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Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Grand Union Canal Half Marathon 2018 - gallery's been ready for days !

Not a bad choice of charities on Remembrance day

So it was considerably warmer than 2014 (which was very frosty!), as a warm clear blue sky shone straight down our lenses all along the canal towpath for the Grand Union Canal Half Marathon, organised by Purple Patch running. So, if you're wondering why I had a reflector at the bridge, or why Paul sat right next to the very white wall at his second spot - it's because it means we can actually see your faces with the reflection lighting you up, rather than being in complete back-lit shade. You'll see it makes quite a bit of a difference...

Despite torrential rain overnight it was a bit puddly, but along the mile or so of the towpath I walked along - remarkably solid and firm, although not racing flat conditions, nor PB according to a few runners, we still had a winner in Tim Lawrence #277 at Cassiobury park in 1:17:28 whilst Jenny Carter #340 from Serpentine made it in 1:30:38 to win the womens race and only 15th place overall. 

Here's the usual table of recent gallery links and next races to enter - 2019's calendar is filling up fast - we're already booking into October - and as a runner - you'll be pleased to know we are getting more and more races enabling free downloads, or even better more races are giving delivered images direct to you with Pic2Go on the day. It's a win for runners !

Date Event Event Gallery or Website
Sat-27/10/2018 Beachy Head
Sun-04/11/2018 LBVCR - the veteran car run
Sun-11/11/2018 PP Grand Union Half
Next Races -
Sat-17/11/2018 Brutal Spider Hill
Sun-18/11/2018 The Adidas Fulham 10k - free downloads
Sun-18/11/2018 Brighton 10k
Sun-02/12/2018 The Hogs Back
Sun-09/12/2018 Seaford Mince Pie
Tue-01/01/2019 Serpentine 10k

Ever wondered what to do with your images and race times after a race (because lets face it - you just want to know how fast you did, and what you looked like) ? One of our business partners (hereby declaring a slight interest in friendly businesses doing well) - have developed RunPage - a space where you can put your official results, add your own photos (pre and post race selfies and the dangly medal picture), and indeed put the official photos from a race (I think I know where to get those from) all into one convenient place. Call it a race achievement diary if you like - it's really pretty good (and I might be motivated to put my two half marathons onto it soon too!)
Here's a handy link:
It even allows event organisers to put cool maps and gps route flythroughs on there - have a look at the demo's on the home page, so if you are an event organiser - consider embracing this for of runner engagement and race publicity.
Once you've put in your time, photos and perhaps a bit of a diary entry - you can share it on lots of different social media - meaning you're not posting race photos piecemeal onto facebook - you have it all in a handy reference place to get to easily.
Have a look, have a play, and see what you think !

And on that note, here's some photos from the Grand Union Half,

Jumping Jack Flash

Good Fundraising running

Running with friends is much more fun

Running up that hill

Enjoying the house white

Chasing it in at the end

victory at the finish

Paul makes it in for Lupus and a fantastic achievemnt

Remembrance day and waiting for a finisher

He's only gone and done it !

Busy skies over Watford

Clare keeping an eye on finishers for the commentary

Naomi had a great race - check the results !

Marshals losing the plot slowly

Wayne's world foxy lady

Double thumbs up, and a bit of shock that's the case

Top Running, top cause

Jolly nice along the canal

Get up, get out and taste victory !

So that's about it for this week, it's the last of the busy weekends of the year for us next weekend at Fulham and Brighton - so I look forwards to see you there if you can make it - I'll be at Madeira drive.

Enjoy the sunny (and unseasonably warm) weather !
until next time

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Veteran Car Run 2018 - now live

Andy Green, Driver of the fastest car in the world, takes the backseat for a while

Regular readers will know I don't generally go on about the service we provide at an event, but with the London to Brighton Veteran Car run I'll point out that we do provide the only complete course coverage of all the cars along the route and fully catalogue them so they can be found easily and quickly. No other agency, freelancer or even the organisers have the same depth of coverage we provide with our gallery (and we have been doing it for 13 years).

