Annual Membership Information
WCRC is transitioning to an annual membership!
A long standing element of the Winners Circle Running Club is the concept of “lifetime membership”. While the Board of Directors recognizes the importance of honoring the traditions of the club, it is equally as important to ensure we have a club that is sustainable in the long term and provides ongoing value to its active members and the surrounding communities.
The value of WCRC membership is significant. As a group, we provide to our members:
· Free entry to team events like the Mill Cities Relay and Lynn Woods Relay
· Opportunities for waivers to events like the Boston Marathon
· Support to Boston runners with subsidized coach bus private transportation
· Cash stipends to member hosts of long runs and social events like cookouts
· Out-of-the-box group runs like the Fugowee and Predict Your Time
· A free singlet to every new member and a wide variety of additional branded clothing at cost
· Subsidized holiday party and other fun events like the Halloween Pub Run
· Coached workouts to help those who want to improve their technique or speed
· Free pizza and beer generously provided by the Winners Circle Sports Bar
There are so many ways that the club gives back to its membership – we need to ensure we can continue to provide all of this… and more!
The primary way that the club has raised revenue over the years has been through its races. Over the last several years, many factors have led to decreased revenue – including but not limited to: inflationary pressures on expenses, increasing competition of races vying for runners, and COVID-19 forcing cancellation of events. The club is not immune to these external pressures. It is much more challenging to put on a profitable race that meets runner expectations and margins are quickly shrinking as a result. While revenues are contracting, the expenses to operate the club and provide member benefits are increasing namely due to inflationary pressures. As a singular example, we were unable to secure a club hotel room for the most recent Boston Marathon due to extreme price hikes in room rates. None of this is intended to say that the club is ‘in trouble’ financially – we are simply being realistic about the economic issues at hand and planning ahead to ensure we remain sound. Strategic planning is an important function of the Board of Directors.
Having said all of that, in a June 2022 market study of MA and Southern NH running clubs all but 2 clubs (1 being WCRC) were noted to have assessed a nominal annual membership fee to support club operations and subsidize member benefits. The Board has voted to follow suit and join the majority.
Beginning January 1, 2023 the Winners Circle Running Club will institute an annual membership fee to maintain active membership in the club. The membership options have been defined as follows:
-Family: $40 *Family memberships include an individual, their spouse or partner, and minor children in the same household
-Age 70+ or Hall of Fame Members: FREE
Members of the Board are setting up an online subscription service where you can sign up for your 2023 membership and enter payment information for next year. We will open this up and make it available as soon as possible so members can pre-plan for the January effective date. The new software also allows us to better manage our email lists and provide relevant communications to active members.
It is our hope that you see the value of club membership and will choose to renew in 2023 and beyond. Should you choose not to, please know that our monthly meetings will continue to be open for former members and/or prospective members to attend. Other special events and value-added activities will be for active members only and noted as such.
We sincerely thank you for your ongoing dedication to this organization and are excited to open this next chapter of club membership moving forward.
WCRC Board of Directors
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the Board of Directors responding to member feedback regarding this change?
As you can imagine, the Board is receiving a mixture of responses relative to the change from a one-time
membership fee to annual membership fees effective January 2023. Directors are reviewing all
messages as they are received and are also sharing feedback from in-person interaction with members.
Whether positive or constructive, the feedback helps shape the Board’s decision-making and strategic
planning initiatives and we thank you for continuing to share your thoughts and ideas.
Will the club provide additional opportunities for member engagement now that there is an annual fee?
Engagement is a major driver of the Board’s strategic plan. Funding is one part of the equation to
support engagement opportunities, but leadership is another important ingredient! Being a member of
the Board is NOT required to organize a club event, schedule group runs, etc. In fact, the Board budgets
for cash stipends to members to incentivize additional activities and would love to have non-board
members participating in event organization and race directing. If you have ideas and want to start a
new cadence or type of activity, let’s talk. With active membership, there is a lot we can do together.
What are the next steps in this process?
The governing document of the WCRC is its bylaws. As such, the Board of Directors will be voting bylaw
changes effective January 1, 2023 to reflect the changes in how we collect membership fees. Between
10/1/22 and 12/31/22 an online subscription service will be implemented to register active members for
the coming year and to collect payments.
If I qualify for free active membership (age 70+ or Hall of Fame) how do I register myself?
The new online subscription service will have options available for those who qualify for free active
membership to register themselves on an ongoing basis.
How can I remain aware of club activities without renewing an active membership?
The community that we’ve built over the years is not going away! You can remain engaged with us on
social media, email, via our website, and in person. If you do not unsubscribe, you’ll remain on our large
email distribution list that is not exclusive to active members and will continue to receive
communications from us.
This document is a work in progress. Come back for more updates!