Monday 27 February 2012

Roding Valley Half 2012 and F3 Events #2 now live

Roding Valley Half Marathon 2012 - setting off into the sunlight

The Roding Valley Half marathon photos are now live here:

The F3 10k and 5k gallery is live and online here:

The F3 Duathlon is live and online here:

Races to enter coming up that still have space:

Colchester Half marathon - March 11th:
Finchley 20 - March 11th: (entries close on march 3rd)
Worthing 20 - March 18th:
Spitfire 20 - March 18th:

Roding Valley
On the sunniest day of the year so far (well according to my almost sun burnt face) the Roding Valley Half Marathon and the F3 Events Duathlon and 10k race series took place.
All go at the start for Roding Valley

Roding Valley Half Marathon is a very popular race based at Woodford Green athletics track made up of one small starting loop and then two larger laps around the Roding Valley. 910 hardy souls took up the challenge this year, which in the sun was arguably slightly easier than the torrential rain of a few years ago.

Full results can be found here:
The winner in a time of 1:12:25 was John Franklin (#1009) from the Met Police, who was almost a minute ahead of Mo Ismail of Herne Hill Harrieres (#1151) . First lady was Isobel Rea of West 4 Harriers (#397) in 1:24:45 and 29th overall, over 2 minutes ahead of Claire Shea-Simmonds from Leicester Tri Club (#174)

Congratulations to Dave Hollingworth and the team on another great race !
John Franklin plodded round to win the Half for the Met Police in  1:12:25

Isobel Rae flew round to a strong finish and first Lady in 1:24:45

The pavements are quite wide giving plenty of space for racing

With his legs going at the finish his daughter kept him on track to the finish

Meanwhile on the other side of London and out a bit at Dorney Lake near Eaton the

F3 Events Duathlon and 10k Race series was taking place with race number #2 taking off.

With a full set of racking as well as the students from Cambridge & Oxford lined up in the sun up for the F3 Events Maxifuel duathlons it was going to be a competitive days racing.
The sun was out at a balmy 3.5degC when it started (according to the car) but it soon warmed up - especially if you were on the run. The three distances of Super Sprint, Sprint and Olympic Distances all set off at the same time and then go through transition after the correct number of laps.

Whilst the sun is good from some angles - it's never the best for photographers when it's the background. We go blind and we have to mess with things like manual settings on the camera so we can see faces in the images instead of silhouettes. Usually however from the other angles we can make sunny happy photos - so when the finish line is directly into the sun , we only really have one choice of where to point the camera - and that's the other way round.
Also with the multi-laps we can often take many more photos of people that usual - and whilst we do our best to read hands, and helmet stickers - if we can't see your number then you're in for a 000 search to go through all the ones we can't identify. Unfortunatley for anyone using a tri belt - that would most likely be you.

It was tight racing through the morning, with clearly some chaps out on solid wheels making a real go with the perfect calm conditions on the flat course, whilst others were getting into the racing groove and testing new bike set ups (like one with an aero water bottle mounted sideways with rubber bands).

A brief rundown of the results - which can be found on
Super Sprint: Mens - Andy Croft (#294) in 47:45, Womens - Katy Shrimpton (#309) 55:54
Sprint: Mens - Hugh Mackenzie (#156) in 1:03:54, Womens - Gillian Sanders (#263) 1:06:59
Oly Standard: Mens - Richard Winchester (#59) in 1:56:56, Womens - Clemence Copie (#47) 2:13:56
Varsity Duathlon Champs: Mens - Alexander Young (#184) 1:04:01, Womens - Sophia Saller (#26) 1:10:58 (Oxford). It looks like Oxford won the team champs too.

Rodger Spencer won the V40 Sprint Duo in 1:09:45

The sun was pretty strong

Remember - you run faster if you're smiling

The face says it all. Ride as fast as you can, and then some !

Remember - you ride faster if youre smiling

A bit of remote off-camera fill in flash and voila

Surrendering at the end of the Olympic distance
 The 10k and 5k runs went off again with a full race with 54 in the 5k and 130 in the 10k. All the results can be found on
Two items of note - the 10k was won in 38:31 by Issy Menzies - who of course was also first female, and in the 5k - second place went to #501 Alexander in 22:15 in the M13-14 age group.
These races are really filling the space for those new to the sport or getting into running for the first time with dorney lake providing a safe and flat course - meaning some good benchmarks can be put down to see how well your training is going.

Very well done to Martyn and the F3 Events team - they coped admirably with the strong sunshine and tricky weather conditions !

Off from the start - that's the lake in the background

No surrender

Plenty of people out training together over the distances

Remember - you run faster if you smile

This chap is 11. He did 43:35 for 10k. I am jealous.

