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Where the printers meet the sea – a personal reflection on the RIcoh Print Run 2007

Thursday, 16 August 2007
By Print 21 Online Article

This year’s magnificent gallop down William Street and on to the golden sands of Australia’s most famous beach was enlivened by a contingent from the printing industry. An elite team (pictured below) with biceps bulging and glutimus maximus rippling in the early morning sun, assembled ready for the fray.

It truly was a “digital” print run, in that it was highly personalised (with over 60,000 impressions), delivered in just over an hour – and there was no make-ready.

But why do such intelligent people do this sort of thing? While this event is egalitarian and open to everyone, it’s not to every one’s taste. If you’re into agoraphobia, or don’t like the aroma of 60,000 sweaty armpits and crotches, it’s probably not for you. So who can explain the deep, primordial urge to cavort down the median strip of the Road to Bondi, when a bus or car would get you there far more efficiently?

Who knows – but it was a most enjoyable day, starting at 10am, when, with muscles a-quiver, half-a-dozen hand-picked athletes, exploded out of the starting blocks at a high-speed dawdle, cheek-and-jowl with all our other sweaty “neighbours” until about Kings Cross, when the gap between contestants widened out to a few centimetres. With eyes firmly fixated on the buttocks of the person ahead, one had no option but to focus on remaining vertical, as the pounding on the footpath equalled the pounding in the head.

Pictured: Norman Koslowski; Brent Clarke; Wilber Koslowski; Phil Clarke; Patrick Howard; James Cryer; Steve Wilson; Jack Starnawski; Colin George and Shayla Tracey, just some of the industry braves in Hyde Park at the start of the Ricoh PrintRun.

Pumped full of adrenaline and Dencorub, we floated effortlessly up Heartbreak Hill completely oblivious to its existence, then down the other side towards the roar of the breakers and the smell of the crowd, who had thoughtfully assembled at Bondi specifically to welcome us.

After the obligatory “medalling” ceremony, our olfactory sensors were titivated, as the aroma of barbequed sausages struggled to compete against the aroma of 20,000 armpits and crotches (not everyone had finished) which emanated from the Ricoh Marquee. Proving that not only do they make a mean line in digital black & white and colour copiers, but they can also produce instant snags, with a range of in-line finishing options to suit all tastes. Repeat orders (from an impatient clientele!) were handled promptly, courteously and on-time.

Many industries utilise major events as this to promote and foster a sense of participation, and even pride, in belonging. We see the banks and insurance companies grabbing the moment (and the exposure) for a whole range of morale-building purposes, leavened with a healthy dose of self-promotion.

But why not us?

Are we as an industry too self-effacing? Are we too unaccustomed to the values of marketing – collectively (as an industry) and individually (as companies)?

We are an industry at the cross-roads, needing maximum publicity to attract both clients and employees. Why not have a print industry contingent next year? It’d not only be a vehicle to raise awareness, but also a platform for some good healthy rivalry between firms. Or even within firms – perhaps the bosses’ versus the workers.

Maybe it could even form the basis for a new category in the National Print Awards?

The Ricoh PrintRun results
The few, the gallant few who did the industry proud on the day. Here’s how they finsihed.

  • Brent Clarke – 64.30
  • Jack Starnawski – 66:55
  • James Cryer – 69.03
  • Phil Clarke – 69.59
  • Patrick Howard – 78.45
  • Christopher Starnawski – 84:06
  • Steve Wilson – 84:07
  • Shayla Tracey – 86:09
  • Norman Koslowski – 93:11
  • Wilber Koslowski – 94:02
  • Maryana Deneva – 101:58
  • Colin George – 103:27
  • Craig Skilton – 114:13
  • Sarah Weightmanv – 116.04
  • Ian Greenwell – 116.05
  • Chris Galen – 136.34
  • Karen Finn – 148.25
  • Brendan Scollarly – 185:32

  • Pictured: Jack Starnawski with Patrick Howard

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