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ULTRAMAG Editorial - September 2002Written by Kev Cassidy
Publicity is always something the ultra world is seeking and it is not unreasonable to say that we are often on the backblocks of the sporting world in this area. Over the last few months, the staff at the office of Australian Runners World have been eagerly chasing information about Ultramarathons. Keep your eyes open for the Runners World magazine in the next few months for some great features. All being well, the ultra world will be a regular feature in Runners World. Publicity of this type is invaluable. A new committee and President were recently elected. Ian Cornelius has taken the job of President upon his return to Australia after a few years of infiltrating the locals of New Zealand!. Graham Ives takes on the Treasurers role. Graham, originally from England, is a recent arrival from South Africa and brings with him a wealth of experience in sports administration. A complete list of new committee members is included in this issue.
At the recent World 100km Challenge, we had three representatives in Adam Barron, Tim Sloan and Warren Holst and they all flew the Aussie flag high. If only we could have got a women's team together, it would have capped things off nicely. It is interesting to see that over in the west in Bunbury, they have followed suit with Canberra in offering a 50km option with their annual marathon. This has proven in the past to be an excellent incentive to attract marathon runners to the longer distances. Speaking of "Longer Distances", In Denmark, Jesper Olsen has formed a group of five runners who will be tackling a "World Run" ..... A total of 50,000km over five years from 2003 to 2008!! Also, at the time of writing, another edition of the Trans America Race was moving into its second half with a field of almost all Japanese runners. The gruelling Los Angeles to New York distance is run over 71 days. As is overwhelmingly normal, another huge contingent of Australians made the trip over to South Africa for the Comrades Marathon. 13,000 runners make this the most famous Ultramarathon in the world.
With a degree of sadness, the Coburg 24 hour event is losing its energetic and invaluable publicity officer in Bev Carr. Bev always ensured that the print and electronic media made a presence at Coburg each year. Bev and her husband, John, have sold up and are moving to the gentle pace of life on the lakes of Gippsland to enjoy the fruits of a prosperous retirement. From sadness to tragedy..... I have to report that Barbara Allen has lost her long battle with cancer. We had not seen much of Barbara over the last four years but during the 90s, Barbara and her devoted husband Peter were regulars at ultra events. They always ran together, were very devoted to each other and both were the nicest most decent people you could hope to meet. John Melnyckenko has written a tribute on page 22. Obviously, our sympathies are with Peter.
Finally, I have to admit with a little embarrassment, that Tony Rafferty finally collared me for one of his interviews which I had been mindfully trying to avoid through various means for quite a while but, to be perfectly honest, on the day we met, the muffins were hot and fresh and the diet coke was flowing plentifully so I sure couldn't be unhappy about that! With a deal of self consciousness, the interview appears towards the rear of this issue.
The AURA website can be found at www.ultraoz.com where the incomparable king of the Sydney Ultra Mafia and Fat Ass guru, Kevin Tiller, works more prolifically than a breeding rabbit as he tends to the task of keeping the web page up to date.