Irish Mountain
Running Association


Richard NunanNov 1 2022, 4:17pmThe IMRA AGM will take this year on Saturday November 26th at Enniskerry 2:00pm

Motions, including amendments to the Constitution, must be received by the Secretary at least 14 days before the date of the AGM (26th November). The names of the proposer and seconder of a motion must be submitted with the motion, and one of these must be present to speak to the motion at the AGM.

Motions may only be proposed and seconded by members who will have full voting rights at the AGM. Amendments to motions can be taken in accordance with the Standing Orders agreed at the AGM. Motions passed at an AGM come into effect at the end of the AGM.

Also, all Committee roles are open for nomination and election at the AGM. We welcome nominations for all committee roles. If you would like to put yourself forward for election to the Committee please do not hesitate to reach out to Laura at laura dot flynn at imra dot ie or Richard at richard dot nunan at imra dot ie Nominations for committee roles should be received by the 24th of November.

The process for nomination for a Committee Role and for submitting a motion for the AGM is set out in the Constitution, which is available here:
Enda CloakeNov 1 2022, 5:14pmHi Richard,

The Constitution link won't load, I've tried multiple devices etc but to no avail.
Conor NolanNov 1 2022, 11:02pm

Link needs updating
Richard NunanNov 24 2022, 2:07pmHi all,

As a reminder: the AGM takes place on Sat Nov. 7th at 2pm in the Royal Hotel, Bray. (not Eniskerry as previously mentioned)

Agenda is as follows:

IMRA AGM, 26th of November, 2022, Royal Hotel, Bray


1. Apologies
2. Adoption of Standing Orders
a. The Standing Orders will be proposed, seconded and voted on
3. Minutes of the previous AGM and Matters Arising
4. Presidents report
6. Accounts and Treasurer report
7. Motions
8. Appointment of Executive Committee and Honorary Auditor
9. Any other business

The following motion have been submitted for discussion at the AGM:

1) A motion to propose a number of Items to enhance Volunteering within the IMRA community, on the basis that expectations are that people should volunteer for at least 1 in 10 races – Andrew Hanney, seconded by Mick Hanney

Please remember that the AGM is your opportunity to make an input to the new IMRA year!

Hoping to see many of you there on Saturday

Warren SwordsNov 24 2022, 4:12pmAny further info on the motion?
Brendan LawlorNov 24 2022, 4:25pmHi

To be a valid motion for the AGM, Andrew's motion would need to specify what changes he is proposing ie what exactly are the 'Items to enhance volunteering' he is proposing ? .. otherwise its just a general discussion point under AOB
Andrew HanneyNov 24 2022, 6:13pmThere are indeed specific proposals. Seeya at the AGM :)
Pól Ó MurchúNov 26 2022, 10:37amFinance Report can be found here: , In the interest of saving the trees I won't be printing off any spare copies. :-)
Andrew HanneyNov 26 2022, 5:43pmJust for completeness. Adding the proposals I raised at the AGM.
The background being to promote & highlight the ethos of volunteering in the organisation.
1. When members are booking races, they should see a splash screen reminding them of the need to volunteer once in every ten races.
2. To create a leader board for volunteering. Just as important as the club100. We should celebrate equally those who make our events happen.
3. The yearly volunteering statistic for runners are included alongside the race results after each.
Peter O'FarrellNov 27 2022, 7:18pmWith apologies for not attending the AGM...........
I like number 2 there, no harm firing a few happy happy Dopamine chemicals whenever the strong volunteers log in.

After an enjoyably robust chat with a ye olde stalwart last night I remain firm in the view that volunteering should be just that, voluntary.
I don't see the point of making people sign up to a non running helping role when they have no intrinsic interest in helping out. I have witnessed a few folk over the years who have signed up to help at IMRA races for non-altruistic reasons (getting an end of season prize, being badgered into "volunteering" and so on) and to a man and woman they have proved ineffective helpers who arrive late and leave early and show little or no initiative in between.

With the entire IMRA model generally dependent on inexperienced new people doing their best at most events (positive shout out to first time race director Brian Furey yesterday - at one of the hardest events of the year doing a super job) the forced volunteers described above are a problem.

