Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Political Correctness

You might think running a website about the local life of running is just a matter of reporting the facts and publishing a few kind words about the current events and results - and then everybody will be happy about it. But sometimes lonely and unsuspicously working on your homepage can result in receiving unexpected reactions.

You need some background information to understand what happened this weekend. My hometown Witten had a very successful triathlon club who won several German team championships in a row and a number of their athletes celebrated international achievements at the Olympics and major ironmans such as on Hawaii. As it often happens, success has more than one father and these usually have different opinions. To come to the point: The club splitted into two a couple of years ago. Now there is the new Triathlon Team Witten, where most of the elite athletes gather and the original PV Triathlon Witten who cencentrates on working with the youngsters and has a limited number of middle of the pack triathletes. Until today both clubs did not find a way back to effective cooperation, cautiously expressed.

Both clubs provide a preparation programme for marathon runners, newcomers alike experienced. After the Ruhr Marathon 2006 was cancelled, both clubs decided to send their runners to the Rhein-Ruhr-Marathon in Duisburg. And this was what took place yesterday.

TTW sent nearly 400 runners and PV had more than 100 athletes. I looked forward to visiting the event and taking as many photos as possible to publish on the website. I got up on Sunday morning at 7am, passed on my breakfast and made my way 40K to Duisburg. Using my bicycle I spent an entertaining time trying to spot as many local runners as possible (photo gallery). It was good fun to meet all the well mooded runners. Back home I published more than 400 photos within two hours after the event ended and was fairly happy about the outcome. I selected some photos which I liked most to set up on the frontpage and wrote a short news about the results.

Imagine how I felt next morning when I opened the first email and had to read a complaint that my online presentation would not be well-balanced and I obviously had favoured one of the clubs. Later 2 more claims followed. This put me down so frustrated that for a second I thought about going on strike and close the page for some days.

Well, looking at it after easing I have to admit that in fact there was just one of clubs represented on the main page but I assert it was just coincidance. I regarded all of the local runners as one united group and didn't think about separated parts. This is not the first time I saw the world to be brighter than it is.

I have learnt my lesson and the updated version of http://www.laufen-in-witten.de/ is political correct and was already appreciated.

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