability. As part of such an effort, the Board should disclose how each entrant obtains gain entry, the race’s expenses, the Foundation’s vision, and its conflict of interest prohibition. I feel such changes would benefit the Board, the race, and the ultrarunning community.

Two of the three most frequent gripes I hear about the Western States Endurance Run are who receives an entry and how much that entry costs. Those gripes are to be expected given the popularity and cost of the race. I think both gripes can be minimized if the Foundation and the Board were more transparent. Below, I outline why I think additional disclosure regarding the race’s entrants and finances is needed, some thoughts on how to do it, and how I figure it would help. I also touch on how the race should establish and disclose a strategic plan and a conflict of interest statement.

Before I being, I want to reassure everyone that I respect all the Board members and thank you for your efforts. I write this as an outsider who hopes to quiet some of the distractions that surround the race.

1. Race Entry
It’s clear that you gotta be fast, lucky, or well connected to get into the Western States these days. What’s not so clear is exactly how or how many runners gain entry via each of these paths. The Board could clear up much confusion simply by more clearly disclosing why folks get into the race.

As it is, going forward there should be little controversy about who gets in by being fast. You either finish in the top 10 at the preceding WS 100 or finish top 3 in a Montrail Ultra Cup race. In the past, there were occasional grumblings about who should or did get in via the “competitors exemption.” While this will not be a problem in the future as the Board has eliminated the competitors exemption beginning with the 2010 race, some of the previous dissatisfaction would have been lessened by my proposal.

In most years, the vast majority of the WS field is established via luck with most folks getting in via the lottery. That’s great, no issue there. There’s also nothing wrong with the Board selling raffle tickets for future entries; I know my family has bought a couple tickets for me in the past. That said, there seems to be more and more spots going via the raffle, which is still a-okay, but I’d love to know how many spots are determined this way. Sure I could add this up through the year, but why not just post the number of such entrants on the lottery page? Besides, it appears that the 2010 lottery page is not entirely correct when it includes among the automatic entrants “winners from the previous year’s Memorial weekend and race weekend raffles.” In fact there was also a December 2008 raffle that determined three entries for the 2010 race, which a separate raffle page acknowledges.

Ah, to be well connected. In my youth I fought tooth and nail against letting connections give me any sort of advantage… and then I learned that’s how the world works. Western States is no different. Each running club that mans an aid station gets to designate an entrant – what a great way to reward the hard work of the aid station volunteers. Love it! You also can’t fault the Board members for granting themselves automatic entry in exchange for all their hard work. Nine time finishers should, of course, be allowed go for number 10 and I hope to see Gordy and Cowman toe the line for years to come! Line 4 under automatic entry on the lotto pages reads, “Certain sponsor agreements specify a designated runner for the sponsor” and that makes me cringe a little. Not because of a distaste for sponsorship or the Board’s dealings with sponsors. Not at all, but I’d like to know which sponsors get to designate a runner… or runners. I must admit that my own skeptical mind won’t quit the thought of a major sponsor being able to negotiate more than one designated runner, particularly in light of the imprecise or incorrect wording of the raffle entrant provision.

Oh, I almost forgot (really), there are two methods of gaining an entry that have personally bothered me in the past.

The first the encompassed by the line “in addition, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to grant admission to runners whose contributions to the organization of the event have been unusual and substantial.” As with aid station designee and Board member auto-entry, I think an entry into Western States is perhaps the most appropriate way to reward an individual’s exceptional service to the race. However, I think these Board-granted admissions need to be transparent and made before the lottery. I have personally witnessed an individual being extended an offer of admission within 30 minutes not having his or her name drawn in the lottery. This is a farce. In nearly all instances, an individual who is worthy of gaining admission by this route is known prior to the lottery* and should be granted admission accordingly. There’s no need for the show.
[* I acknowledge that on occasion someone could perform such outstanding services between the December lottery and the race so as to warrant the Board granting the runner admission after the lottery.]

The second entry route that bothers me is the “one last chance” lottery. Never heard of it? I hadn’t until I attended the lottery in December 2006. I’d certainly never seen anything on the WSER website about it and throughout the last chance lottery it was discussed as though it was a big secret. Can’t find the last chance lottery on the lottery page? That’s because nothing about this in-person-only lottery is posted there. Ah, but if you look under “Who can attend the lottery, and where is it held?” on the WS FAQ page, you will see “A Bonus Drawing at the end of the Lottery gives those present ‘one last chance’ to be selected.” Come on guys.