This year they can be searched for by run number, registration (no spaces), owner, make, year of manufacture, and on a few - the celebrities names...

Car-centric Celebrities we had on the run included Yasmin LeBon (Wife of a singer), Christian Horner (Husband of a singer), Alan Titchmarsh (doesn't sing), and Quentin Willson (don't think he sings). Perhaps the theme wasn't singers ?

You can see their social media accounts on fire with the action below, or search on their car numbers that I've put next to them 
#378 Christian Horner:
#259 Alan Titchmarsh: nope
#291 Quentin Willson:

This is the link to our gallery

The official Veteran Car Run:
#Veteracarrun seemed to give the most action:

If you fancy a look at facebook -here's the official event page:

Business returns to normal next weekend with the Purple Patch Grand Union Half marathon, and the week after that the Adidas City Run - Fulham 10k (with free race photos) and The Brighton 10k, not forgetting the Brutal Spider Hill on the saturday - which has a suitable amount of mud and joy to keep things real !

Date Event Event gallery or future Events
Sun-21/10/2018 Cambridge Town and Gown 10k
Sun-21/10/2018 Abingdon marathon
Sat-27/10/2018 Beachy Head
Sun-04/11/2018 LBVCR - Veteran Car Run
Future Events
Sun-11/11/2018 PP Grand Union Half
Sat-17/11/2018 Brutal Spider Hill
Sun-18/11/2018 Fulham 10k - Free Race Photos
Sun-18/11/2018 The Brighton 10k
Sun-02/12/2018 The Hogs Back
Sun-09/12/2018 Seaford Mince Pie
So enjoy the week ahead, the weather forecast is not-too-bad - I hope you all kept it safe during the fireworks and hopefully my left achilles is going to get better so I can do some sort of training on it (here I come to the static bike...)

Not redbull racing, but Christian Horner having a drive for a change

Just look at the state of that scaffolding

We've got this same picture of the young Tacons growing up going back through the decades

Important to dress down for events

No bears were hurt in the putting on of this event

The first cars quickly resulted in the first traffic jams

Every year I think this is Des Lynam.

Flaps away

Finding the speed from anywhere

That moment when it sounds like something falls off...

Finishing at the end of the pier

Drop your chips ? no problem - gone in about 30 seconds

It's fair to say the Queen waves better than this

Look ! a Remainer !! No, It's a Leaver !!!

Possibly not the first or last time these passengers will be doing this

Hands up for Kermit

Another bear sacrificed from their comfy bedroom

A study in concentration

Alan Titchmarsh holds onto his hat at the seaside

The famous "RAC1". We also had AA1 on the run...

so enjoy looking at the old cars on the gallery, there were not that many this year compared to previous years, so it shouldn't take you long !

Until next time, train safe (or drive safe)

Friday, 2 November 2018

Cambridge Town and Gown 10k and Abingdon Marathon, and Beachy Head Marathon and 10k 2018 - galleries live

Start of the Cambridge Town and Town 10k

Apologies, it's been a bit of a busy one and I missed last weeks blog time - however as the main point of this is to tell participants about the race gallery, and both Cambridge and Abingdon emailed all their participants as soon as their race galleries were ready on the Monday - this seemed a bit superfluous. However that leaves me with too many images to try to shoehorn into a single blog, so you'd think there after some good editing and we'll have a smashing selection of images and witty captions to entertain you on your commute or coffee break.
I'm not sure how well I can live up to your expectations on that one, but I'll give it a go in a bit...

Meanwhile - here's the list of galleries, and the (almost) last list of the year for you to enjoy... 2019 races are booking up quickly and hopefully a few new ones, and a few more events with free downloads - so continuing to push forwards with the events to make you even happier !