In other news:
The left calf muscle exploded on a run on friday - went off too fast and didn't warm up properly so my own fault. A weekend of excersise rest and then a 1:30 cycle this morning instead. Fingers crossed it will be ok for a short gentle run on Friday, the plan is to keep the cardio going somehow and not injure the calf before the Cambridge Half on the 11th of March. Any time will be a PB for me. So as long as I can walk faster than a 3hr time I'm up for it as it will be a trip round my old home town, and raising some money for The BHF

keep running and remember - you run faster if you smile.

until next time,

p.s. definetly being archived any second now - so don't forget to get your memories now !

Soon to be archived
18/09/2011 Pilgrims Half and Full Marathon 2011 18163 files
11/09/2011 Bacchus Full and Half Marathon 2011 7881 files
11/09/2011 Chestnut Tree House 10k 2011 12896 files
04/09/2011 Newbury Tri 2011 4290 files
04/09/2011 Maidenhead Half 2011 20355 files

Friday 24 February 2012

Weekend ahead - Feb 26 2012

Narnia, also known as Bookham

Well after three weekends of cancelled events, and no events, snow, ice and a weeks decorating - it's officially the end of my "holidays". By Holidays I mean I've not had the office full of people cataloguing images and processing orders, so its been a bit lonely. We have been busy planning the months ahead with over 130 events this year to sort out and a few more requests coming in just yesterday - which was nice,

The last weeks have been quieter than Christmas for us, and the next weekend off is scheduled for November - so it's back to reality with a bump and full steam ahead now for 10 months. Oh dear god. (must keep off the caffeine)

It's been frustrating - whilst some races cancelled (obviously nobody to blame) some races we would like to cover (that did take place in the cold after the snow) that said they had a photographer on their website - didn't. So I could have done some work after all dammit, and fool me for not double checking with the organisers. On the upside child #2s bedroom is now fully functioning and decorated and finally into her own room now she's just turned 2. Victory is mine.

So race news and updates:
It is possible to be happy in the snow

Rescheduled dates

Deal Half - have announced it's going to be on the 13th of May instead. Cracking weekend that one with a lot of things going on - however perfect for post london wind-downs and a good mini-goal to set yourself if you're marathon inclined to avoid the post-race lows and no target. We're scouring our contacts for two additional photographers to cover that as currently we have 12 photographers already out covering events and 8 others booking time off to do other things.
I'm sure there will be plenty of extra places to race it so get your entry in asap.

Ashford and District 10k - have rescheduled for March the 18th. I'm waiting for the race website to update and last time I checked the organisers website it had this information. The race website has yet to be updated - I'm not sure how sold out it is - but if you want to do it get in quick as it usually sells out.

The Bookham 10k, is going to be on May the 27th instead 
A training group did go out on the course and Simon fancied a bit of snow photography and landrover testing - so he put up a few images here
Running to find Aslan

This weekend

With the mini-heat wave ensuring that a drought almost certainly is on the cards accross the south-east the temperate air means it's going to be perfect half marathon and duathlon racing this weekend.
I think Tunbridge Wells half is already sold out, so don't be going there, but if you are looking for a fast and flat half marathon this weekend look no further than

the Roding Valley Half marathon.
Entries are still being taken on the day (Sunday 26th)  so get on down there: under £20 on the day, chip timing and track finish. Print off the paper entry form to speed things up at registration and get there early as it's always busy and popular. Race starts at 9am.

F3 events 10k and duathlon at Dorney lakes I'm told are now fully subscribed - they would make them larger if they could park more cars. Building on last months race the perfect weather conditions this weekend will again see if people have upped their game, or help them get into the racing groove over the winter. Fiercly competitive at the front last month so don't turn up thinking you can give it 75% as you'll get left behind as the internationals at the front hit turbo power.

As a very relevant side-show this weekend many of the counties top runners will be running around Parliament Hill on Saturday for the National XC championships. You really do have to witness the start of the senior mens race if you ever get a chance. Last year it was at Alton Towers. We covered it three years ago but unfortunately this year circumstances are preventing us from getting there. I'm sure it will be a very popular event as ever and watch the athletics press for news on the winners.

Getting that Customer experience, or running in the half marathon for a change.
In two weekends time I'm having my mid life crisis half marathon. This is defined as having the fear of mid life and wanting to do something about it in the form of running. I used to be a sprint hurdler - over a decade ago now, so this is nothing like the same. It's a lot harder than sprinting for sure. (well for me it's harder, you have a go at some 3'6"hurdles sometime - they're easy!).
It's going to be the weekend after my birthday and also the first Cambridge Half marathon. So I'm taking yet another day off work (don't worry the team is still out!) to go back to the town I grew up in and to give it a go over some well used training routes that the course follows. Alas SSP are not photographing the race, so I'll have to see what the competition are like at selling photos. It's sure to be an odd experience.

