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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

National XC Champs 2018 - powered by Pic2Go

The start of the Junior Mens race this year - Braveheart your way across the football pitches and then straight up the hill

Saturday saw the National Cross Country Championships weekend with England, Scotland and Wales all holding their respective championships on the same day.

The English Cross Country Association (ECCA) home is Parliament Hill and Hampstead Heath - a naturally boggy hilly piece of ground where water springs bubble up making the ground naturally damp and hard work under foot. It's also the home athletics track of Highgate Harriers, as well as hosted with Serpentine RRC - which is the largest Running Club in the country (did you know?)

that view across to the city - take a closer look and check the skyline

One of the aspects of the Parliament Hill course is the start - which has the "normal" braveheart start across the football field near the Lido, and then the massive funnelling to the first pinch point - conveniently located - at the top of the hill.
This gives everyone spectating a great view of the field - out across the london landscape as the race comes up and past the tented village where the clubs stake their claim to a bit of dry ground with their club colours.

Yes - thank you Saucony !!

Live pictures powered by Pic2Go, sponsored by Saucony

You can still register here for your images -

Yes, from the event we took and uploaded over 160,000 images, with pic2go barcodes to identify runners - and then sending them directly to the registered personal facebook accounts.
First pictures were going out during the first race - and then throughout the day.
With seven photographers running over 12 cameras it made for thorough coverage all around the course - with the more memorable points captured. The setting sun without any cloud at the end of the day always makes the finish line a tricky place to work too - with the sun directly behind the runners !!!
One of our photographers who caught the train to the event had some great feedback from four athletes who were chatting about the pic2go service on their way home. Apparently it made a big difference to the overall experience of the day, and it was all they were talking about for the whole journey. So - we continue in our quest to make people happy !! (with a bit of success).

It was incredibly cold in the wind and all around the course, so very well done to everyone completing the course on the day - I was grateful for the sun being out almost all day and the trees near me (at point C on the course) buffering me from some of the gusts - very well done by the team on keeping warm and working hard, and on all the athletes on getting around the course.

Full results and participants race numbers are available now from here:

We also have a high resolution gallery available on the website - so if you want to get prints, or images without the Saucony branding on - then this is your place to get them from

Next weekend is the weekend after the snow hits. The forecast locally here is very very cold, but the thaw setting in saturday. With the Nuts Winter challenge on saturday - that might be a challenge to get to, let alone compete at (lets see how many cases of hypothermia we get!), otherwise the Steying Stinger on Sunday will be the one to make sure nobody actually dies of exposure if it doesn't warm up. After writing this blog I'm going to fashion some oversocks from an old foil blanket to see what can be done - the circulation in my toes since being on betablockers has been somewhat borderline at best, but I have some battery heated innersoles that might get a full workout soon...

Past and future races
Here's the list of recent and next races and galleries for you - can I make a totally unbiased suggestion of entering the Brentwood Half Marathon - a lovely course - including countryside and some free pictures powered by pic2go technology !

Date Event Gallery or Event Website
Sun-18/02/2018 Hampton Court Half Marathon
Sat-24/02/2018 National XC Champs - live images powered by Pic2Go
Sat-03/03/2018 The Nuts Challenge
Sun-04/03/2018 Leicester 10k
Sun-04/03/2018 The Nuts Challenge
Sun-04/03/2018 Steyning Stinger - free race downloads
Sun-18/03/2018 Fulham 10k
Sun-18/03/2018 Hastings Half Marathon
Sun-18/03/2018 Salomon Richmond Half and 10k
Sun-18/03/2018 The Brentwood Half Marathon - live images powered by Pic2Go
Sun-25/03/2018 Cranleigh 15-21
Sun-25/03/2018 Colchester Half
Sun-01/04/2018 RBK Spring Half Marathon
Sun-08/04/2018 Paddock Wood

The view down the start hill

The view from the top of the start hill across to the city

Marshal point C - that muddy hill descent

Off on the lap around the last but one field

Who said junior running was dying out ?

Catch the birdy gull thingy

goin' ok coach

top speed through the mud

all going well on the last descent

There's nothing quite like the joy of Cross country, especially when a day later you see an old friend suffering more than you did. Well done Ian !

