Thursday, January 5, 2012

Charlotte Running Club 2011 Survey Results

Earlier this fall, we released a survey to assess the ways things are done at the Charlotte Running Club. One hundred seventy one members completed the survey, representing nearly 34% of the membership. Many thanks to those who took the time to share their thoughts because the feedback will help the CRC Board create a club that better meets your needs.

The 2011 Board reviewed results during two different meetings and agreed on action items for each result. Aaron Linz has compiled a summary of results along with any applicable board action plans. Before continuing, keep in mind that change is not sustainable without your involvement. This is your running club so while the board of directors will provide leadership, we need participation to realize measurable change. Please get involved and help grow our club together.

What is the top benefit to you personally of being in the club?
2.33 Group Runs
2.41 Motivated
2.63 Social Aspect
2.68 Newsletter
3.30 Running Store Discounts

The Board assumed that group runs would be our top benefit to members, and the results confirmed this. However, motivation followed closely behind. Members value the opportunity to read inspiring blogs and learn and share from other runners in the club. Seeing a member you run with at group runs finish a race in a fast time inspires members that they too can reach new heights. While group runs has been a priority of the board over the last two years, we recognize that some folks prefer to run on their own and/or that the group runs just do not fit particular schedules. However, connecting with to the club to stay motivated is a benefit.
We continue to add store discounts throughout the year. If the club is approached about a discount, we will happily share it with the entire membership. However, we are not openly soliciting discounts and/or driving better deals since this was ranked as 5th on the member benefits.

How many group runs do you attend a month?
41.5% 0 runs
23.4% 2-4 runs
21.1% 5+ runs
14.0% 1 runs

As members of the CRC Board, we will always encourage every member to attend at least one group run a month. At the core of a running club is simply running. There is no better way to share running with others than to attend a group run. Unfortunately, 41.5% of our members have not had this experience yet. Reasons for this were outlined in some of the comments on the survey, which amounted to the common theme of the Club not providing enough pace groups for all runners.

Our board continues to look at other successful running clubs throughout the country to see how we are doing versus our local counterparts. While we certainly have room for improvement in group runs, compared to other clubs, the CRC actually has a vast number of group runs offered at a variety of diverse locations. The Group Runs section on the website is indicative of this.

The results from the group run question highlights the importance of motivation being a benefit. If you can’t or are not interested in group runs, we want to continue to help motivate you to run on your own time.
How many CRC social events have you attended?
33.5% 0 socials
32.2% 2-4 socials
22.8% 1 social
11.1 5+ socials

We did not learn anything too interesting here. In the written section, it was suggested to have more events that do not involve alcohol. We also were asked to do a better job at communicating events with specifics directions to locations. In the future, we plan on addressing both of these concerns on Social Calendar for 2012. We currently leverage our CRC Facebook page heavily and try to get as many social event communications in the club newsletter. The 2011 family picnic was not as successful this year due to a rain storm that blew in just as the cook-out was getting started. The 2011 Holiday Lights Run is an alcohol free event and was very well attended. During our 2012 CRC mini Board retreat in January, we will plan and budget all our major social events for the year. Consistent with past socials, the Board has met several new members at social events that we have yet to see at group runs. Even if you’ve never joined a group run, you are welcome to stay plugged into the Club through social events.

Would you be interested in being a CRC mentor or mentee?
53.3% No Thanks
19.9% Both
18.1% Mentor
8.8% Mentee

We were getting ready in 2011 to roll out a mentor program but backed off and focused our attention elsewhere as a result of the responses. 53.3% are not interested and only 8.8% wanted to be a mentee. I guess you could say 28.7 are interested (mentee + both) so it will be brought up again by the 2012 board and prioritized accordingly with other 2012 goals.

Please select your preferences for purchasing running shoes and running related gear.
Run For Your Life
Charlotte Running Company
Online Shopping
Inside-Out Sports
Omega Sports
Fleet Feet Sports

Congratulations to Run For Your Life for the top rating by CRC members. We are fortunate in Charlotte to have several excellent specialty running store options. Run For Your Life is the oldest and largest specialty running store in Charlotte area and is primarily focused just on running. Charlotte Running Company is the second oldest pure specialty running store in the area. Online shopping continues to be a competitor. While the stores offer terrific service, lower prices, free shipping, and free returns are some of the reasons CRC members said they choose to buy online. Keep in mind that the remaining stores do not just focus on running (triathlons, soccer, tennis, etc) and continue to build brand loyalty in the running-specific market. Thank you to all of the local specialty stores not only for your support for Charlotte Running Club but also for the race events you provide us and the products and services you offer.

Please select the CRC branded gear that you are interested in for the fall/winter.
Hoodie Sweatshirt – 48%
Long sleeve shirt - 46.1%
Running jacket - 31.6%
Winter hat - 27.6%

You asked and we delivered! If you do not have a CRC hoodie, get online and purchase one! They are terrific. We are selling cool and comfortable CRC long sleeves, running jackets and winter hats as well. We have received plenty of feedback regarding our CRC online store and have been working closely with our vendor to improve the shopping experience and selection.

What running products can you not find or want more of at our local running stores?
The results were all over the place. We did not see any consistent theme as either a positive or a negative.

What can the club do better?
We received 85 responses in total. There were plenty of positive responses shared which are appreciated, but the only way we can make a change is if we hear what’s not going right. Indeed, it seems that the only news is negative news. Perception is reality and despite the board’s ongoing focus to transform the perception of the Club, we still hear the terms “elitest”, “intimidated”, “slow”, “fast,” and “new runners” to describe the Club as a whole.

The Charlotte Running Club mission statement is to help people realize a true passion for running, whether it be through socials, group runs or volunteer events. As a refresher,
The Club motto is “A Passion for Running” which has can be realized by any pace runner. Our club mission is to:
1. Help members become more consistent
2. Motivate
3. Create a sense of camaraderie
4. Help members meet running goals

Each statement can be realized at any pace. We continue to welcome and encourage runners of all abilities and paces. If there is an underlying issue that the CRC Board is not aware of, please email us so that we can address as soon as possible. The Board is committed to seek out new opportunities to meet our mission and to increase the number of active members in the Club. Please carefully review the group runs on our website and if you attended a run that did not meet the expectations of what was stated, email us. We need to know as we put a lot of effort into our group run list. If you want to lead a group run, please let us know.

Another common theme addressed the posting on the CRC Facebook page. We encourage and put no constraints on what is posted to the Club page. As a result, what tends to happen is the members in the club who run 5+ times a week appear to dominate the group run discussions. Why? If you are running 5+ time a week, you are typically inclined to find someone to run with as it can get a bit lonely running 5 different runs on your own each week. Do not let this discourage you as the majority of our club membership is not in this category and I promise you from the feedback we get, there are plenty of 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15+ pace runners running anywhere from 3-10 miles looking for company as well. The 2012 Board will continue to focus on finding ways to get you running as again, we are a running club but help us help you with specific feedback so that we are putting our energy in the right programs.


  1. Thanks Aaron, both for putting out the survey and for analyzing and sharing the results. The club continues to improve and become more sustainable, thanks in no small part to your efforts and passion!

    Proud CRC member since 2009

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  3. Thanks for posting the results. It's very encouraging to know that responses have been taken seriously. CRC is definitely headed for greater things!