Now at the moment I'm injury free, and have my first 10 miles training planned for tomorrow. The way it's looking sub-2 will be good, but painful.8Min miling on tickover is quite ok at the moment, so provisioning for a bit of a blow up and a modest start. Keeping it going for 13.1 miles (nb not a 13.4 "brighton" half) will be the real test.

Getting into the whole experience I have also set up a justgiving page for the BHF here:, because let's face it, I'm the one with the enlarged heart on betablockers with tachychardia and it's not that much fun. And as 42 is the meaning of life the universe and everything, what the hell, it's a leap year and I have an extra day to train for it.

So, off for a stiff 5k now, and 10m tomorrow. Oh yes and a quick visit to Brighton Parkrun to give the cameras a test now that Canon have returned them after their servicing (should have taken two days, but hey - two weeks in the end for their "pro" service. Just as well "we were on a break").

So until perhaps monday or tuesday with a round up of the action - enjoy the fine weather, and the linog run at the weekend,


p.s. seriously most of these galleries are going to be archived very very soon - don't miss out if you want to remember them later:

Event about to be Archived
18/09/2011 Pilgrims Half and Full Marathon 2011
18/09/2011 Kellystore Joyden Woods 10k
11/09/2011 Bacchus Full and Half Marathon 2011
11/09/2011 Chestnut Tree House 10k 2011
04/09/2011 ETL Spitfire 20 + Tempest 10 2011 Sept
04/09/2011 Newbury Tri 2011
04/09/2011 Maidenhead Half 2011
28/08/2011 Bexhill Tri 2011
28/08/2011 Arundel 10k 2011

Friday 10 February 2012

Weekend preview - 12th Feb 2012

Still on - Deal Half Marathon 2012 (as of Friday 4pm)

With the snow having cancelled almost everything last weekend some of you will be looking for a half marathon run out as part of your pre-london or pre-brighton training.

It's half term next week - so the probability of getting out for a long-one is lower for many of us, as well as the valentines day evening will no doubt (for some) be a nice quiet evening at the gym with easier access to the kit that usual. Being single had it's benefits, enjoy them whilst you can.

So, what I'm trying to say is, this Sunday - probably a good chance for a half marathon if your training schedule was shifted by the snow last weekend by race cancellations - full information can be found here:

Entry on the day is only £15, it's a great race, lovely country lanes, easy to get to from the M20, and starts at 10:30 with plenty of parking so you'll be fine.

Here's some pictures from last years race - some hills - but mostly very scenic !
one mile in roughly - lovely lanes

Most people were happy to be there !

Always good for a strong finish

Great mugs last year !

In other news - image licensing and gallery site changes.

I regularly get questions from people, or see on chat forums, discussions about using photos on the interweb, passing them onto charities and newspapers or posting them on their fundraising sites - and the legality or permission that they have to do that with images that they have bought - or indeed - not bought.

It's an area fraught with uncertainty, vagueness, theft and ignorance, but also I recognise that people who are asking the question genuinely care and are thoughtful and prefer certainty - but there is no simple place to go and ask or find out.... Until now that is !

I recently created the "Can I use this photo?" flow chart to help most people figure out if they can use the photo they have (however they have acquired it) :
Can you use that photo you have - have a check ! And please share this with your friends.
I've also put a link here you can share on twitter:

If anyone has any questions or points to make about it - please let me know - it's UK based - I'm not 100% familiar with the US licenses but I can't see it being that different ! The main thing is to get it out there for improved knowledge and sharing awareness.

I'll probably have to do the reality of this flowchart which is "I got this picture I like off the web from a search engine image search, can I use it ?"

Which brings me onto the next thing...

Image right clicking on the gallery:
As we all know - Rule 1: if you can see something on your computer - you can take a copy of it.

This sets me a challenge as a photographer trying to show customers pictures which are good enough for customers to make a purchase judgement on the image, but not good enough for them to just take a copy of it (even with the watermarking over it - which is supposed to put them off) - because of course "just taking a copy" is in reality shoplifting - or indeed - theft. Yes even with the watermarks.

I know this is a difficult balance to understand and strong words to use - but last weekend when I put the Chichester gallery online - admittedly hidden - I've sold three photos. The gallery was popular enough - I've had over 300 clicks to the hidden gallery - so the publicity worked to a certain level. But guess how many images people have had a "right clicked copy" action made on them ?

Runners 429, 611 and  65 felt no aversion to taking copies it seems. Go to the gallery and check them out !

