Thursday, 4 October 2007

Event calendars: AR and others

I had an interesting chat with an adventure racer this week. We were talking about the AR Event Calendar and that of related disciplines. He suggested that the AR calendar should evolve to include the other disciplines. I remained adamant that calendar would remain as it is - a comprehensive listing of adventure race and some multidiscipline events. This is why...

Adventure racing is a sport as well as a compilation of other disciplines, like orienteering, running, paddling, mountain biking etc. Each of these disciplines is represented by websites, like Spinman, SA Orienteering Federation (and excellent orienteering club websites) and paddling unions and running listings. has a Links subsection that connects you with these resources. evolved because an adventure racing resource did not exist. Spinman developed in the same way. I maintain the AR calendar. Terry maintains the mountain biking calendar (and ditto for other discipline website administrators). As any of them will tell you, it takes a lot of effort to maintain event calendars. There are very few days in the year where I am not updating event details, modifying dates, deleting or adding events. I would cringe at handling even one more discipline. It is just too much admin.

Yes, the AR calendar also lists trail running events (a website has been setup by Trevor Ball for trail running but it is not yet representative of the events available) and other odds and ends like the annual orienteering Rogaine and multisport events (predominantly KZN). I refer all mountain biking event listing enquiries (and I get a good number of them) to Spinman. That's his turf, not mine. That wheel don't need to be reinvented.

There are websites (two come to mind - there may be a few more) that have tried to consolidate event calendars. They skim content from discipline websites and are inevitably out of date with many listings. As I mentioned, maintaining calendars is a lot of work. I'd be interested to know how many of you rely on these event calendars to plan your activities?

I regularly participate in road running, trail running, ultradistance and orienteering events, in addition to participating in or helping with adventure racing events. I'm not that interested in mountain biking events and I don't take part in canoe races.

I diarise orienteering, ultra and AR events, keeping an eye on the road running calendar that lives next to my computer. I don't need anyone to consolidate anything for me because I know what I'm looking for.

Although does not list every off road event in South Africa, it does provide you with links to the resources that cover disiplines of interest. All you have to do is go to the Links section and ... click-click ...

That's a silver platter if ever I saw one.


Anonymous said...

Definitely agree with you. I maintain a provincial running calendar. I stretch it to include national championships and a few really big events in neighbouring provinces, but that's about it. There's no point in duplicating other web sites, and it's a lot easier to maintain a useful links page.

Anonymous said...

Good for you on your stance on the Calendar.

So many of our multi-discipline sport events compete with AR events for participants. Why spend time cluttering up the AR calendar with them?

I personally definintely prefer an AR ONLY calendar than a very busy "multi-sport" calendar.