So what to do? It’s simple really. Include a column in the entrants list noting the method by which each runner gained entry to the race. In addition, while not necessary if my method of entrant suggestion was adopted, it would also be nice if the prospective number of entrants for each “automatic” category was noted the lottery page. In particular, it would be helpful to know the number of entrants via the Montrail Ultra Cup (both maximum number and historic numbers could be noted), raffles, and sponsorship considerations.

2. Entry Fee
At $295, an entry into Western States doen’t come cheap. In fact, it’s highest entry fee of any American 100 miler. (see Mike Mason’s 100 mile entry fee comparison) Therefore, it’s to be expected that some folks aren’t happy about the cost. That said, I seriously suspect the race would fill at double the price… at least for a year or two. So why sweat it? It is what it is!
< br />For starters, I’m just generally curious to see what exactly adds up to $295. The silver buckles and primo awards can’t be cheap… even if a tad unnecessary. (see iRF’s I don’t need more race schwag post) However, what stuck me is the claim that it costs far more than the entry fee to get each runner from Squaw Valley to Placer High. I can’t remember when, where, or from whom I heard a statement to this effect, but others familiar with the race confirm that they have heard it as well. Such statements don’t quell any misgivings about cost so much as they make folks want to see the numbers. With that being the case, why not share the numbers on the Western States website.

Will sharing the numbers stop folks from bitching? Nope. Will folks stop referring to the race as W$? Not likely. However, it will limit the rumors and speculation. For sure, it will bring discontent regarding what the race’s actual expenses are. However, the community should be able to hold the race accountable and the Board should be open to the community’s input on that issue. People really do care about the race and their “criticism” of actual facts should be seen as tough love, not hate.

3. Organizational Vision
Western States has grown. It has grown enough that the two-time loser rule is now a thing of the past. Not unlike myself, it is at the point where it needs to reflect and reestablish its identity. In a proposal for changes to the WS lottery system (in which I suggested the TTL loser rule’s elimination and the new weighted lotto system) way back in November of 2007, I wrote:

WS needs to determine what it wants to be. It can’t be all things to all people anymore. The Board needs to decide whether to retain the old community as best it can, transform WS into a championship race, or be an inclusive race. Obviously those goals aren’t mutually exclusive, but there are only so many entry slots to work with.

I reaffirm this request. I’d love for the Board to develop a plan for what it hopes to be in 10 years: to have the best 100 mile field in the country (the Boston approach), to be a place where John and Jane Q. Ultrarunners can come run a premiere event (the NYC approach), or a fundraising even for the trail, medical research, and other organizations (the Marine Corps approach). Sure, aspects of each approach can be included in the same event, but without a defining raison d’être it is too easy for an organization to get lost. Only after developing such a plan can the Board focus on achieving it. The Board should also publicly disseminate the resultant document, whatever form it may take, be it mission statement, organizational principles, or a 10 year plan, so that the community may hold it accountable.

4. Conflicts of Interest
This is almost an aside, but while the Board is on a transparency and accountability kick, I’d love to see a conflicts of interest statement developed and publicly posted. I do not know of, have not heard of, nor do I suspect any wrong doing by any former or current member of the Board. That said, the ultrarunning community remains relatively small and the group of individuals with significant influence and/or financial interest is smaller still. All efforts should be made to minimize the potential appearance of any conflict of interest. Merely the appearance of such a conflict could shake the community that I love to the core. I don’t ever want to see that happen and think my brothers and sisters from the trail might agree.

5. Conclusion
My goal above is not to be exhaustive in pointing out where the Foundation could benefit from transparency and accountability; rather, it is to show that like any non-profit organization, it could benefit from being more transparent and more accountable. I’ll conclude my suggestion with the two most relevant principles I found in the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice: A Guide for Charities and Foundations. (pdf of the Guide)

7. A charitable organization should make information about its operations, including its governance, finances, programs and activities, widely available to the public. Charitable organizations also should consider making information available on the methods they use to evaluate the outcomes of their work and sharing the results of those evaluations. [Found in the “Legal Compliance and Public Disclosure” category]

8. A charitable organization must have a governing body that is responsible for reviewing and approving the organization’s mission and strategic direction, annual budget and key financial transactions, compensation practices and policies, and fiscal and governance policies. [found in the “Effective Governance” category]

Sincerely,
Bryon Powell
Western States Endurance Run Finisher 2004, 2005, 2006, and entrant 2011

6. iRunFar Reader Questions/Comments
Rather than my customary bullet-pointed questions, I’ll just open my suggestions to the Western States Board up for discussion. I’d love to hear what you think.

