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Posted: May 16, 2005

Athletics: RunnersWeb.com places Ottawa in the centre of the world of running

By Louise Rachlis

Runner's Web Founder Ken Parker - Photo by the Ottawa Citizen

“It’s still 25 per cent business and 75 per cent passion.” – Ken Parker RunnersWeb.com Inc.

World champion triathlete and coach Siri Lindley calls it her “all time favorite site, the first one I go to every day.”

Amby Burfoot, Executive Editor, Runner’s World Magazine, describes himself as “a big fan.”

What they’re both praising is RunnersWeb.com, the pride and joy of Ottawa’s Ken Parker, founder and former president and CEO of Sirius Consulting Group Inc.

Whether you’re looking for a triathlon site in Japan,want information about running in Malta, training information, race calendars, race results or to purchase leading edge equipment, you’ll find it at RunnersWeb.com.

Founded in 1997 as a not-for-profit resource site, RunnersWeb. com Inc. is now a small business venture which sponsors the OAC Racing Team, a women’s road racing and triathlon club, and the OAC Gatineau Triathlon and OAC Corporate Relay.

“It was my way of learning about the worldwide web,” Parker explains. “We were one of the first small companies to have a website. The first go at it was just one page of links to other sites.”

To finance the site, he sells advertising. “This past March we averaged over 7,000 visitors a day, which was up 30 per cent over March a year ago. It’s growing and my advertising is growing; people are now approaching me. There wasn’t a business plan for this; it’s still 25 per cent business and 75 per cent passion.”

He works on the Magma Communications site seven days a week, conducting e-mail interviews with runners and triathletes all over the world to provide a portal into the world of road running, track and field, triathlon and adventure racing. There are also links to over 7,000 other sites.

Exercise physiologist Owen Anderson does a regular column and answers questions directly from site visitors, and the Runner’s Web also contains the home page of Sharon Donnelly, a world-ranked triathlete who has been sponsored by Sirius Consulting since 1997.

All of the content posted on Runner’s Web is indexed on Google and other search engines; providing worldwide exposure to contributors.

A former marathoner and co-founder and race director of Ottawa’s National Capital Marathon, Parker is the founder and coach of the Ottawa Athletic Club Racing Team and was a founding coach of the Ottawa Lions Track Club.

The Runner’s Web Digest is a weekly e-zine covering running, triathlon, health and fitness sent out to a subscriber list of 1,247 and growing.

Whether it’s the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in Washington, D.C. or the New York City Marathon, Parker makes sure the race coverage is linked to his site. “All of the big marathons get a lot of coverage. I’m always searching the Web.”

This article original appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and is reprinted with permission


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