Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Happy 7th Birthday

This day, 7 years ago, this adventure racing website was born. It was originally launched with the domain, After only a few months the website address was condensed to

The site has seen various layout designs, colours and even logos; the current logo has been around for about 3-years.

Every year on's birthday I reminisce about the site and how much it means to me; just like a parent remembering their child's birth. seems to have been in my life for ages and it is still there constantly demanding news additions, calendar changes and updates.

Editing and writing content for the site has also been very rewarding; aside from the community aspects and contribution to the sport of adventure racing, the site has opened many doors for me in terms of media and event reporting.

For the past week I've been thinking about the number 7 - it really is quite a milestone. I came up with a number of "seven" references and found some other interesting ones online.

So, as I celebrate by baby's birthday with cupcakes and tea, enjoy reading these (in no particular order).
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy, Bashful, Sleepy and Dopey
  • The classic staged, self-sufficient ultradistance footrace duration is 7-days, like that of the "grand daddy" of staged ultras, Marathon des Sables ( MDS is now in its 23rd year. This format has been mimicked by many other events including Augrabies Extreme and the 4 Desert Series races. Staged ultra running is one of my favourite things.
  • Seven days of the week (Monday to Sunday)

  • Seven deadly sins - lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride

  • Seven virtues - chastity, moderation, liberality, charity, meekness, zeal and humility

  • Although the phrase "Seven Year Itch" has been around since the 1800's, it was popularisted by the 1955 movie of the same title, staring Marilyn Monroe . The plot suggests that many men have extra-marital affairs after 7 years of marriage. Thus the meaning of the phrase describes this supposed urge for infidelity after seven years of marriage. It is now often extended to refer to an urge to move on from any situation.

  • There are seven notes in the Western Major Scale - A to G (or do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do)

  • Seven heavenly objects are visible to the naked eye; Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.

  • According to Jewish mysticism, heaven is divided into seven realms; Araboth, the seventh heaven, is the highest and holiest. Islam also recognises seven levels of heaven.

  • The Secret Seven is a delightful series of children's books, by Enid Blyton, about a fictional group of child detectives. If you were born in the 50's - 70's you probably grew up reading these.

  • Steven Covey's book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published in 1989. With over 15-million copies sold - in 38 lanuages - it has been the most successful self-help book. Covey's 7 principles are simple and effetive: 1) be proactive, 2) begin with the end in mind, 3) put first things first, 4) think win-win, 5) seek first to understand, then to be understood, 6) synergise and 7) sharpen the saw.

  • 7-a-side rugby is a variation on the traditional 15 player team format.

  • There are many Seven Wonders of the World lists, including those for Natural Wonders and Wonders of the Industrial and Underwater Worlds. The earliest extant version of a list of Seven Wonders was compiled by Antipater of Sidon, who described the seven ancient structures in a poem (approx 150BC). As the Great Pyramid was the only Wonder of the Ancient World still standing (the other six were destroyed by earthquake, fire or other reasons) in our modern World, a list of New Seven Wonders of World ( was recently voted (July 2007). They are: Great Wall of China, Petra, Christ the Redeemer (statue, Brazil), Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Colosseum, Taj Mahal, Great Pyramid (I've seen only one of these - Taj Mahal)

  • The current Seven Seas are: North Pacific Ocean, the South Pacific Ocean, the North Atlantic Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. In Medieval European literature, the Seven Seas referred to any seven of the following eleven bodies of water: the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Irish Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the North Sea, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea.

  • We're all well aware of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on the Seven Continents. These include: Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mt Elbrus (Europe), Vinson (Antartica), Denali (North America), Aconcagua (S. America), Carstensz Pyramid (Australia-New Guinea) and Mt Everest (Asia).
        • I recently read Heinrich Harrer's book, "The White Spider" about summit attempts on Eiger's North Face. Written in 1958 it is a classic. Harrer was one of the trio who made the first ascent in 1934. He is also the fellow who spent "Seven Years in Tibet" and wrote a book about it (Brad Pitt was in the movie version)
        • Lance Armstrong won 7 consecutive Tour de France races (1999-2005)

        • Michael Schumacher won 7 Formula 1 Championship titles (2 with Bennetton and 5 with Ferrari) - I used to be a F1 addict

        • When asked to think of a number between one and 10, most people pick seven

        • We spend seven years in primary school (grades 1-7).

        • In Vedic Hindu tradition, the human body features seven basic chakras, or "wheels of energy

        • Almost all mammals have seven cervical vertebrae (including those with very short necks, such as elephants and whales, and those with very long necks, such as giraffes). The few exceptions include the manatee and the two-toed sloth, which each have only six cervical vertebrae, and the three-toed sloth with nine cervical vertebrae.
        • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet were originally named as the seven colors of the rainbow. Some consider indigo and violet to be the same colour.

        • Telephone numbers have 7 digits, excluding area code

        • Seven is considered a lucky number. A row of 7's is the winning number combination on the one-armed bandit (slot machine): 7-7-7

        Happy 7th Birthday !


        Anonymous said...

        Congratulation and to you Lisa for all the hard work. Although I have never done an adventure race, I am a lot closer to doing one thanks to the AR website. I always enjoy following the other AR teams' progress, the news as well as reading your blog. All the best for the future.

        Anonymous said...

        Congrats L, you've done a great job with your site. I've had it as my home page for years. A point of reference for anything and everything about AR! Well done:)Lobby