Here’s an update on the state of the Barefoot Runners Society. The team that has been managing the site and organization are in the process of setting up the new site. There are two significant hurdles:
- The old hosting software (Drupal) sucked, which was a frequent complaint. Unfortunately it is difficult to move anything from Drupal (further demonstrating its suckiness quotient). It was important to everyone to preserve all member forum and blog posts. I was originally in favor of simply starting anew, but TJ fought to keep it. She felt all the contributions were a diary of each member’s deeply personal transition story. Needless to say, she convinced me.
- There is an unfortunate legal debate over the old URL and site design, which is requiring an entire new build. Many people have been asking questions about this, and I’ll provide as much of an update as I can. Here’s the explanation the current leadership put together (it was written by Kate Kift [KittyK from the forums])-
We were migrating the site because frankly the services and site we were on, couldn’t stand the traffic. It was only during the migration that we encounter ownership issues regarding the domain name. A domain name change was never a planned situation. This was an attempt to get the site working as quickly as possible for our members.
We have had to hold the migration to solve the accusations regarding the domain name and “who owns what”.
No one currently on the executive committee, and as far as I was aware anyone else from CP’s to members ever saw BRS as anything other than a non-profit community. Any “extra” contributions from sponsors and members are held for operating costs. No-one currently active within the BRS community has yet made or wishes to make a wage or profit from this. No one until now has expected to make money off of this, as this was/is an all-volunteer organization
I wish we could say more, but we have to protect the community everyone at BRS has strived to create. We want to protect each of our members information and privacy and that is what we are working on. If keeping quiet and saying “no comment” is the way we have to do this, then we will. We hate it, but we will.
We hope, once we have collated all the relevant information and have ensured that we and the BRS are legally able to do so, we will show exactly what has happened. We will do so without comment and judgement. We hope that the BRS community will see the situation for what it is and likewise judge the executive committee accordingly.
We hate keeping you in the dark. However, we hope you understand that by progressing carefully we will ensure the barefoot running community as it is has a basis to grow to new highs.
Please be patient – we are ALL working as hard as we can on your behalf. We want to make sure this is never an issue again.
Your support is always appreciated not only now but a long time into the future.
If you’re interested in the back story, it’s spelled out in this forum post over at Runner’s World: http://www.runnersworld.com/community/forums/runner-communities/barefoot-running/brs-update/.0
Personally, this entire issue is very upsetting for me. The original intent of the BRS was to build a community of support and an organization that would advocate for barefoot and minimalist shoe running. The original founders agreed that nobody should profit in any way; all of our work would be volunteer-based. That was the original spirit of the BRS, which comes out in the RW posts where we first discussed the idea here and here.
I consider the BRS members a community- many of which I know personally. We’re a family. I see Cameron’s actions as exploiting our community in an attempt to make a quick buck. I find it especially upsetting that he called TJ out specifically. As anyone that has spent even a little time at the BRS knows, TJ is the person that single-handedly made the BRS into a community. I think she may have posted on every single thread in the entire forum, tirelessly offering support and encouragement.
Please be patient as the new site is being built, and know the team working on it is trying their best to preserve the contributions of the members. There’s a ton of legal evidence to refute Cameron’s claims, and that evidence has been collected. It’s just a matter of waiting. The BRS should be up and running in the very near future. I’m pressuring them to give me an ET on the new site, which should be known soon.
Note- I have not or never plan on making any money from the BRS. Currently I am the Activities VP (I plan parties) and an adviser or sorts. My interest and involvement in this is to make sure the community survives to further the ideals of barefoot running. As a founding member, I was privy to all the early decisions. As such, I fully support the course of action chosen by the current team working to restore the BRS, especially TJ. They are acting in the spirit of the founding principles of the BRS and are doing what they’re doing for the benefit of the community, not profit.
Today Shelly and I start a 2,700 mile journey over ten days where we’ll be doing six different events. We’re following that up with three 50Ks. It’s going to be a bit crazy and I may not have much of an opportunity to write. I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible during this trip! Here are the scheduled events and the details I have thus far:
- Feb. 25th- Running Skirts, 676 2nd Street, Encinitas, CA, 10am-2pm
- Feb. 26th- Pt. Mugu State Park, 9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA (morning)
- Feb. 29th- Super Jock and Jill, 7210 E Greenlake Dr. N, Seattle WA, 8:45-9:45am
- Feb. 29th- Born To Run Seattle, 6:00pm
- March 1st- Portland, Foot Traffic group run, 5:30pm
- March 3rd- Shu’s Idaho Running Company, 1758 W. State St., Boise, trail run in the morning, clinic at store
- March 10: Way Too Cool 50k, Cool, CA
- March 17th: American River 50 training run, Auburn, CA
- March 18th: Rodeo Valley 50k, Rodeo Beach, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, CA
We’re working on two more clinics- one in Sacramento and another at Zombie Runner in Palo Alto. Details will be coming soon!