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Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Mid Sussex Triathlon and HEINEKEN Race to the Tower 2017 galleries now live

Earl morning start to race to the Tower, and get a beer.
The galleries for the two races over last weekend were available last week as follows:

1. Both days of the HEINEKEN Race to the Tower, are available for free delivery via from this registration page here: 
and High resolution prints and digital files are available here

2. The free download gallery for the Mid Sussex Triathlon, is here:
Just add the images to basket and order/choose the free ones from the digital downloads

Election pollsters trying to get an early view of the results

What was that all about then ?
It all sort of started on Early Friday morning didn't it. After seeing the 10pm Thursday night Exit Poll that told us that not everyone wanted their Brexit Hard, but would rather it was soaked for longer in milk so it would go Soft, we all stayed up just that little bit longer than we all knew we should to see if any half decent TV chefs could concoct a recipe live on air to explain what it exactly it was they were looking at. It turned out to be a dogs dinner of mixed up flavours that nobody could quite differentiate and nobody from masterchef had bothered to turn up.

Fast forward 4 hours and we all woke up with that morning after the night before taste in our mouth that something wasn't quite right, but there wasn't anything left there either, like a rough night of Newcastle Brown ale and forgetting the ibruprofen and a pint of water before going to bed. And then it dawned on us - the one thing we hadn't got was enough sleep, and that was Jonathan Dimbleby's fault.

impressionistic portraits

Stumbling about on Friday morning for the school drop off was itself a minor challenge, various zombie looking Dads and Mums who had clearly been up trying to make the best of the situation for their Employers through the night, looking like they had been trying to put scrambled egg back into the eggshells, which their boss had been gainly stamping all over for them. And so it was with this high level of mental preparation and sensory acuity that many people then decided to hit the ctrl-alt-delete of the mental work-life balance and do a two day double marathon trail walk along the Cotswolds by way of relief from the mental torture that had just prevailed.

I was confronted by a night stop in a nearby hotel on Friday night, sharing it with a colleague, the lights didn't work. The "wait, what?" reply from reception to my request for a lightbulb in the main room light, was hastily supplied, and the 5:30 alarm set. At which point, once it went off, most of it turned into a blur.

Breakfast on the go from the early saturday start
Tasked with covering one day, and then back over to the Mid Sussex Tri for their 7am race start on the Sunday, I covered the start, 19 miles, and a little check in at the finish finish before off back home. This wasn't too bad overall, the start was a cheerful and energetic place to be, the 1 mile walk up the hill to my spot was steep with heavy kit, but good exercise and I had a good 4G signal up there, the participants were also in generally good mood with some good repartee, and eventually getting back home at 10:30pm, so only a 17hr day, with 10hours of it sat in the one spot, on a broken/bent picnic chair, with the blustery wind from the left, wearing two coats and getting unknowingly sunburnt on my hairline where I'd just missed it with suntan block.
This was not Paul Hollywood

The best question of the day from one participant was "What is that stadium over there?" that he had seen on the ascent to my location. "I think that's GCHQ" was my honest answer - but that gives you some idea of just how big the place is if you decide to give it a Google Map view...

The suburbs of Gloucester in the background

There was also a bit of star gazing on the day, as Chrissie Wellington (won so many World Iron Triathlon titles it's hard to quantify exactly how good she is), was taking part, and proceeded to smash everyone else in the race (except Tom), by doing the entire run in one go, in only 8hrs35minutes. That was about 1hr ahead of third place... , Bearing in mind that she was 1hr behind first place, and that fourth place was another half an hour later.
Yes - that's 2hrs 30 mins between the first four runners managing to cross the finish line. Most half marathons are started and finished in that time !!
Chrissie Wellington - all smiles and waves, making it look easy.

At that point you have to feel sorry for a race director managing 56 miles of course. Ok the back markers had hopefully got somewhere in 7h30m by the time Tom Evans rocked up, but by then only about 100 runners had done half that distance to 26miles - the halfway spot. At 3:37pm I was still sat up on the top of a hill, just after the 19mile mark, being blown over, with another 2hours or so to go.

Sat on top of the hill with full laptop and internetingness meant I was sending my images in and up via Pic2Go live as things were happening. We had the same thing at various locations along the route so anyone who didn't have hidden barcodes was getting their images onto their facebook timeline pretty well straight away during the day. There's more information here

By Monday morning, race photos from Heineken race to the tower had already been seen over 600,000 times !!

No point in smashing it out of the blocks, we all like a nice wave to your facebook friends

Trumphal centre staging - Every meter counts, especially when you're in front of the camera.

quite how he had the energy for this I don't quite know

double bunnies

Half way !

Shimmy shimmy

all still going ok at half way

on top of the world !! who cares about the election results eh ?

all smiles at the start of day 2

smiling and walking - they found the tower !

Not a bad finish point for a race !

Yay all done !
It was a long 36hrs as these events go, hostile winds on the hills, torrential rain through the early part of the night, and for the runners - a very very hilly cotswold way. If you ever fancy a double marathon - then this is certainly up there with the hard courses we see (like Beachy head, south downs way etc). TOp tip, go really quickly and finish in about 8 hours if you can... ;-)  If you fancy a taste of it, then there's Race to the King or Race to the Stones in the next few weeks too...

Meanwhile on Sunday at the same time, the Mid Sussex Triathlon was taking place

you may not have noticed, but there's new LED lighting in the pool area. It's really good.

Nice attacking strokes
Top Tri teamwork and helping
Enjoying the countryside

No drafting
Left them trailing in his wake
All going ok
Correct finishing work
For the camera. Absolutely Fabulous.

He was a bit thirsty at the end

Prizegiving went well

A very welcoming End

So, apologies for this blog taking so long, and I'm now off to bed to get everything up to the Shrewsbury Half marathon in the morning and off up. In other camera tech news, I have succesfully configured an FTP server so we can do live tethered shooting using a 1Gb network cable, so even with the busy finish line of a half marathon, we should be processing images in real time with the pic2go system, straight to runners facebook timelines. I have capacity for up to 8 cameras simultaneaously (as long as they have an ethernet port!) Hopefully we will have the finish photos up before they have their medals on !!

Until Next time, don't get sunburnt

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