Seasonal Message 2003
Within our culture it has become traditional, that at the end of one year, we look forward to the next as part of a new beginning. No one is perfect and there are so many ways to improve - not just in running but as part of their wider lives.
It is always interesting to read what others are hoping and planning for, and I have even posted my own goals for 2004 after being encouraged by all the others people that post regularly. In fact, I thank everyone who has posted to our MessageBoards this year (and previous years) - you have helped many people who have read and asked for advice. I have met some great and colourful characters. You have continued to prove that the best place to find out about running is to ask other runners, and as the saying goes "the more the merrier".
We do not have a full time staff nor office, and a special part of CoolRunning is that all the people that work on the site are mad keen runners themselves, and they squeeze this time in between their jobs, families and other commitments.
Firstly, thanks to all the people that have paid for their websites to be hosted on CoolRunning, and in particular the people that have advertised - you have all kept this website afloat. Our costs are now quite high due to our size and this requires cold hard cash to keep us going. I feel quite proud that all our advertisers actually read the website and are runners themselves or people who organise races.
Andrew Wear, from Melbourne has spent A LOT of time helping to bring you the news and Victorian Events to the calendar. His help has been fantastic. Many of the obscure running news items have been due to Andrew, and when he is too busy to post, the site is poorer for it.
Lyn Atkin, has taken over most of the day to day operations of the CoolRunning Gear. This is a larger job than it initially looks. We will likely keep the gear on sale throughout next year, possibly from time to time introducing new items. We are only interested in doing top quality gear and we were very lucky that JodieR stepped forward with the initial designs as they are very professional.
This year I have had a lot of help from the moderators of the messageboards - PastyBoy, Action and Tim Turner - most days there are more than 100 messages posted, and the moderators check that they are files in the correct sections, duplicates are weeded out, and sometimes (rarely) edited, most often for spelling errors and removing the dreaded "ALL IN CAPITALS".
Recently Mister G has started to post some race results for us, PastyBoy wrote the software for the CoolRunning Challenge and Andrew Heathershaw has started maintaining the TV Alert section. Don Juan advises from time to time on various legal issues - we hope he has a quiet 2004 !
A number of people volunteered to meet with Athletics Australia on behalf of CoolRunning : Colin Townsend, Don Juan, Rachel, Tim and Action - There will be more happening here in 2004 I am sure (we are overdue an article explaining what happened to be published).
Mick Corlis, has put together the ACT Calendar, and being a big help on a number of other websites, including the Australian Mountain Runners Assoc.
Other helpers have been the evergreen Doug Fry, from Canberra, who slaves over media releases for the WebWatch email newslettter.
Derek Foley, who has provided a number of news reports and information, also a big help for keeping his nose to the ground in NSW, and of course organising a number of marathons and being publisher of The Right Track.
It would not be right to give thanks to people without mentioning Kevin Molloy of CoolRunning USA for the initial inspiration and assistance with the CoolRunning idea and Ian Kemp, who kept this site running virtually single-handedly back in 1997/8, without his enthusiasm the site would have struggled. He now runs CoolRunning NZ.
In 2004, we plan to provide pretty much the same service as we have been giving over the past year, but we want to make it easier for people to contribute, to the calendar but also with race reports, news and the like. We always urge you to send us material that you think should be included on the site.
In 2003 we upgraded our webservers to give us more capacity at a better price, but also to make it easier to partition the site to allow others to contribute. In 2004 we will be installing some new software to make this even easier. Clearly we will minimise as much as possible any disruption to your reading habits.
We are always on the look out for good suggestions, and helpers to make them a reality. MPHaz and Whaleboy will likely become helpers to look after the calendar and the Australian Running Guide, but if YOU have a good idea then feel free to suggest it.
If nothing else, this will relieve the pressure as myself as "Chief Bottleneck" and will mean that information can be posted round the clock, and maybe allow me more time to hit the roads and the trails myself!
We are in the process of making better links with those runners in the States that are currently under-represented on CoolRunning - South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territories.
Whatever your goals are for 2004, make sure you take it easy and remember that running is only one part of your life, so don't neglect your friends and family. Pick some goals to work towards, but also remember to take time to smell the roses.
All the best !
Owner & Coordinator