And finally, could we please have the race marking guidelines as a linkable webpage and the first thing you see if and when you click the race marker link on the volunteering page, and not a word document download?
Brendan LawlorNov 28 2022, 8:21amHi

For anyone who missed the AGM, there was strong support for Andrews various proposals as outlined by him above. A few other points raised which I think merit mention were as follows :

1) Munster use a volunteer sheet at some races trying to get people to volunteer for a future race as they sign in for the race that day- downside is that this activity needs a volunteer to do it
2) People should remember that if they bring a family member or friend to help at a race, this does not substitute for their own volunteering
3) It was suggested that training be held early in 2023 for the key volunteer roles of race director, laptop operator, first aid and race marker
4) There was some disagreement about the causes of non volunteering with some members believing that non volunteers need better reminders and encouragement, while others disagreed and said there may be a hard core who just don't want to help out

Please feel free to add any other comments and suggestions. Volunteering is at the heart of our organizations activity and any proposals or suggestions members may have to improve the situation will help us all
Paul MahonNov 28 2022, 10:31amGiven that IMRA is a volunteer run organisation I feel there is nothing wrong with making the volunteering a mandatory part of membership.
I have seen it successfully done in cycle clubs where all members must help out at a certain number of club events during the year.

I feel that ignorance is no defence in terms "I did not know I had to volunteer" attitude by a minority of members.
To remove this "defence" maybe we could have a tickbox "I understand that as a member of IMRA I must volunteer in a non running role a minimum of 1 time per 10 runs" or similar when signing up as a member each year?

If folk are unwilling to help their organisation then I would suggest we are better off without them as their presence as runners coupled with their absence in terms of volunteering clearly rankles with those who do their share and more which is simply "Not Right" - IMHO of course :-)
Andrew HanneyNov 28 2022, 3:21pmI wasn't really going to get into this again as it was voted on at the AGM. But....The IMRA model is low cost races which are facilitated by the volunteering model. Without sustained volunteering the model collapses. A good few races were in jeopardy last year and were last minute calls before going ahead. If people don't want to contribute as volunteers (i.e. turn up, do the race and go home time after time) there are commercially run races like popraces where they expect no help. Cost a whole lot more than 7 euro though.
Sadly...If you've done a good few IMRA races and you've not gotten the idea that helping out is the way to go, I think a key part of the IMRA spirit has been missed. .
James HeggieNov 28 2022, 9:18pmSorry was unable to make the AGM or PR race as not well this year . Could i make a suggestion I believe the RD course last year was very successful. I wasn’t able to make last years course but it would be great if a RD course could be held again this year, would definitely be up for it , as I it’s a lot easier getting out the house now . I’m sure it would get a good turnout and produce many new RD’s certainly around individuals local areas. I will try and get on an assistant RD role this year but I think a bit of formal training is good getting people over the line .
Rachel CinnsealachNov 29 2022, 8:42amI agree with all the above comments but also feel it is good to ask people. When I was league director for the Leinster league, I asked people to fill roles such as RD and laptop, to the best of my knowledge nobody refused. These people may not have put themselves forward without being asked. I had a friend say to me she was new enough to IMRA, generally places towards the back of the field and never thought about being a race director. The same person is now one of the most well known people in IMRA and a person who has devoted huge amounts of time and energy to the organization over the years. I also know that most people end up on the committee because they are asked. Anyone can go for the committee but in general the people who end up on it are the ones who are asked.
Richard FoxNov 29 2022, 1:20pmMy few pence worth on the volunteering front. I'm firstly trying to understand what the problem is? As I see it there was a huge list of events/races during 2022 - I might be way off here, and on some of my subsequent figs too, but it looks as if there were some 110 including a wonderful World Masters. How many volunteers were used - from my very limited knowledge it appears that in any race I have been fortunate enough to attend there is an average of 7 or 8 (or more) per race. So were there upwards of 800 volunteer man/woman days spent this year (no idea how many for the World Masters - the mind boggles) - but could it be that it pushes the total number towards 1,000 ??? The list of runners for 2022 shows a figure of 3,264 (on the web site). Very roughly this list shows that 800 of these didn't run at all and that 3,106 ran less than 10 races. So there are some 158 athletes who ran between 10 and 36 races each. With the 1 volunteer role per 10 races are we looking at the 158 or is this a cumulative figure, ie 9 races completed in 2022 - should volunteer after 1 race completed in 2023? It seems to me that the volunteer position is in very good health with a fantastic effort from the headline roles of Run Director (including all the new RDs during 2022), Lap Top Operator, First Aid person, Course Markers etc not to mention a well functioning Exec Committee. I think there is possibly a situation where a small handful of people could possibly help out and volunteer but if the target market is c 158 then we're doing pretty well. Some of the ideas previously mentioned should perhaps be considered including; 1 Yearly voluntary stats included on the list of runners per year 2 1 - 10 seems too generous - perhaps should be 1 - 8? 3 Voluntary should be voluntary - I wouldn't agree with mandatory volunteering - doesn't sound right? 4 I wouldn't have a problem with a member putting forward a friend etc unless there's an insurance issue 5 a reasonably regular notification be issued to all members advising on the need for volunteers Cheers foxy
David PowerNov 29 2022, 2:13pmThe list of people who have volunteered is available to all here:
Do you see your name here? If can fix that in 2023!

