I am very excited to launch my new Running for Premature Babies website and blog in time for RFPB 2014. 

And, it’s all thanks to you, my fabulous 2013 RFPB team, for inspiring me to do it. Many of your post-race surveys highlighted the need for a more user-friendly site and Stuart Fagg, one of our RFPB runners, immediately put up his hand to offer his expertise.

For the past six months, Stuart has worked hard in his spare time to professionally design and build our new site, and I love it! I can’t thank him enough for this generous gift. I’m sure you’ll agree, he’s done an incredible job. It’s clean, crisp and clear, easy to navigate, informative, interesting and very motivating.

Thanks also goes to Belinda Findlay, another generous RFPB runner, who wrote the copy and to Jesse Taylor for his brilliant photographs that we all love. If you need a web designer, copy writer or photographer, I can highly recommend Stuart, Belinda and Jesse’s work. 

Take a few minutes to look around the new site. You’ll definitely be inspired by what we’ve achieved to date, by the stories of our courageous babies and children born prematurely or with difficulty. You’ll also really enjoy our new sections on the personal achievements of our runners and the interviews with our RFPB veterans who’ve run every year since we began seven years ago. They are amazing!

Most importantly, you’ll notice we’re heading in an exciting new direction in 2014: having raised just over $1 million for life-saving equipment for the Royal’s Newborn Care Centre, we’ll now be focusing on research.

Our 2014 goal is to raise $200,000 to fund a research fellow (doctor) at the Newborn Care Centre to conduct research for two years.

As you know, research is vital to saving the lives of the 25,000 babies born prematurely in Australia each year. Dr Lui and his team of neonatologists at the Royal are very excited about the prospect of having a doctor dedicated to critical research, thanks to the efforts of the RFPB team.

Don’t forget to check out our new 2014 Training Program, designed as always by our chief trainer and exercise physiologist, Mandi O’Sullivan-Jones. Put the dates in your diary now.  Excitingly, for all of you who live across the bridge, you’ll notice that we have a new lower north-shore location for 2014. Wednesday evening interval training and fortnightly long runs will be held from North Sydney Oval.  This is in addition to our usual Wednesday evening interval training sessions in the City and Queen’s Park, and fortnightly Sunday long runs in Centennial Park and Parramatta. In 2014, there something for everyone.

If you’d like to start up a RFPB training location elsewhere (Wollongong, Southern Highlands .. the sky’s the limit) please let me know and I’ll spread the news to the team!

Feel free to leave a comment to let me know what you think about our new website. I’d really love to hear from you.

Happy Running!

Sophie x