Date Event Gallery
Sun-14/10/2018 Shoreditch 10k - Free images
Sun-14/10/2018 Herts 10k
Sun-21/10/2018 Cambridge Town and Gown 10k
Sun-21/10/2018 Abingdon marathon
Sat-27/10/2018 Beachy Head
Future Events Event Website
Sun-04/11/2018 LBVCR
Sun-11/11/2018 PP Grand Union Half
Sat-17/11/2018 Brutal Spider Hill
Sun-18/11/2018 Fulham 10k - Free Images
Sun-18/11/2018 Brighton 10k
Sun-02/12/2018 The Hogs Back
Sun-09/12/2018 Seaford Mince Pie

At some point I am going to turn this into a "how to put your race number on properly" slideshow. Because lets face it - it's not *that* difficult really. If everyone at the national cross country championships can put them on properly (and I mean literally *everyone* and there's a lot of them across all agegroups) then why can't a seasoned 100 Marathon Club runner, *for example ? I get why people wear coats, I understand why people think that tri-belts are a good idea, I fully comprehend why people think that pinning numbers on their shorts are a good idea - and I do understand why folding a number up might seem like a good idea at the time. So here's some thoughts - your legs are not big enough, your tribelt is sagging around your back like an inverse fig leaf, you took your coat off and tied it around your waist like a belt over your number, your number is pinned too low, and using four pins isn't extravagant, plus it's in the rules that you don't fold your number exactly because that will give you an advantage over your fellow competitors, and frankly the sponsors who subsidised the cost of your race entry would like to see their name displayed (that's the whole reason really). Other than that - if we can't read it - we can't index your race numbers with it, and then you can't search for it easily and quickly.
nope - they can't read that race number

What's the solution ? - pin it to the front of your leg shorts, so it shows the number vertically. Not the side so we can only see one digit if we are lucky. Or pin it on your front Up on your chest, not down on you belt, so when you do unzip your coat to show us - and do the superman chest thing - we can see it !!!! (please don't unzip your coat leaving a one inch view of the central digit, that's pointless).
And if you are going to put on a ultra vest for gels and water with shoulder straps and everything else on over your number - please don't. Just don't. Put your number somewhere else. Vertically on the front of your leg perhaps ? (ref #967 as an example) ON THE FRONT, not the side. We CANNOT read around corners, and believe me we waste a lot of time squinting at the screens trying to work out from a corner of a digit if it's a 7, 1 or 2 ... Font choices are critical sometimes.
It's under here somewhere, they get smaller in the cold

And for all of you who casually say as you pass "It's ok, I'll find them later" I say you're lying or insane - because you literally have no idea how big that task is. After Beachy Head - where we have gone through every single one of the 136,000 images we took (that was roughly 140 staff hours of work across Saturday night, Sunday and Monday) and put about 98,000 images online - of that over 18,000 images were tagged with no number visible - (with three zeros if you want to do the search "000")  Having had to browse through those search results myself to find a friend who we had their photos all around the course except at one particular point, and only because I can get to the admin side of the site - I found them in about 15 minutes. But I had time data, location knowledge, photographer info, and knew they were wearing a pretty obvious set of bright clothing. Everyone else browsing throught the 000 results for Beachy Head will be pretty much wafting through page after page of people wearing black, all in a jumbled up order (ok you can adjust a search setting to show it by time of day) - it's going to take you at least 4 hours I reckon. Wouldn't it have been easier just to wear your number visibly - you could possibly run most of the race again in that time !!!
frankly better than nowhere, but we usually miss the next runners if we take this shot. Is that fair ?

The alternative logic is that people are relying on everyone else to wear their number so that the 000 results browsing time is minimal. This (based on the 18,000 images) is a false option, it's a bit like relying on everyone else to get their kids vaccinated so you don't have to. It might work if only two other kids are not vaccinated, but when 20% are not - your odds of saving time have drastically reduced, and goes to show you can't rely on others to do the hard work of putting their number on properly so you don't have to...  I'll add that cases of measles are up, and it can kill.

