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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Finchley 20 and Lydd Half - galleries live

The Finchley 20 Gallery is now live and online here: 

and the official race website and results are here:

Lydd Half Marathon

The Lydd Half Marathon gallery is also live here: 
the race website is here

Race report - Finchley 20:

Sunday was a busy day with four events going on - two at Dunsfold Park a 10 and a 20 milers with Events to live's Surrey Spitfire and Tempest races and then we also had the Lydd Half marathon and the Wimbledon 10k.

Lydd ended up being the driest of all, with the rain sweeping up from Southampton and getting into East Sussex but not as far as Kent, clipping the west of london. With that forecast it started off dull and overcast, then bouts of heavy rain and then finally just in time for the finish, nice and dry.

Mindful that the Rugby started at 3pm (England v Scotland), as well as trying to keep the kids occupied I dropped the eldest off in Watford at 8am. Nothing like a fully charged 3yr old on your hands at 8am on a Sunday morning ! (Thanks to Cousin Catherine !) With childcare at home for the youngest and the Boss covering Dunsfold, it was over to Ruislip for the Finchley 20.

4 laps of a particularly Urban course, with some bits of countryside which is heavily tree lined and non-pavemented. With the puddles forming - and trying to get the best out of the locations but with the dark skyies breathing rain, it was a challenge to find a point on the course with enough light to actually take a decent running photo as well as not get splashed by the cars.
Serpentine looking far too calm at 2 miles

Mornington Chasers - being chased

For the camera techs amongst you - f3.2 iso 800 1/320th is where things started out. Which is about 7-8 times darker than it was at the finish (backlit f4 iso400 1/500).
Picking a spot in those conditions became critical, even the bare twigged umbrella of the trees takes about half the light from the road - finding the break in the canopy becomes an obsession.

The plan was to get the pack as it ran through on the first 4 laps from two different locations, and then as the leader went past, pack up and beat him to the finish by going back in the 2 miles against the race direction, whilst he takes the 3 miles and 15 minutes the right way round.

This all worked out ok - the main pack came past lap 1 and I was at the turn into the side road for the estate after the railway bridge. I then moved just ahead of the bridge and in the heavy rain chose a spot with a bit of perspecitve as the road swept away to the left, and open skies where the runners were due to an entry drive to a house.
Doh ! I wonder what he forgot ?

Only a few requests from runners of "I wish I had your job, fancy a swap" but is freezing cold sat in the rain really what you wish for on a sunday morning ? Personally I would rather be running given the choice, but we all have to feed our kids somehow, and I don't fancy going back to the weekday commute.

Lots of smiling faces, some amusing gesticulations and good humoured banter was managed by many of the runners as they passed in the rain. You were doing better than I would have faired running in those conditions. There was even a squadron of Airplanes this race.
here comes red leader
Blue leader incoming - with wing tip trims

Red and White leaders tag buzzing Yellow Leader

Green leader's wingman Goose raises a shout
So after seeing the leader for the 4th time it was off to the finsh. Simple - pack up kit, chair, bag, thermos avaoiding mud, rain and other hazards, walk 100m to car, get in and go. Except when I got to the car I couldn'd find my keys. Not Good.
This was clearly a bit of a show stopper - worst case would be to run the 2miles back to the start carrying the kit (17kg last time I weighed it).
5 checks of every pocket later and I knew they were gone for good - a kind marshal helped look after my kit as I then ran back to search for my keys where I'd been working. A bit of scrabbling about and I managed to find a bit of them showing through the brown sticky mud I'd been sat in. Relief !

A (legal) sprint in the car back to the race HQ and then to spend the next 2hrs20 kneeling down infront of the finish clock - Making it just in time to catch the winner Ben Fish from Blackburn Harriers - who did a cracking time of 1:47:49. Although judging from the gap to second place it seemed that he did ease up a bit on the final laps...?
Full results are here (although without race numbers):

Big respect to all of you who managed to finish the race with the tough early conditions, timekeepers and the marshals who stuck to their posts for over 4 hours. Thank you for the banter at the finish line too.

this way ?

Strong finishing

The satisfaction of a job well done

Slight Supination on the left foot ?

bada-bing bada-boom

yes !

the pain and ecstasy of the finish straight

 Finally I made it back to the cousins to pick up the eldest just in time to catch the second half of the rugby and well played James Haskell on Man of the Match.

Remember to search on "misc" if you want to see any of the other general pictures from the day 

With a new computer due for delivery tomorrow I'm aiming to get a few more hands on deck for the post race cataloguing and processing in the future - which should speed things up !

Upcoming races are:

F3 Events Half marathon at Dorney Lake, nr Eaton
Brutal 10 - 10k off-road challenge nr Farnborough

Brentwood Half marathon and Fun run - race full
Cranleigh 15-21 - race full

Until next time, train safely - and don't forget that sports massage you've been delaying..


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