The Springfield Striders Pleshey Half Marathon gallery is now live and online here:
With a weather forecast that not only signalled the end of summer and the start of Autumn, but also given it's ferocity it felt a bit like the interim moment before the start of the the Age of Aquarius (that's at 11:11am on 21st Dec 2012 - if you're wondering), about 350 hardy individuals lined up outside the White Horse Pub in Pleshey to go for a run.
Many would argue that if you are in a 350 person queue outside a pub then you ought to do something worthwhile to kill the time before 11am and opening hours. I know a few who might just debate the point that going for a Half Marathon is a bit on the extreme side of queue-active exercise, but then I know a few that would also argue that going for a 150mile bike ride before breakfast is also a good idea. Such are the circles I mix in, when I'm allowed to. I think the point I'm making is that it takes all sorts to make a race. Or queue for the pub.
So, there they were. 10:30 in a pub queue with 349 other people, waiting for the off and killing a bit of time before lunch with a run. Not any old run, this was the Essex Half Marathon championships 2012, so good accurate proper chip timing, (from Ian at Mucky Races) very accurately measured course (every mile marker was precisely next to the chalk markings on the road), good parking in the field, and very slick marshaling and water management, as well as a very present St.Johns battle waggon and Ambulance. At this point I should also add that the food Tent was one of the slickest operations that I've ever seen, and even at last orders had freshly cooked sausages and bacon and cakes still available - something I rarely see at many of the events I cover - the team in that tent worked hard all morning. Overall - you would have been hard pushed to tell this was the first time the race had ever been put on.
So, the racing ? Well Local favourite Paul Molineux (for some reasons with number 1) zipped off at the front of the pack and decided he wanted to make it back to the White Horse before the rain started, and just about managed it in 1h:09m:37.4s. I have to admit as a part time viewer of Essex races I had expected Crispian Bloomfield to be higher up and challenging at the front - and even his 1:15 was impressive, but he didn't look like he was attacking it with the focus I've seen him have before at the early stages.
June Allen completed the sweep for Springfield striders across the genders with a 1:19:00 win in the female race, some 7 minutes ahead of second place Nikki Brockbank, also from Springfield Striders.
|June Allen on the descent at 3miles|
|Team Springfield peloton|
|TGT looking for inspiration|
|Dagenham looking for inspiration|
|The 3mile water station - very well marshaled|
|Paul Moleneux at 11 miles|
|Crispian put some turbo power in, but too late in the race, but still got 7th|
|Smiling through the rain|
|Good support from St.Johns|
|Nikki Brockbank zooming at 2 miles|
|Pitsea put in an early surrender|
|double double thumbs up|
|Back in time for the pub before the really heavy rain|
|Chasing in at the finish with friends|
|Cruising in with style at the finish|
Many thanks to the race director Ian Cardy and the team from Springfield Striders on putting on such a well organised inaugural event. Fingers crossed next year it won't clash with the Ipswich half and numbers will be up - as it rightly deserves for such a scenic race. Here's a route map of sorts if you want a look http://goo.gl/maps/hTuoz, and the results are up here http://www.springfieldstriders.org.uk/pleshey-a-essex-half-marathon.html
A special mention should also go to the team back here in the office who put 10hrs into indexing this gallery so quickly on a Sunday evening. Awesome work. The investment in computers and training seems to be paying off - well it will if you all buy your images and be cool.
The Tonbridge Half gallery is next up for processing and they already made a bit of a start into it tonight.
Next Weeks Races and call for final entries.
Fingers crossed this weather will pass through and Sunday will be perfect autumnal running weather - it's last call for entries for the Ealing Half Marathon
Also we have the -
All are still taking final entries, and whilst we are at it, Chris Carter asked me to mention that the Brighton10k in November is onto its last few places - so don't miss out if you want to do it.
Right, beauty sleep ready for the Tonbridge indexing tomorrow, only 22,000 to index !!
Until next time