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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Brutal Longmoor 2014 and the year end

The gallery for the Brutal Longmoor 2014 is now live and on line, with pictures of cold people throwing themselves through ponds and ditches of mud and water, running up hills and smiling as they freeze. Yes they can all be seen, even some being pulled along by their Canine friends - most of whom had more sense to run around the water if they could, it was widely noted that the Spaniels didn't shirk the challenges as much as the other breeds this time...

New Race Galleries Gallery Link
The Brutal Longmoor 8k and 16k
and if you missed them:
The RPAC Holly Run
Seaford Striders Mince Pie 10
The Hogs Back Road Race
There is always a list of all the races covered on the gallery front page here - just scroll down

I hope you all managed to have a good break over the last few days, and for some the travel chaos of seeing relatives and parents wasn't too taxing in the cold spell - the snow wasn't easy for many north of the M4.
Christmas at SSP was a quiet affair, everyone out of the office for three days, and clearly there was no last minute panics on the actual big day of presents to buy people involving race photos as we had a sum total of zero orders on the day, not even for those immediate screen resolution downloads. I take this as a healthy sign of offline Christmas days !
Normal service was resumed on Boxing day, and we have been working back since Saturday and Sunday to catch back up with everyone back in the office today (Monday). It's one of the problems when your job involves working when people are on their day off - you lose your days off! With that in mind - this Thursday is the 8th Serpentine New Years Day 10k that we will have covered - so no Partying it up the night before for us ! I hope you have a good one, and hopefully we will see you at Hyde Park - perhaps burning off that hangover ? (it's sold out by the way - sorry).

With the snow that fell on Boxing Day, and the heavy rain and weather warnings - we were expecting anything from not being able to get to the Brutal to bright sunshine. As it was it was very cold, with a bit of a northerly wind and a slightly cloudy sky. ISO5000 in the woods at lunchtime though - so quite dark as the sun barely raised itself up into the sky. A very good test of many Christmas presents - from new shoes and tops on the runners to my second merino wool top which seemed to work very well. My Vader's little princess calendar will be going up in the office though.
In other news the Christmas rest has helped my Achilles tendon a bit, but it probably needs some ultrasound to get it healed up a bit faster now, you can see how rubbish or excellent we are at running on our Strava group here which you can join !

Next Events into January 2015
So after the NYD Serpentine 10k, January is one for the Cross Country championships - we are currently scheduled to be at the Sussex XC Champs on the 3rd at Bexhill, then the South of England XC Champs at Stanmer Park on the 24th. If you like the Brutals - then for all those wise women out there - it's the Womens only Brutal on the 24th of January
There is also the Fred Hughes 10  on the 18th January in St.Albans - there's definitely a growth in popularity for the 10 mile distance - not as far as a Half Marathon and harder than a 10k - can you go further at the same speed ?
Test yourself at the Canterbury 10 on January the 25th - all things being equal the 10 mile distances are excellent race training at this time of year if you're entering an April Marathon.

Brutal 10 - Longmoor v2
For those of you who have done the old course at Longmoor you'll have missed the old lake crossing and bog dip, however there was still the tank dip, the sand dunes, more Canicross than ever before, much larger and easier parking, and did anyone mention the Hills ? Some awesome performances, and some faces for this race season are starting to become regulars - we are watching with interest... but the real challenge this time was the cold. very cold.
Dog Runs away, Stephen bombs out

Cold bits ?

Mistletoe kept them away for Sy

Not enjoying being chased by an Ostritch

Lisa looks Awesome in the Buff (SSP Buff)

Happy as you can be with a race number we can't read

Giving the camera that look that means you are enjoying the hills

The Sand dunes delivered their usual pleasure

How to get in the water

Christmas spirit reigned supreme

it's easy if you just get going route 1 through the middle

Good work to win the ladies 16k race

Try not to fall over and keep up...

come on little doggy

legs too short ?


it all seems so easy at the first puddle

Up and down this beauty several times

Gail winning the 16k Canine race at a canter with a 9 minute gap

The marshals seemed to have a good race too...

The pictures really don't do it justice as to just how cold -5C is overnight with a cold northerly wind the next day - afterwards there were a few people shaking themselves to pieces afterwards as they waited to order hot bovril from Tom's diner. I think they really needed a warm bath to get themselves sorted out safely. Even Sy took the whole thing seriously, ran faster than usual and left apparently because his friend had turned blue like a smurf.

Very good work by all the marshals - it was a cold one, especially to the water stops getting wet hands - it's not as easy as it sounds !!!

That's the 5 year anniversary for the Brutals - I've been to every one except the Enduro24hrs, so here's wishing the team - winners of the Mudstacle Award for "Best value for money races of 2014" - all the very best for the next 5 years !

So have a very Happy New Year for 2015 (have a thought for people having to work on the Eve and on the day), enjoy the gallery and perhaps treat yourself to your pre-2015 "before" picture so you will have something to compare yourself to next Christmas after 12 months of hard work and training !

until next year

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