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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Beachy Head, Cambridge 10k and Water of Life Half 2015 galleries now live

The old lighthouse Belle Toute, Birling Gap, the Seven Sisters and Seaford Head in the distance

Another year and another wonderful Beachy Head marathon and 10k Saturday. Just like the competitors we also have to be there from the early first starters to when the light runs out, so it makes for a long day concentrating on work and managing the weather. This year again it was thankfully without heavy rain, but quite a strong headwind in parts.

Sun on the stonework of Kings Parade Cambridge, at the 3k mark on the course with Kings College Chapel, plus big tree that now obscures it perfectly. It's grown about 5m in the past 30 years. Somewhere I have a photo from 1985...
Sunday saw the Water of Life Half Marathon and 10k organised by Purple Patch near Marlow, and the Cambridge Town and Gown 10k organised by Muscular Dystrophy - both missing rain as well - even with bouts of sunshine - periodically reflecting brightly off the Cambridge College stonework along Kings Street (just to make the camera settings extra tricky!).  Returning to Cambridge and sitting on a finish line on a path I cycled to school on for the best part of 6 years is a surreal experience. The very slight uphill that is hidden under the trees also managed to catch a few people out as they ran out of puff into the finish - it always caught me out on my morning bike ride too...

Links to the galleries are here:

Latest Weekend Race Name Gallery link
Sat-24/10/2015 Beachy Head Marathon and 10k
Sun-25/10/2015 Cambridge Town and Gown 10k
Sun-25/10/2015 PP Water of Life Half
. . .
Last Weekend . .
Sun-18/10/2015 Chelmsford Marathon
Sun-18/10/2015 Abingdon marathon
Sun-18/10/2015 AAT Kellystore Guildford
. . .
Next dates for your diary . Gallery and link through to websites to enter
Sun-01/11/2015 The Veteran Car Run
Sun-08/11/2015 PP Grand Union Half
Sat-14/11/2015 Brutal Long Valley
Sun-15/11/2015 Back 2 The Trenches
Sun-15/11/2015 The Brooks Brighton 10k

Beachy Head Marathon and 10k
Personally I have to confess to not looking forwards to the challenge this year, I had some extremely busy work days in the office leading up to it so was mentally drained by friday night, but on the morning my spirits were lifted slowly and surely as friendly well known faces and friends crested the first hill I was at after Jevington and said hello, stopped for a chat, shared hugs, and enjoyed the moment and the prospect of the challenge ahead. Many I hadn't seen since last year, but had kept in touch with on facebook. Proper face-to-face always beats face to screen !
This lifted my spirits a lot, ready for 6 hours on top of the Beachy Head, where again one by one runners and walkers made it onwards on upwards to the finish, many through gritted teeth of pain and tiredness, but not giving in.

The atmosphere at the finish is very different - because they have done it ! the look of relief and completeness is visible, the ability to lift the last bit of energy to run hard into the finish line noticeable. The beast that is Beachy Head once again conquered for another year.

The rest of the SSP team seemed very upbeat through the day, and whilst my batteries lasted in my phone, we had a gentle stream of text messages to check-in with each other to see where everyone was up to around the course.
That is assuming we could get a phone signal. I have to admit that for all the safety signs and messages of help on the carparks on Beachy Head with the respective telephone contact numbers - I still cannot believe just how terrible the phone coverage is in that area. OK, there isn't much in the way of houses or shops, and half of a masts reception is out to sea, so commercially it may not stack up for the phone companies - but it is critical that the phone coverage works in that area, and it simply doesn't.

Here's the quick selection of images from the weekend in no particular order, as ever, it's a difficult choice to make, not least because I don't personally see them all, and what is interesting for the blog, simply might not be picked out by one of the team.

Cambridge 10k raising funds for Muscular Distrophy
The gathering on Midsummer Common

Some of the event team ready on the day

All go - off up Victoria Avenue, past Jesus Green

Over Victoria Bridge, a single span cast iron listed bridge built in 1890. It's quite unique

Leading out the race along Kings Parade

A nice bit of MD Orange outside Kings College

He forgot to wave, she started a bit early, as the tourists took in the views.

Flying down the river at 7k 

Strong Italian Contingent brought their flags for a good finish

Fast finishing in the womens race for a Gown win this year.

Tight sprinting in at the end to overtake the unsuspecting

The traditional MD Balloons lined the finish line

Purple Patch Running - Water of Life Half Marathon and 10k
A Great start in the main race

The Kids fun run was very competitive

Tapping into the charity fundraising fancy dress sponsorship thing

strong finishing

Pedro's winning margin was approximately this wide

Good running in the 10k

Flying in with a double thumbs up for the 10k win

Always prizes galore at PP events

matching podium and race numbers !

Beachy Head Marathon and 10k

He pushed out for an early lead that was still on at 4 miles through Jevingdon

Paul had his mojo well prepared for this one

1148 didn't make it back home for the Cambridge 10k the next day

He knew Ben M-D wasn't running so was in for a good club placing
Up and over the 4 mile hill at Jevington

It's all going so well so far

the course slowly asserted itself

Trip-trapping across the troll bridge as fast as possible

The hills are indeed alive.

oops friend #facepalm

Amateur v professional. Where would you go to get a photo of the horse ? At the style, or when they are running ?
It's all in the timing though - did you see the two finger bunny ears on 769 ?

Gooseberry Photobomb 

Good to see Natasha enjoyed another run out

Yes, Taxi to Cuckmere Haven please..

Ashford & District Tri club all forgot their bikes

Hitching a lift after he lost his shoes. Don't blame him.

Bob the invincible mixing it with the 100clubbers

Pretty much how you should feel when you get this far and it's still not rained

Turn your left hand round and put the lens in the palm of your hand. It's much more stable.

Beachy Nightfever

Post 10k euphoria

Well done Roxi and team on making the course

*That* hill

Every year this marshal saves thousands of runners with their first bottle of water on finishing. Top work.

Sasha was proudly wearing what money can't buy after completing the marathon. Yes a SSP Buff.
So next weekend is the London to Brighton Veteran Car run, which looks like it will have good weather at the moment. It's another 12hr day with the first cars going off at dawn from London and we have 7 photographers moving along the course to catch all the action as it happens. I'll be at the finish line until Dusk, so if you want to come and distract me or shout over the sound of the car engines in the hope of having a sane conversation - I'll see you down on Madeira drive !
A younger me, in the fog, smoke and steam at Madeira Drive. See you there, if you can see me...

until next time

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