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News Article : It's Group Run Time!
Published: 01/03/2014 by : Simon Morillas

So we've finally made it to Melbourne, not quite the land of sunshine as promised, but still not a bad place to begin the 2014 RunThatTrack (and of course F1) season. By about now the jetlag is starting to wear off, and the nights are being transformed from "Well it's 3am and I'm awake so I might as well see what's happening at the factory" to "It's 3am and we're still at the track, and why won't that grinding noise ever stop!". Ahhh the joys of the first race of the F1 season....

For those not partaking in the endless grinding and countless taking things off and putting them back on again joy in the garages, Melbourne promises to be an interesting start to the season. The new regulations, the driver shuffle and the "how many cars will finish" sweepstake (put me down for 12) should provide plenty to talk about over the weekend whilst sitting in your favourite restaurant along the riverside or down in Lygon Street. Not content with letting the F1 circus provide all the news, here at the RunThatTrack Technology Centre we've been busy putting the finishing touches on the all new razzle dazzle RunThatTrack website. The last few pieces of the website have been held up in hand carry and customs but should make their way to the track shortly; as soon as we have finished bolting them on (then grinding them to make them fit), we'll hit the go button and launch the site for 2014 (which has hopefully happened by the time you’re reading this).

So, back to the first Group Run for the season. Let's start with the when and the where. Simple, we gather together at the start/finish line about 9:30pm on Saturday night for a 9:45pm start (that's parc ferme + 15mins folks). Now the track. Our resident running and track guru MKL describes the track as "Almost perfectly flat from start to finish, Albert Park could be seen as the perfect opening lap of the year for those not wanting to begin with anything too challenging." So, there you have it, a nice gentle lap and a perfect way to start 2014...

For those of you who have not taken part in a Group Run before, welcome to the start of your Group Run adventure. Naturally I will say it's great fun and that everybody enjoys the mix of teams and different runner strengths and speeds, but you'll need to make your own mind up after Saturday night. If it is your first time, there are a few ground rules. 1. You have to have fun. Sure there is a bit of friendly competition, but that is not what this is about. 2. Umm, see 1. The reason that Group Runs were first started in 2010 was to have a bit of a get together and run a lap with other like minded runners from different teams. As the word spread and more and more people got involved, the Group Runs took on a life of their own, now it does not matter if you walk, run, hop or skip around the track, just doing it with 250 other people all at the same time on an F1 track will leave you grinning ear to ear (after you finish that is). In terms of organisation, don't worry about that, our friends at UBS have sorted it all out with the organisers etc and we are good to go.

For the Australia Group Run our friends at UBS have pulled out the big guns; it's my pleasure to announce that we have a Special Guest Starter, Robbie McEwen. That's right, the triple Tour de France Green Jersey winner (amongst so much other stuff) will be trackside to start us all off on Saturday night. For those of you not running (and why not?) make sure you pop down to the start finish line to say hi to Robbie and watch the start of the Group Run. We'll have our normal photography team there so come along and get a pic. Our team will be at the start finish line with drinks etc to get everyone organised and ready, after that it's up to you.....

For 2011, RunThatTrack was lucky to pick up the support of UBS. I am proud and pleased to say that this support continues for 2014. With the support of UBS came the ability to support a charity, and the nominated charity for 2014 is again Make-A-Wish. Now UBS have been what I consider unbelievably generous and supportive, for 2014 each runner who submits a lap will raise $100 per event towards the UBS supported 2014 donation total. That's right, all you need to do is turn up, run a lap, register the time on the website at www.runthattrack.info and that's it, another $100 gets raised for charity. Now, you may think that your $100 does not go very far, but you're wrong. Over the past 3 seasons, the donation total raised for Make-A-Wish is $862,100. Yep, that's right, each and every one of you have helped with every step to raise that total. If you need a reason to break out the trainers and do a lap then that should be it. When you have a spare minute or two, have a look at Make-A-Wish website so you can see where your laps are going. Our new site has all our Make-A-Wish stories to date, but as a starting point have a look here

Ok, so that's about it from me, I need to go and get this website online. It's just left for me to say the customary Group Run signoff of "It does not matter if you win or lose, it's just the taking part that matters, so come on down to the start/finish line on Saturday night and and have some fun and help raise the donation total for Make-A-Wish".
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