7. The Western States Synchroblog Project
Sprung from the mind of creative genius Craig Thornley is the Western States 100 synchroblog, a series of five Western States 100 simultaneous blog posts leading up to the 2009 race. For this first post, I join the following four bloggers in making a suggestion, plea, or request directly to the Western States Board. See what the other bloggers have to say to the Board:

* Craig Thornley calls for the Board to reconsider its mandatory “volunteer” requirement.
* Andy Jones-Wilkins pens a letter to the WS board suggesting ten course changes.
* Sean Meissner tells the WS Board why Scott Jurek should be added to Gordy and Cowman as perpetual automatic entrants.
* Scott Dunlap asks John Trent what the Western States Board of Trustees is and what they do.

There are 21 comments

  1. Lloyd

    Excellent commentary on the entry process, Bryon, particularly on the lack transparency of special entry.I wonder what your thoughts are on the changing of the "qualification" standard a few years back. Wasn't the 50 mile standard "relaxed" somewhat, resulting in a surged amount of entries? Is there a correlation that has caused the increased demand for the race that wasn't previously present?

  2. Tony Lafferty

    A lot of interesting observations which I am sure the board will review carefully. One comment on race fees…As you are aware the cost of this race can and is different than the ones you describe. Each race has its own permits, safety and aid station costs which contribute to how the fees are determined. Perhaps you can describe these models and determine what a true cost of each event is instead of simply comparing costs of one versus another…Provide the community with this and you have a true way to review costs. Also of note…many of these and other races set aside a portion of each registration fee to be donated to an organization or cause. Without knowing the WS I would suspect a portion of the race fee may go directly to some of the trail maintenance etc…Thats my two cents..but I enjoyed the blog Tony Lafferty..

  3. Trail Goat

    Thanks, Lloyd. I don't have a problem with the relaxed qualification standard… it has not led to the surge in entries. Besides, that's one of the decisions the Board needs to make regarding wheat direction it takes. What's tough is adding both a bunch of elite spots (Montrail Ultra Cup) and more spots at the tail end of the field at the same time.

  4. jhalekas

    Bryon,Thanks for commenting on the entry procedures. I agree that the lack of transparency and consistency here has gotten ridiculous. It used to be that most entry spots were by lottery, with a few "special consideration" spots available to enhance competition by letting a few fast folks in. Then they instituted the Montrail Cup, and seemingly did away with special consideration. Leaving aside the ridiculousness of most of the Montrail Cup races as qualifiers for a 100 mile race, at least the system is transparent. However, the bit about special consideration is now far from transparent. After many complaints last year when people like Tony, myself, and Karl didn't get in, they told us that there is no special consideration for competitive purposes any more. Even now, it is explicitly stated on the ws100 web page that "No special consideration will be given to athletes that would greatly enhance the competitive aspect of the race." Okay, so that's fine. But then suddenly this year we have Jurek, Mackey, and Moehl in the race despite not fulfilling any of the stated qualifying criteria (I know Mackey finished top 3 at a Montrail Cup event, but he didn't take that spot last year so I don't see how he gets it back this year). And there is rumor of a "special considerations meeting". So I can only assume they were all granted "special consideration"? Now, I have no problem with these runners being in the race – indeed, I think they deserve to be there. But how did these folks meet the stated criteria for inclusion in the race??? In addition, there are some other interesting cases where runners suddenly appear on the entrants list. Like Meltzer and Pacheco – I can only assume these are some sort of sponsor deals? Again, I want these guys in the race, but I want to know how they got there. I'm with you. On the entrants list, it should clearly state how every runner got in. And the entry procedures should be clearly stated in advance, and followed. As it is, I can't help but feel that the board just does whatever they want. And I know these are good folks – I don't want to think that. -Jasper

