A couple of years ago, UMTR updated its mission statement to include the following phrase: “In our experience, the trail running community is tremendously diverse, welcoming, and open.” However it has become apparent that this is not the truth that many people in the trail running world have experienced. Trail running has never been known for being very diverse and it has struggled with carrying out a commitment to being an inclusive community. There are many who feel unwelcome in the trail running world and as a community, we need to do better.
UMTR is not a running club, and we do not speak for any specific group of local runners. We are an organization that advocates for the betterment of trails and the sport of trail running, however, we feel that the injustices in the world we live in compel us to use our position to model a better way. We know that our community has lessons to learn and changes to make if we are to truly work towards our mission.
Going forward, the UMTR Board would like to announce some initiatives that we'll be taking, in an effort to align our work with our values, and the future of trail running we strive to create. These are two specific actions that we feel are within our capabilities (as an all-volunteer organization), and that play to the strengths of what our organization can do.
- We will be intentionally seeking to add more diversity to our board of directors, and ensure that our board better reflects the composition of the trail running community.
- We will be using our platform to help amplify the conversations that are happening around our sport about race and equity.
Therefore, you can expect to see more communication from us, across our social media platforms, over the coming months about racial inclusion and overall diversity in trail running. In particular, we will be sharing links to discussions and perspectives that we hope will help our community find real solutions to the issues that our sport is facing.
We ask that through this process that everyone remain respectful and focused on our shared mission to build a trail running community that is tremendously diverse, welcoming, and open. We also welcome your input and feedback about how UMTR can do better.
Also, during this time, we would also like to share some links to organizations that help promote diversity in outdoor activities. If you have the means, please give generously.
UMTR Board of Directors