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ULTRAMAG Editorial - December 2000Written by Kev Cassidy
The word CHANGE may well be the definitive description. In the 15 years that AURA has been in existence we have seen a number of highs and lows. We can well remember the 80s when membership was around 550 and numerous well patronised events made up the calendar. Material for the magazine was plentiful and it was never any trouble filling 92 pages, in fact one double issue was 132 pages long to clear a backlog of reports.
Currently our membership runs at around 300 and there have been times, I must admit, when filling 92 pages has been a bit of a problem. The format of the magazine has been the subject of some lengthy discussion amongst the new AURA committee. Many ideas have been thrown around and an obvious change that you will find is that we may not be 92 pages long with all issues. At a time when less race reports and stories are being submitted, it seems pointless digging up some less than relevant overseas material just to fill space. Making the magazine a more web based concept has been raised, there are many opinions about this and my own opinion is really not important but the first question I raised was "How many members have web access?"
No moves could really be made in this direction without the support of the membership. I have dug up a few figures myself and, to my surprise, discovered that only 46% of the general population are hooked up to the web and I suspect that this figure reflects our membership. We really do need to know how many of our members have web access..........
This is a very important issue to our organisation so please reply if you are able, it is the only way to gain a knowledge of who has web access. Of course, if you wish to include any comments and opinions in your reply then they would be welcomed and taken on board. I have already canvassed a number of opinions and they seem to favour a hardcopy magazine in what ever form........It may be that the magazine comes out more regularly in a smaller form. Once again, all opinions are welcomed and encouraged.
Amongst the committee changes, we have seen Phil Essam take on the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Registrar [sounds a bit like the Minister for Silly Walks to me!!!!!].
Phil's contact details are as follows:
In recent years our most active state has been Queensland, so it was disappointing to hear of the cancellation of both the Rainbow Beach Trail Event and the 24/48 hour Championships in Maryborough. On the plus side is the inaugural running of the "Lest we Forget" run in April next year. The 84 km event will start on the Gold Coast and finish in Brisbane and is loosely based on South Africa's "Comrades Marathon". The biggest event, however, is the "Race of Fire" in January. The 65 day stage race from Perth to Canberra has attracted a world class field including Yiannis Kouros. Information has been hard to come by to date, but there is sure to be plenty of news in the next issue.
Another big plus has been the growth of the Glasshouse Mountains Trail 100 mile race which is now getting an international flavour thanks to the efforts of Ian Javes and others. I may be showing some bias here, but if I lived a bit closer to Queensland, I would love to have some sort of involvement in this event.
Once again, just a quick reminder that Dot Browne is no longer the contact point for "Ultramag"
All correspondence and submissions can be made to me at the following postal
"Ultramag" is an excellent source of advertising upcoming events and can be utilised by race directors, just send your entry forms and they will be printed.......I have had to do some chasing to get a form for the Caboolture 6 and 12 hour event next February.
As per usual, the magazine never quite makes it to the printer without a hiccup and this edition was no exception when I inadvertently knocked over a can of "Diet Coke" all over several articles that were spread over the floor...........much cursing and swearing then ensued!!
As this is the last magazine before Christmas, all I can say is don't make a pig of yourself on the roast turkey and pudding...........and Christmas Cheers, as well.