Getting Started
some suggestions

One It takes only two or three individuals, or one very stubborn one, to focus the energy to begin a club: an effort which may take some time before the work pays off. Most, if not all Frontrunner clubs are non-competitive but regardless of the circumstances and running level of the individuals involved the first need is to define what the club is about with some sort of Statement of Purpose. This may not even involve anything written but simply an understanding of what sort of club is being formed and the runner it may serve.

Two Schedule a regular fun run, weekly at a minimum and once this run is advertised make sure someone is always there. It is through the group which forms from these weekly runs that the resources in both people and ideas will become focused on all the other issues of club promotion, structure and marketing.

Three Marketing the club and the weekly fun runs is critical. Simply getting the word out that there is a Frontrunners club and explaining what the club is about can be difficult in the beginning. A number of ideas, from established clubs, are discussed in the attached Forum 11 minutes from April 1989. To begin, simplicity seems in order. Place an announcement that a running group is meeting at a certain time and place on a regular basis for a fun run. Ideally this would take the form of an ongoing public notice in a local Gay and Lesbian newspaper, bar, health club, bookstore, church, community center wherever the community might gather in your city. The important issue to remember is that it takes time for word to get around and whether a short notice in a local newspaper or a poster at a bar the message must be delivered week after week.

Four Special Events will do more than anything to create a higher visibility for the club. This may take many forms, some ideas follow:

Five Structure at the onset of a club is typically very informal and should probably stay that way for as long as possible. As growth occurs however organization becomes more important and most clubs have found the need to develop some system of formal structure or leadership. The first step toward club organization might involve the rental of a Post Office Box, an address for potential members to write for more information. The incidental costs to support a small group often are collected at runs as needed. As activities grow in number and size however it may become necessary to collect dues which leads to a checking account. Dues for a new club, from my inquiries, may range from $5 to $15. Attached are constitutions from a few Frontrunner clubs ranging from short and simple to long and complex.

Many existing Frontrunner organizations are structured with the usual officers of President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer. Some however elect Co-directors / Chairs (divided between male and female) and are organized around a more "equal" group or committee. Most clubs have some system of assuring representation of both sexes in the leadership.

Any comments or requests for additional information (copies) may be directed to:

P.O. Box 423
Back Bay Annex
Boston, MA 02117
Attn: Alden Clark