Happy New Year to everyone and welcome to rogaining for 2014. We had another successful year in 2013 and more great events to look forward to in the year ahead.

You may have noticed our social media presence go to a new level this year and confirm our spot as the most engaged online rogaining community anywhere. For a while we were tussling with QRA for facebook likes, but now we’ve pulled clear ahead (604 vs 557). And on a per-capita basis, we’re blowing them out of the water! A big thanks to Sally Caston who has been the driving force behind the new clothing and facebook presence.

We finished the year with an exclusive Thank You lunch and drinks event for our 2013 volunteers at Anderson’s Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills. This was an initiative we introduced 3 years ago and is a fantastic way to acknowledge all the people who make our events possible each year. I would encourage everyone who’s done a few rogaines to have a go at volunteering for us – you’ll get a lot out of it!

And then there are our “uber-volunteers” – the SARA Committee. We were joined this year by Sally Caston, Kate Corner, Jo Powell & Richard Sprod who have all been wonderful additions. Looking ahead we say bon voyage to Anton Steketee who is having a year travelling. Anton has been a great asset to SARA with his fresh ideas and scouting connections. When’s that return flight booked for Anton? And finally, I need to give a special thanks to Craig Colwell (Vice President) and the Committee for taking on the extra load when Ella Robinson & I disappeared for the winter. They’re a committed bunch your SARA Committee.

And now for the year ahead. It promises to be a great one. The big news is that we plan to have two 24 hour events again in 2014! We had a few years where we struggled to find setters and only had modest attendance for our longer events, and our reaction was to reduce the number of 24 hour rogaines on the calendar. However, we’ve seen a steady increase in the size of our membership and seem to have our setting slots filled, so we’re back in business! The 24 hour event is the classic rogaine duration and I encourage everyone to give it a go. Remember, you don’t have to stay out all night. In fact, I think you’re mildly crazy if you do!

We continue our association with AsthmaSA this year, but with a slight twist. We’ll still benefit from the exposure and facilities they bring, but this year we’ll be holding back to back 6hrs: Saturday for Asthma and Sunday for SARA. It’s a great way to make the most of a course and allows us the rare opportunity to see how the SARA membership likes a shorter event on a Sunday.

And if you thought the 2013 minigaine was fun, just wait……..

I look forward to seeing you all at our Twilight kick-off event on 15 March at Morialta.

Mark Porter, SARA President