Encouraging volunteers to step forward is something that all sporting and community organisations face ongoing challenges with. I think the best way is to lead by example- take your personal responsibility and also I think by people sharing their volunteer experience on the forum (even as a race report as summit marshal, or RD or laptop operator). Rachel's point about asking people definitely rings true - email and whatsapp get ignored unless frequent and clear. I'd be happy to work with Conor or webmaster to get a list of 2023 members say in Jan/Feb and identify the last date they volunteered - if more than 6-12 months ago, we contact them and suggest they offer in the spring, before the busy summer season. Again I think if we share stories of how enjoyable and rewarding a volunteer role can be, that will show leadership and maybe give people more reassurance and self belief..."well if she can do it, surely I can...she's only been in IMRA a few months" - could many a long time IMRA member ponder.
niall flynnNov 29 2022, 3:05pmAnother topic that hasn't been addressed in above: for two of the races I volunteered for this year, I never heard from race director or anyone else about the race. There should be a clear standard protocol for RDs contacting volunteers ahead of races.
Brendan LawlorNov 29 2022, 3:17pmHi Niall

You are credited with 4 volunteering stints, and with 14 race results, you have a 28.5% volunteering record, well ahead of the target 10%. But you raise an important point.

During Race Director training we put heavy stress on communication, before, during and after a race. Race Directors should email each of their volunteers a few days before the race with an update on what the plan is. Some RD's also post a similar update on the forum (specific to volunteers) , and some set up Whats app groups for their race.

It is unfortunate if this did not happen for any race you volunteered at, but hopefully it won't put you off for the next time
Brian FureyNov 29 2022, 5:17pmI do agree with alot of the points made.

I agree with Richard Fox in that there are way more races than previously and now there are many more people helping out as a result which is all round really positive. I find if I do my 2 or 3 spots a year I'm covered - done my bit. As Dave Power says - your taking personal responsibility.

A few things I like to see - one is sticky forum threads at the top of this imra forum (that carry forward year on year ) here for each of the Race director, race marker and laptop operator role so you can go in there if you are new to this role and can learn all you need in advance - for example for race marking - race marking guidelines, how long timewise you will need to do the race marking - best approach , do you need help , experience from previous people - so then you can learn from others mistakes and share knowledge. Maybe this is there- but just think it needs to be carried forward year on year. You could always just carry forward the good posts. Same for if you are summit Marshall - what gear to carry etc, etc, do you need to recce in advance, giving yourself enough time to get there, basic stuff some of it.

Mick HanneyNov 29 2022, 9:00pmThe proposal at the AGM should at least make the volunteering stats a bit more visible. That data is scattered across the volunteering tab at the moment. Better if it was available on the Runner profile page similar to no. of races run.
Warren SwordsNov 30 2022, 9:49amGreat suggestions by Brian.

The first line of the volunteer tab reads: "IMRA relies on volunteers to organise races and if you are a regular runner then you should also regularly volunteer to help out at races."

I'd suggest changing "should" to "must": "IMRA relies on volunteers to organise races and if you are a regular runner then you must also regularly volunteer to help out at races. For every 10 races, you must volunteer at least once."
Andrew MendelsonNov 30 2022, 11:19am'Must volunteer' is, alas, an oxymoron., so this is quite a Rubicon to cross. Not arguing against it, but it fundamentally changes the relationship between runners and the organisation, so would need to be considered carefully.
Warren SwordsNov 30 2022, 11:46amGood point Andrew, which might explain why "should" is there.

I disagree that requiring people to help out in order to run fundamentally changes the relationship between runners and the organisation.

I'd be sceptical that people who run regularly would be unaware that they should be volunteering.