  5. olga

    Bryon, it really awesome to read things not in 'bitching mode", but in professional one. Comes out a lawyer in you. I wonder if you did send it to the Board, or just posting thoughts for yourself? Will you, if you hadn't yet? I am sure the Board, being an Ultrarunners themselves, would like to hear it in this way rather than deal with moaning behind their back. You made me think of quite a few things, thanks for bringing it up. Being not very sofisticated, I missed on most points myself. I'd like to agree with Lloyd on bringing back standards of 50M times – in my first year it was 9hr. It does reduce the number of entrants, you can't argue with that. Makes a goal more desirable. Clarifying the automatic entries would be awesome, although wouldn't change much in terms of lottery folks number, but will prevent from side-entries behind the scene. Sponsors do demand their people to come sideways as well, and I actually disagree with this policy. If they sponsor – aren't they doing it for the good of love to the sport? Their runners should go through the same process as everybody else. At PCT50 we had to go away with allowing sponsors free entries, and it was my idea – tough, but we are all equal. The price…well, that's a whole story I would like to hear as well. Yes, WS100 will fill up no matter what you put out there, but I do want to see the break-down of prices. Volunteers are free, part of awards are donated. Forest Service fees are high (but not thousands, I would hope – how much, really, I would like to know). Search and Rescue. Food. Tents (many brought by running clubs along with volunteers?). Rent of Squaw Valley property and Placer High track (?), school showers. Meical personal is volunteering as far as I heard. What else? help me out here. I am an RD, and besides 50M and a new 6hr, prepping a 100 to have a go. I anticipate 10k to pay for what is listed (likely, in OR it IS cheaper than in CA, but still). I would LOVE to have help with prospected costs! So I can count them in. Good food for thought all around.Why now? And why so many of you guys at the same time? Did I miss on something in the news?Olga, finisher of 2004, 2005, 2006 and entrant of 2008.

  6. Mike Alfred

    Transparency is going to be the word of the year in 2009. The ultramarathoning community deserves to know the answers to some of these questions. Thanks for taking the lead. All that said, I'm looking forward to attending W$ as a spectator this summer. It should be a great show.

  7. Anonymous

    TrailGoat, you have come into your own, this is an outstanding entreaty. The pure democratic principles of fairness, transparency and accountability, all on the eve of a new era in the United States as a whole. Perhaps a socio-political shift of tectonic proportions is occurring throughout the universe…BUT, I doubt it. Whenever there is great demand (for housing, for defense of a country, for love), there will be special considerations of an unfair nature. To ask that these unfair practices be brought to light…perhaps t'would be too much to bear…none of us could perhaps handle the truth. Be careful what you wish for, sometimes the status quo–even if it is complex and subtly shifting with the years–is the best of all possible universes. Still, a very erudite, passionate plea on your behalf…well-written and well-reasoned. If we find out that you are soon to become a Western States Board member yourself, we shall cry foul of the highest nature. – Zen Clown

  8. I am a runner. &quot

    I have two statements.:1) I like the idea of having a set and public number of entrant places just for elites and having this number (say 15) be open up until 2 weeks before race day. This allows a newbie to ultras who happens to be in great shape a shot at entre and running that race of a lifetime when they have the fitness. We all know those great moments come and go quickly. So make it public that you have some slots for elites to continue to make the race great and then 2 weeks out from race day publish this list for all to see.2) The nontransparency way of the past is shady. I can speak to this personnally as I benefited from it in the winter of 2001 prior to my running the event in 2002. As I was notified before the lottery that I was accepted into the race. I assumed my entry was due to having finished 2nd in the 2001 MMT 100, but I was never told why. If they made a public list of who was offered entr and why no one would have reason to be upset. so in closing…continue to be the amzing event…b ut make it transparent and try even harder to let the best of the best toe the line on race day!

  9. Grae Van Hooser

    trailgoat, Excellent writting! Dammit, your posting is getting me all jacked. I'm really trying to not care and just mind my own business. I hope that the board does consider these and the other suggestions being proposed. It might be a hard sell as, although, there appears to be many fine folks on the board, I get the impression of some "high & mighty" vibe. The reason Greg is no longer the RD for WTC & AR? Answer: the board told him they wanted his efforts to be on WS only.I like the suggestion of transparency concerning how each entry gets in. Although I would agree with the other post that said,"careful what you wish for". It was hard for me initially to handle the fact that I personally know of a huband, wife, & their child getting in to the race in the same year. How did they defy those impossible odds? They contribute cash to the race. And that is the sole qualification they have.I feel it is a lot healthier for me to take the position that it is just another race, and I can take it or leave it. If I run it, great, if not, so what?

