Over 39,000 images have been checked through, catalogued and put online for you to enjoy, compare your team mates endeavours and for you to add to your collection. If there's one thing you will need to prove to your friends, family, kids and grandchildren in the decades to come - it's that you survived the rescheduled Parliament Hill in 2013 and you are a runner !
I think I've found the link to some results - http://mcs.open.ac.uk/mkac/13seaaxcresults.htm
With some seriously deep mud for running through across the spring lined slopes of the hills the rescheduled Southern Champs went off exactly on time in perfect sunny weather conditions for running.
There was a brief preview of the races in Athletics weekly here and I fully expect to see a total journalistic write up in due course. I however am not a journalist, so here's a brief selection of photos from the day and some observations from the other side of the lens...of what was a great days racing with a few surprises along the way...
click on the pictures to see them a bit larger in your web browser.
|Enjoying the experience|
|Aloof and shoeless, and alas ill he said, as the course claimed it's first victim|
|Too late on the waving 22|
|The pain of sock running|
|gliding over the mud|
|Just a bit unsure of the mud|
|leading the race with a concentratey face|
|Stuck in the mud - Steph Twell helps her teamate out during the course walk before coming second in the Senior race.|
|over the top|
|Branded locals ran riot|
|another concentratey face|
|It's cheating to run with three arms and three legs|
|The Leading ladies|
|Careful steps through the mud|
|At the head of the mens race they held hands for the first lap, which was nice|
|Not really time for a massage|
|The local Adam Ant fan club|
|remember - no club vest and no chip = no team points |
(and the dog ran the last 2/3rds of a lap chasing their owner)
|The new Shard on the left in the distance adding to the sights|
|Frank Tickner takes the lead on the start of the last lap|
|concentratey laser eyes face|
|Victory at the end - you didn't need to be first to win today!|
|The BT tower still stands out on the cityscape|
|An unexpected and welcome victory for Nene Valley Harriers Alex Hampson in the U15 race|
|Holly Page won the U13 girls for Dartford Harriers AC|
|by 2 seconds - James Puxty won the u13 Boys for Tonbridge AC|
|hard racing even for 76th place|
|The largest ever front row scrum down (you should see it on detail)|
|that first climb|
|drop the mobot - Angelina Ballerina all the way|
|one shoe suffering|
|All set in the pens|
|The charge of the light brigade|
All in all a very good days racing, with challenging conditions befitting the level of competition the southerns are. Any easier - it wouldn't have been a challenge - any harder and the 15km race for the mens (the longest XC championship race in Europe we think as all the others are 12k) would have been soul destroying. Certainly a days races that everyone involved from racing to organising should be proud to be part of.
The gallery is here
feel free to share or put your comments about it on our facebook page posting here
More than Race Souveniers
I'm minded to share a conversation I had with a marshal at a local off road 10k race the other day as I helped clear the course of signs and gave them a lift back to the HQ. It went a bit like this:
Marshal: Oh yes I've run so much I just look at the photos, but even if they are free downloads I rarely bother to get a copy. I'll only get one of a really special race if it is a PB or something.
Me: That's understandable, nobodys going to buy everything all the time, but the free downloads ? - you should just download them even if you're not going to do anything with them.
Marshal: Why ?
Me: Because they're not for you.
Now some of you will know I can have a particularly dark sense of humour, and like to be cheeky as often as possible, but on this occaision I wasn't joking.
I have two rather old pictures of my previous life as hurdler. Granted, not that good a hurdler, but hell it was ~20 years of my life, and looking down on the parliament hill track on saturday and reminiscing about the 3rd leg of a 4x100m where lets face it - I burnt that track up - is no use because lets face the truth again - that was 20 years ago. But with those photos, my little children know that once, their Daddy was a hurdler, and (was) is a runner. Those pictures are the closest thing I have to immortality for my Hurdling career, and the only thing that my kids will ever have as evidence. Those pictures are only a bit of a memory jog for me (which I enjoy), but mostly - they are for my kids to remember me the way I'd like them to - because apparently I'm not getting any younger or thinner.
So, be mindful when you see race photos from a significant and special race - because whilst the short term memories are for you, it's the long term memories that really define who we are - for those who are important to us.
And if they are free downloads at a race - make sure you fill your boots - you never know what they will be useful for, and Immortality in your own home is a precious commodity.
Now with all that serious deep thought out of the way, I leave you with one final thought.
If the mud wasn't deep enough for you at Parliament hill, then you should get yourselves over to the Brutal at Bordon on Saturday (just down the A3) and find out just how deep, cold and character building mud really can be and discover it's real medicinal properties.
until next time, enjoy the gallery