I'd argue that you shoudn't be able to enter a race after 10 races without a volunteering credit.
Brendan LawlorNov 30 2022, 12:11pmA suggestion..
On the Volunteer tab where it says...

'IMRA relies on volunteers to organise races and if you are a regular runner then you should also regularly volunteer to help out at races.'

replace with:

'IMRA relies on its members to organise races and if you are a regular runner then you must also regularly help out at races.'

But happy to leave it to the incoming committee and webmaster to finalize the best wording and web changes etc

I think the sentiment at the AGM and on this forum thread so far is that members want a more robust approach to those who , for whatever reason, don't want to do their bit.

I strongly suspect that those who don't help out, would also not attend our AGM or be reading this forum thread
Turlough ConwayNov 30 2022, 1:09pmBrendan not to adjudicate on your suggestion just to point out it would take a change to the 'Competition Rules' (you probably know) but just for others linking the para on Volunteering here to clearly see how the rules stand before seeing how they could change.

Here is the para on Volunteering in the IMRA 'Competition Rules' (linked on this site, same area as Constitution):

7. Volunteering "IMRA would not exist without the voluntary effort of its members in organising races and undertaking the strategic and administrative work underlying the ongoing conduct of the Association. It is also very important that members volunteer well in advance of race week so that race directors can adequately organise the event and allocate duties in good time.

Members are very strongly urged to volunteer to assist at events and to be willing to take on some of the more onerous volunteer roles such as race director. To encourage members to do so, in some leagues runners will only qualify for an overall prize if they have met the minimum volunteering requirements. To qualify for the end of year prize, you must have volunteered twice during the calendar year in a non-running capacity. The race director and first aid officer are not allowed to participate in the race."

In some leagues runners MUST volunteer twice to get EOL prize. Members are generally "very strongly urged" to volunteer. Regarding volunteering after 10 races: while you could use "should" as now, or substitute it for "strongly urged" or even "expected" I don't think as those rules stand now the word "must" can be used.

I am sure its academic as Committee would change it as part of course.

Note in the constitution membership is defined in terms of age (+18) and voting rights (must be member for a month). It is not explicitly defined in terms of members = runners/potential runners or members = volunteers/potential volunteers. (It's implied ofcourse)

While I'm rambling the objectives of IMRA are:

"2. Objectives The objectives of IMRA are to organise and promote the sport of mountain running, hill running, and trail running.

IMRA will endeavour to ensure rights of access to Irish mountains."

The first part might be interesting regarding this conversation:
Are there other ways to "organise and promote the sport of mountain running, hill running, and trail running." than organizing IMRA races?
Miriam MaherNov 30 2022, 1:57pmThanks everyone,

Great comments and observations made on this thread following Andy's motion at the AGM last Saturday.

The new committee will now look at the practical implementation of the motions passed, taking into account what is possible system wise. And we will ensure that aspects like the competition rules are revised as necessary.

So, let us get settled into our new roles, do what needs to be done before the end of this year on the all important pending races calendar for 2023, and work on enhancing the volunteer piece then.


Tim GrummellNov 30 2022, 3:07pmI'd suggest if people don't want to volunteer there simply charge them double race entry fees after 10race without volunteering until they do lol (14e still very cheap if you can't be bothered volunteering, maybe triple so lol).

While talking about money, IMRA as we all know is a fantastic grassroots organization, run entirely by volunteers, something we hopefully are all proud of. People do recognize and appreciate this in general, and my suggestion would be to have a donation to IMRA button somewhere on the website! If they really like what IMRA is about, and would like to financially support IMRA then absolutely let them lol! We aren't short on money, but from being involved with the junior internationals this year I can safely save every penny spent on them is extremely useful for their long term development (3k to bring 16 juniors to the Lake district for the weekend, less than 200e/head!), and then athletes like Zak Hanna is doing fantastic work to help put Irish mountain running right up there on the international stage (while receiving nothing from AAI). I've seen local athletics clubs get significant donations towards facilities, and dare I mention a running track lol, the UCD track was funding by an anonymous donation ha.

Finally all hail Miriam our new president, no better person for the job!!
Brendan LawlorNov 30 2022, 4:51pmOne of our members has volunteered an incredible 186 times. Having run 558 races he has a volunteering % of 33.3%, miles above our 10% target. This unnamed hero is sure to be unmasked when the Volunteering Roll of Honour gets revealed, but most of you know who he is already!