  10. Paul Charteris

    I agree with the transparency issue. Aside from the fact that its been exciting these last couple of months to see new elite runners added to the list – it's also been confusing. I think that stating ho each entrant got into the race would be certainly help clarify things. Give Lon Freeman the job- he loves that sort of thing :-) No-one has grumbled (yet) about all 25 overseas runner spots being dropped. I assume everyone is OK with it. I agree, it was a terrible system how the overseas runners got in but I do not like seeing a large international favor removed from the race overnight. I will propose an alternative system and write an open letter to the Board. Paul Charteris. Entrant 2008-2009. Pacer 2006, 2007(Entered via Cal1 Aid Station Volunteer Slot – Golden Valley Harriers Running Club)

  11. Trail Goat

    Jasper,I'm glad you agree with most of my sentiments re race entry disclose. My problem sn't so much with WHO gets in, but not knowing how they get in.Olga,I'm so happy that someone recognized that I wasn't in "bitching mode" when making my suggestions. :-) I love the race and make these suggestions more so I don't find myself wanting to defend the race so often, when the Board could easily reduce the amount of distracting chatter. There's no particular reason we made this post now other than Craig wanted to start synchroblogging re WS and this was the topic he chose for the first set of posts.Mike A,With all that I said, I'll be at States pacing this year, hope to get in for next year, and am already an entrant in the 2011 race.Zen clown,Thanks for the kind words. If you are right, then ignorance is bliss.

  12. Trail Goat

    Loomdog,Thanks for sharing your thoughts.Grae,I appreciate the nice words. I try my best. I appreciate your extra tid bits of information even more. Paul C,Glad you agree with the suggestion about stating how folks get in to the race. Best of luck with your oversee-entry message to the Board. Personally, I called for the removal of the 25 foreign-entry slots back before the 2007 lotto. I've never seen an international flavor at the race. In fact, the only foreigners I've met during the race are Simon and Topher, both of whom have spent enough time in the States that I wouldn't necessarily consider them foreign even if their current residences are outside of the United States. (That's no gripe on them, just sharing what I've seen or haven't seen.)

  13. Craig Thornley

    Bryon,Very provocative post. It raises questions that all races might want to pay attention to. I'll address a few of your points.1. Race Entry. Lots of races allow people in through connections. Unfortunately for WS, everybody is watching like hawks. We might be able to be more transparent, but I tend to agree with Zen Clown in that it might not be what we really want in the end. If one of my longtime volunteers, or a good friend, or a significant contributor to the community wants in a full Where's Waldo, I am going to let them in and I'm not sure I want to or have to reveal this. I'm still having to think on this one.3. Organizational Vision. With the astronomical growth of our sport the last few years, lots of races are experiencing growing pains. The sport is not the same as it was, say 5 years ago (before our friend with glistening calves wrote his book). As an example, the Oregon Trail Series used to have only one of seven races fill. Now all our races fill and we've had to deal with lots of new issues. Our series and races could benefit from some "vision discussions."4. Conflicts of Interest. I don't understand what this is about. Is this, for example, to reveal if a board member is sponsored by Montrail? Can you explain more please?7. Synchroblog. This was a fun first one. Thanks for joining. Wasn't sure how it would fly. In the interest of transparency we should reveal that we didn't read each others' posts until they were posted (well, except for AJW who must also tell his kids what they're getting for Christmas two days before Christmas) so it was a surprise to each of us. We just agreed on a general topic, shared the permalink and title the day before, set the publishing time so they were synchronized, and then woke up to see what happened. It was fun.Looking forward to the next one.

  14. Meredith

    This was a great read. I am really impressed by the thought and effort you put in to this and I hope you get some sort of response from the board of WS. I really do not care how people gain entry, but it would be nice to know how people gain entry. How many of the runners that toe the line were lottery and how many were not? When a race has such low odds of getting selected in their lottery, one cannot wonder how else can you gain entry and how does every one there gain entry? Unfortunately I was unable to attend WS this past year (2008) due to it's cancellation and will be unable to accept my spot in 2009 due to pregnancy! LOL. I cannot wait around my whole life for one race ;) Who knows if i will ever get the chance to run WS. That makes me a little sad as the chances of running the race as a common person dwindle drastically year by year.

