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Tuesday, 11 June 2013

REP Arun Swim, Mid Sussex Tri, and Seaford Half Marathon 2013 now live

Hello Again !
A busy long weekend with a private Sportive as well as these three events in the past three days

REP Arun Swims - Free Downloads
Mid Sussex Triathlon Club Logo
The Mid Sussex Triathlon - Free Downloads
The NP&S Lions
Seaford Half Marathon 2013

Hopefully you all managed to get a bit of the perfect sunshine on Saturday that was the Summer, despite the slightly chilly wind that cut through things.

clear water and sunny skies
Every year I vow to make it to the REP Arun swim much much earlier than needed to avoid the saturday morning traffic to the coast, invariably on a sunny day. You know the A27 at Arundel from the east will be the tailback of death, so I took a route through the north of the downs villages before heading south to go past the old start at Ford and then head into Littlehampton from there.
First wave off
Needless to say this year like many others - the traffic was as bad as it's ever been - and whilst I'd like to blame it all on Team REP and their excellent race - this time I had to blame my own tardiness. Usually we aim for an hour before the race start (because most people turn up with 45minutes to go) but this time it was 30 minutes to spare. On the other hand, I don't need to go and "warm up" for 20 minutes before the race starts - unlike you, so I could turn up with a minute to go - but that wouldn't make for a stress free life now would it !

The sprint 1.5k swim sets off

With the change in start location and the course to a two lap race it made for some different start shots and also the traditional "coroner" shot of everyone as they entered the water - and as the chip timing was being used to check everyone in to the water it was a quick affair so we covered that from both sides of the entry queue. Apologies if we didn't get everyone - but it was a tight squeeze to say the least as everyone headed into the water in the various start waves.
Blue skies, and it's a nice day for a swim

This year I decided to stick a polarizer onto the front of the lens - and that changed the reflectivity off the water significantly - making it a lot clearer to see people as they came out, and also got me some nice dark blue skies and rich colour saturation. This is the sort of thing you can't do afterwards in photoshop.
first junior, first lady, first overall, FIRST PLACE!!. Not bad at 16 for a 3.8km swim

If you slip on the exit you can lose out on 2nd place
Part of the problem at the quayside is getting the exposure right as everyone comes out with their faces in the shade from the backlit sun which reflects off the water - and everyone is wearing black.
So that's why we try to use a bit of flash to light things up a bit, as well as get the exposure right on manual - as stray reflections, black tops, and backlit subjects can throw the camera's metering all over the place and result in loads of silhouettes if you're not careful, or use an automatic metering mode...
You also want a bit of shutter speed that lets the water splashes look splashy - otherwise you can end up with a load of frozen water droplets in mid air that just don't show up.
Yaay !! - splashy run out exit 

Despite these technical challenges, I think you'll see that a very find swim was had by everyone, some very close racing and it seems that the two lap race, and the new shorter 1500m race all managed to go very smoothly indeed. i.e. we counted everyone back to the shore.
Apparently all was OK!

Well done to Mick and the REP team on another great event, excellent support from and for the RNLI, all the volunteer marshals, and the support crews, timing and commentary bods (you know who you are!).

Sunday was a rude 5am alarm call for the Mid Sussex Tri, at least thankfully it was only a 3 mile drive to get there. With the weather changing to dark grey and the wind getting even colder there were a lot of people just getting a bit chilly in the fresh start. Thankfully I was in the pool for the first stage, so nice and warm, albeit getting splashed. It's unusual to get indoor swimming shots at a triathlon, but because the Mid Sussex Tri is a zig-zag swim course - everyone goes up the first length, so everyone goes past the camera. It would of course help if everyone swam front crawl and breathed on their left as they went past - and it was frustrating as some only breathed to their right on the first line, only to swap to their left on their way back past so I still couldn't see their faces.

concentratey eyes and great technique

As an exercise in self coaching swim technique I'd strongly advise anyone interested in improving their technique to simply sit and watch a tri-pool swim. As competitor start times are seeded by anticipated swim time you can reasonably expect that the slower ones will go first and the faster ones last. You will see every type of technique on show - from fast turnover with no reach, going nowhere fast to over-stretching and gliding for too long, as well as the faster racing club swimmers who tear up the course. I have no idea what swim technique I have, but I can at least tell you which of these swim techniques make the most splashing: yes the drowning panic monkey gorilla  is the most effective technique if you want to make everyone at least one lane away soaking wet - including people sat at the side. Hmmmph.
more splashing than humanely possible for 2 lengths, then exhaustion and silence

As ever Steve and the team from MSTC put on a really good event, well marshalled Bike course, a nice transition area (in the tennis courts) and a flat run route to finish in the field, along with some great Spot Prize distribution and race number raffle to everyone who stayed to support.
tight riding
If all Triathlons could be finished by 10:30 I'd be well impressed - and if more indoor swim triathlons could use the zig-zag method in the pool - I for one would be very grateful (even if it meant getting out and re-entering the pool somehow in the smaller pools - it still keeps it simple for everyone and keeps the flow of competitors through the race).
Other Race directors get in the gallery - Hello Alan !

Other Race directors get in the gallery - Hi Nicky !

Charlie Smiling - probably because it's not a half ironman death race
Speaking for myself it's great to have had two days of events where I get to meet and rub shoulders with so many local competitors that I either know personally from my own running or as regular faces at the races over the past years. It's certainly a case that the work is all the harder when you could be chatting away, supporting and drinking coffee and tea instead !
relaxing over the line

checking the final sprint in - don't get caught

getting chicked was never so much fun

Great team photo and supporting each other

Guy with his concentratey face
Also on Sunday Sally and Ben were over at the NP&S Lions Seaford Half Marathon - a race we have covered for several years - and in the past three years raised over £160 from photo sales for the charity, so hopefully we will be able to raise even more this year.
All good, no surrender at two miles

Water station volunteers - you know you're going to have to drink !

easy running on the top slopes
Great challenge with pack over the whole course

Fancy dress anyone ?
Weather this year on the head was cold and windy, but he visibility was good. A small change of the course at about the two mile point from usual farm track was the only slight diversion from the traditional route. The tricky photography points are getting consistent exposures of people as they go from the dark green of the slope down from the head to a view with the white cliffs and sea back-lighting the runners. If you don't run it on manual - you'll end up with silhouettes again as you pan to track them as they go past. There are other ways of doing it - but manual exposures will deliver the most consistent results in the circumstances.

Well done on the win Izzy !

Serious speed down the hill

Trevor and the team from the Lions and volunteers from the Seaford Striders helped marshal and put on another excellent race, this time with chip timing from Sport Systems, and 476 brave entries to take on the hills around Seaford, along the river bank and the Head itself.  Thankfully this year the rain stayed away !
A Special Well Done to Izzy who won the ladies race - her running has been going from strength to strength over the past years so the win is a particularly special achievement and well deserved !

Who's idea of a hot date was this ?

Good teamwork for the win

Next weekend is very quiet for us except for a Saturday Running of the Hurt - it's quite hard, it might errr hurt. I might even get a lie-in on the Sunday for Fathers day if I'm lucky ?

So until next time, enjoy the rest of summer and keep the BBQ ready for the next 20 minutes of sunshine...


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