With just over a week until we ring in the New Year I'm gettin' into a reminiscing mood - reflecting on a year that has flown past... once again. Yet it's weird how January seems so far away now.
My year seems to be metered by the reduction in the length of the AR Calendar, from which entries drop as weekends pass; major international events, which I've had the fortune to attend; and changes to www.AR.co.za. I usually revamp the site every 12-odd months but this year I've made 2 major cosmetic changes!
In 2005 we saw 3 SA teams travelling abroad; Jabberwock to the Arctic Team Challenge and Powerade Cyanosis and Energy to the AR World Champs. We also had a number of notable foreign teams on SA soil.
2006 is going to rock too. Team MadScientists (you'll hear more about them in the next month - Michael & Heather Graz, Wessel Cronje and Jonathan St Clair) will be competing in the Patagonia Expedition Race in Chile in mid-February and Powerade Cyanosis and DueSouth have their sights set on Primal Quest in the US in late-June. You'll be able to follow daily coverage of these events right here on AR.co.za - yippee!
[UPDATE: Team Jabula (Shaun Wright, Kerensa Argyriou, Jerry Argyriou and Tim Sindle) will be participating in Australia's XPD from 20 Feb - 3 March. Living abroad now, they're ex-teammembers of local teams Linden Cycles, Scarpa and Terramanzi]
I'm also very proud of our new photo gallery. The system is run by smugmug, a US-based service. I first used Checkpointzero.com's setup to upload images during Raid World Champs, the Salomon Russia 250km and again during the AR World Champs. It's so user-friendly and is easy to customise. I then wanted my own gallery for AR.co.za. I've been very impressed with their system, their reasonable pricing structure and also with their efficient and friendly customer service.
Advertisers don't walk off the street everyday and the ones that come through to AR.co.za are looking for something specific - you! These advertisers are just so precious and are vital to the continued existance of AR.co.za. They support us and our sport, please support them. I'd like to thank Run Like a Girl, Salomon, First Ascent, Landrover G4 Challenge, Eden Challenge (Jan Heenop), Kreature.co.za, Montrail, Magneticsouth.net (John Collins), Black Diamond (RAM Mountaineering) and the Mondi Shanduka Newsprint Challenge (Les Willows) for their belief over this past year.
Phew! This next year is going to be even busier and will see even more advancements to the site.
I'd like to thank all of you too for your support of AR.co.za; looking through the calendar, reading the articles, sending through your reports and photographs and general browsing around. AR.co.za will soon turn 5-years old and every year our traffic has advanced. Here's to continued growth and informative content in 2006. Cheers!
Finally, my wishes to all of you for a warm festive season and year ahead of good health, improved racing and of course, success & happiness in all areas of your life.