  15. annette bednosky

    Byron,I appreciate your courage in being direct with questions that many of us have wondered about! I look forward to following any responses. As for me, I have wondered many of those same things…yet also know from my limited RD experience that organizing a race is $$$$$$$$$$$$!!!!!So I have gone forth with trust in my wonderings…I greatly respect the WS 100 Board and organizers,and am greatful for all the experiences they have helped me have, and at the same time, think being able to articulate answers to your provocative questions is a reasonable request of any non profit…yet at the same time, some privacy on the part of the non profit is necessary for functional and political reasons…

  16. Anonymous

    Thanks for initiating this discussion. On the core issue of what kind of race WS is to be, I'm firmly in the camp that belives that this is Boston of ultra running and therefore qualification standards should be raised and more performance based entries provided. I'm thinking more along the lines of the Hawaii Ironman. The Montrail Cup entries are a great start, but how about adding a couple of masters entries.

  17. Trail Goat

    Craig, I regret that I'll have to put off responding to your comment for the time being. It is not being ignored; rather, it is so important that I need more time to think about it and respond thoughtfully and articulately.Thanks, Meredith. I hope you do get to run WS someday… it's an awesome experience. :-)Annette,Thanks for taking the time to write. I couldn't agree with you more about the job the Board has done and how thankful I am for providing me with the experiences I had in '04, '05, and 06' and hope to have many more times in the future. As for disclosing financial info, I agree that it's tricky. I wouldn't expect WS to give a super-detailed breakdown, but more of a broad-stroked account of major expense categories and donations. I would not expect them to disclose sponsorship income and the like. I would not expect smaller races, such as your own to disclose any financial data at the moment. I know if I were to start a race (and I hope to do so!), I wouldn't want to go spreading around the financial details on the web. I think WS is a different beast entirely… it has a Board after all!Anonymous, I do hope my post sparks some discussion among the WS Board and glad it has among the readers here. I'm not even sure what vision I think WS should have (though I lean towards inclusive), just that I think it should have one.

  18. Bryon Powell

    Alright, it's long overdue, but here's my reply to Lord Balls (b.k.a., Craig Thornley).Opening paragraph: I agree that it wouldn't hurt for many race directors to consider the points I raise; however, many of the points are aimed particularly at major races that have a board. I would not expect that I would be transparent if I started a local 50k.1. Craig, see point my comment in the opening paragraph. I completely understand RDs letting a limited number of folks in via a separate VIP entrance. I, too, would do this. I think what irks people is that the WSER has a complex and public set of rules… that include a list of special entry considerations… and there are instances when folks get in via considerations that aren't on this list. They could just as easily add another … "and we'll let a very limited number of folks in to the WSER (or they could name a number) in completely at our discretion.3. I think every RD should look at their organizational vision and do so periodically. Self-assessment, goal determination, and planning are usually crucial to any individual's or group' success. Even an aspiring RD should think long and hard about what type of event they want their event to be not just in the first year but in the 5 year and beyond. :-)4. I REALLY hate going into this one cause I don't want to step on any toes… because I am not aware of there being any problematic conflicts of interest at the moment. That said, I'll restate my point another way: It would be in the race's best interest if the board were to create a rule that bar any Board member from making or advising regarding a decision that involves a company, when the individual has a financial relationship, the reasonably likelihood of a financial relationship, or other significant tie to the company or its competitors. I'll happily explain this in greater to the Board if they want, but that's all I have to say about the matter publicly.7. I love the synchroblog project and can't wait for the next one!-Bryon

  19. Anonymous

    I believe that in many states there exist "sunshine" laws that require non-profits and other organizations to make their business transparent except in areas of privacy issues. Hopefully there can be some transparency without having to resort to lawsuit, etc. Seems that the race is dependent on runners – not the other way round and thus should have no issue with being transparent.

  20. Anonymous

    I have looked all over the WS website and can't seem to find any information about it being a non-profit. As a matter of fact I do not think it is. Anyone have any information or know for a fact one way of another about this.

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