Wycombe takes a double check of the imposter doing a very good impression of a bearded Steve Ovett, clearly time travelling back about 30 years... and landing a bit further north in Corby

(character building, that's why)

Easy at the end

make the last descent look like fun

Top finishing !

been practising correct arm technique

been gardening enroute with those hands

Top raised victory arm

Anyone might think this was posed. Nope just awesome.

don't forget the tape next year...

wrong tape in the wrong place...

How to finish faces

taken out from behind, there was a moment's concern

then up and off, it's not a gallantry competition you know

It's ok, he found it

Good to see Brian being a good boy...

Low Fell's club secretary feels guilty for making the Club Chairman get the team point... well she said she felt guilty...

So, get your entry into the Brentwood Half Marathon ready for the 18th of March, with those lovely free and live photos powered by Pic2Go direct to your facebook account -

until next time, keep warm and be careful of the cold, and dress sensibly if you're racing this weekend !!


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Original Hampton Court Half Marathon 2018 - gallery now live

This years Hampton Court Half bling

So how was that for you ?
The Original Hampton Court Half Marathon has grown steadily over the past 5 years to something of a very popular local classic. Two of the runners who live just around the corner didn't realise it was as large as it is at just over 4000 runners on the day, and the park handled the volume admirably.
Harry said,  "Where were you ?"
Here's the links to the galleries, and of course future events for you to enter - may I draw your attention to the busy March the 18th and the Brentwood Half Marathon - a wonderful town and countryside run which raises loads for the local charities with the Rotary - and this year will have free live photos for you. Similar to the National Cross Country Championships - so get your charity page set up and get yourself entered into it ! (

Date Event Event Gallery or Website
Sun-11/02/2018 Worthing Half Marathon
Sun-18/02/2018 Hampton Court Half Marathon
Next events
Sat-24/02/2018 National XC Champs Free race Photos Live - powered by Pic2Go
Sat-03/03/2018 The Nuts Challenge
Sun-04/03/2018 Leicester 10k
Sun-04/03/2018 The Nuts Challenge
Sun-04/03/2018 Steyning Stinger Free Photo Downloads
Sun-18/03/2018 Fulham 10k Free Photo Downloads
Sun-18/03/2018 Hastings Half Marathon
Sun-18/03/2018 Salomon Richmond Half and 10k
Sun-18/03/2018 Brentwood Half Live Race Photos - powered by Pic2Go - to help you raise more for your charity !
Sun-25/03/2018 Colchester Half
Sun-08/04/2018 Paddock Wood
Without much further ado, the weather was perfect at Hampton Court, on what is one of the flattest half marathons out there - with plenty of space at the start, if a little tight on the pavement in the early parts - the waved starts were still going strong whilst the leaders ran past at 2 miles - and even with 7 photographers on the course, there was a hint of frustration in my trigger finger as I saw them running past the back of the start in the background as I was covering the start line.

All in all a quick run with a winning time of 1h10mins - which is a good county standard. You have to be in the 1h5m times to start to squeeze into national ranking times.

Henry gave you all a bit of a wave off at the start

Ed had a nice wave

looking sharp up the course from the start

Good teamwork by Claire

yes yes yes !

you should never judge your other runners... however...

Got your number

All going well along the river

Ali going along the river


Top fundraising work

Police presence

a slow infusion of gel

Gel infused carefully before the race

two more laps ?

mind those hamstrings

bit too much arm action - poking yourself in the nose - oops

All those "fetch batman" signals finally come to fruition

Top Tshirt, she got away with it

in the zone

Good finishing - and a bit of a lead on second place

"hey honey, I'm finishing", "what a coincidence so am I"

Unique hair plaits

Didn't learn the lesson from worthing half, and we can't read his race number again.
He'll never find his photos easily amongst the 200,000 we took...

Head strapping a bit tight ?

But dog had a day off !

the finish line isn't the time to check the news ?

Good speed into the finish

Any Half Marathon - a Script for a Jesters Tear ?, top fancy dress work

In other News, Sally will be running in the Brighton Half Marathon next sunday, and I'll be at the VIP tent eating bacon sarnies. Then on the 11th March we'll be doing a sub-2hr effort taking part in the Surrey Half marathon - we have a team of three - but if you are also entered into doing it and want to join team SSP - get in touch and I'll bring an SSP tshirt along for you !

Until next time - good luck and see you at the National Cross Country on Saturday - in the ice and snow....

Fitness rewards