But here, have a browse and see how it looks and get my point - these are in reverse time order of taken - which makes it a bit easier - and you can see almost all the ways how not to wear your race number...
NB there are so many search results - you have to "refine the search" by orientation of vertical or horizontal images in order to see them all - as it will only let you browse 10,000 results at a time.

Lightboxes and corrections
But finally - if you do find your images and want the cataloguing corrected so that a)you can search for them, and b) they are included in your order of all your images - then do this
1. put them into a lightbox (click add to lightbox !) call your lightbox something inspirational like Beachy Head runner number 1234
2. once done, and you have found all the extra images you think are not catalogued correctly - use the green share button to share it with us on
3. add a handy message that explains your race number and that the lightbox is for re-cataloguing
4. we then get the lightbox share and your email
5. we correct the images cataloguing where you are in focus and a subject of an image. (if you're not, it's not a photo of you is it !)
6. we let you know it's corrected by email and rescind the lightbox share.

So here's a selection of images...

All go at the Abingdon Marathon - in the starting fog

oops facepalmed a friend

we're flying through the roads

world record twin buggy marathon achieved!

Nobody was quite sure what the mime was, except it was from the 80's

OOh, it's Ian Fetch, good to see him back on the running wagon

Russ loaned out his water weight dumbells as he's overused them recently

make a point, win the race.

smooth at the last corner

We always try to position ourselves at the best vantage points. This was the view from the static wideangle finish camera. It didn't look like this when we set it up... 
waiting around in the sun for the start of the Cambridge Town and Gown 10k

getting going in the sun

Little did he know he was being chased

high fives on kings parade

The crowd hadn't anticipated an Eric Cantona reaction to their taunts

Yes that's a phone in his pocket.

Because you never know when you might need to make a call

style and grace

Alice being chased by one of the college Dementors

Almost at the finish

That last full on sprint to the line

Flying in at the finish

Brave Oxford Uni Athlete putting in an appearance

Just Gotta run !

Wasn't really fancying it at the start

The wonderful riverside views along the college boathouses, are quite nice to run along

Meanwhile at the Beachy Head Marathon
That first Hill victory

Haverhill, , near Balsham, where I once lived. Who knew eh?

Three very different reactions to a camera

They just won the Election

Andrew just remembered he was supposed to be at work

The Birling Gap food hadn't gone down too well

Nice try to show me your flapping number. Yes you stopped it flapping.

Still not sure what's going on here

Taste that fresh country air !

ooch, ouch, ouchy, ouch, ahh, ouch, argh, ooh, ow... for 26 miles...

did you get my message? no. #awkwardfor26miles

What are Fetchy friends for if not bunny ears ?


This did bring a slight delay to proceedings

This is not the way to Amarillo  

Just enjoying the view on the 10k

This isn't what we signed up for !

That's a no vote for running 10k in sandals then

Classic photobombing

That's not how Rhino's run

**shouts** get away from the edge you cretin

Good to have support and the medical backup at a race

Tring Tring

Yes, Taxi to meet me at Birling Gap

Mind the elbows

Walk Like an Egyptian

Yes it was cold. Now we can't see your number.

To win the match with his left foot he scored a drop-goal for 3 points.

A modern dance interpretation of the pain of Beachy Head.

Friends eh? Bants. (nope can't read either of those numbers either)

That top hill start view

off you go !!

Smashing win - we've seen her steadily develop over the years - from races as far back as Ealing

He lost three places for this Selfie, and judging from the screen, ours was better...

Well done Debbie - great to see you out there !!

When you win - you're on fire !!
So that's it for this week. Sunday we have the anomaly that is the veteran car run, and they have good clear numbering (most of the time). As an event we have archives going back now to 2004, we know a lot of the participants and recognise a lot of the marshals, and also know the favourite spots for photos. Personally I'll be at the finish - and thankfully the temperature has risen and the rain forecast has been moved, pop down and have a look if you're anywhere along the route or in Brighton on Sunday.

It's always blue skies at the Veteran Car Runr

You never know - you might see someone famous. or not.

Until next time, enjoy the dry, if chilly, weather