And here's the google analytics report to show you:

Right click actions on the Chichester gallery
So if 300 visitors is 100%, then 11% of visitors tried to take an illegal copy and 1% of visitors actually bought one.
What I'm trying to highlight here is not only that trying to take a copy is illegal (obviously !?), but have a look at the report - I can see exactly which photos were clicked on, and of course with the runners numbers - means that in 99% of cases - I even have a photo and name of the person doing it. (people as a general rule don't buy photos of anyone else, or click on other peoples photos).

Those of you who know about google analytics will also know that I can drill down to get all sorts of detail about the right clickers, information that I suppose could be used legally as google record your IP address as well (although due to their privacy laws this isn't available to users except for legal requests).

So how does the gallery now deal with this ?

Right now if someone right clicks on an image, the gallery will inform them that the image is going to be deleted, because going back to the converse of Rule 1: if you can't see something on your computer - you can't take a copy. The gallery will then (after a time) automatically blank over the large preview image so you can't see it.

Hopefully the various mechanisms I have to disable right-click menu options to copy an image have also worked and no copy has been obtained. *phew*.

What happens next ? - well friends will see the photos blanked out - and the information explaining why below it - so they will know that someone has been up to "no good". *Awkward*.  Bring on the peer pressure I say.

I admit it then makes things harder to choose a photo to purchase if a visitor wants to - and that kind of thing is against the whole point of the gallery when you are trying to sell images - but I do have a responsibility to protect the work the photographers have done.

It is still possible to still see the thumbnails and order as usual from there, but as I'm now once bitten twice shy - I'm not going to clear the blocking on an image until it's been purchased, and then the peer pressure won't see things blanked out any more..

Do you think this is an overreaction ? How else should I protect the images from theft on the gallery ? Is this a good way to protect large image copies being made but a good way of leaving things on line for people to still order ? Your view and opinion counts - so please let me know.
I do this job because I love taking photos and seeing them make people happy, help me to continue doing this !

Meanwhile - if you do see a friends image that has been blanked over - please take a moment when you next see them to ask what happened. You'll know the background story, and I'm always interested to hear people's reasons - so do let me know too. Hopefully we all might learn more than we thought possible.

So until next time have a great weekend, and see you at Deal on Sunday.

Sussex Sport is a trading name of UK Sport Photo Ltd.
Registered Office: 100 Church St., Brighton, East Sussex, England, BN1 1UJ
Registered in England Company No. 07940115

Monday 6 February 2012

G3 Race 2 now live and other news Feb 2012

G3 Downloads now live and some other snowy weekend news

Saturday saw the second of the G3 off-road race series around the hills of the North downs at Newlands Corner near Guildford.

The second gallery in the Runners Need G3 race series is now online and available for free downloads from here:

It was -9degC when the race started, and it stayed about that temperature over in the woods, but a balmy -2degC in the open fields. This being the hardest route including the ascent up the south face of St.Marthas and as a response to feedback over past years, Toby the organiser announced he would be starting as well to get the all important "customer perspective" and see what all the fuss was about. Pictures of how he got on later...

On the way out down hill at the G3
Without the snow 323 adventurous souls turned up to enjoy the crisp views across the Surrey countryside, that's if your eyes didn't freeze up and the pain from the air in your nose as it froze when you breathed in wasn't too bad. On the upside the cameras managed to operate ok for the duration of the event although I kept mine as warm as possible in the bag for as long as possible - multiple stories of peoples smart phones going dead in the cold should serve as a warning - keep them in an inside jacket pocket if you can.
Slightly tougher coming back uphill on the G3 at 8k

Sunday saw snow in the east and north, which to be fair to the Met Office had been forecast all week. Race Cancellations abounded with intelligent decisions on the Saturday from the Bookham 10k, and Ashford 10k (which was our two bookings cancelled - four photographers going hungry and the babysitter the day off), with Watford Half marathon also cancelling late Saturday as the snow began in north london. The longest wait was from Great Bentley Half Marathon in deepest Essex who decided on Saturday to let people know at 7am on Sunday, despite heavy snow in Essex from 10pm - not the most mindful decision for competitors to plan their sleep patterns and journey times given they are 1.5hrs from the M25. I see they have picked a new date that clashes with the largest half marathon in Essex on the 25th of March - I fail to quite understand that decision, but then it is only 800 people max, so probably less than that now.

Ashford and Bookham are both yet to announce their new dates, I'll try to update you on here when they do. Follow their twitter and facebook pages if you want to be up to date too.

The two main races we knew were going on was the Longleat 10k and the Chichester 10k, both to the west so unlikely to be snowed in if the forecast was correct - which again - it was.

After a brief debate on what to do on Sunday I decided to go to Chichester to test a new camera body recently acquired on the ebay, so the plan was to give it a good thrashing and continue to get a feel for it's performance in tough conditions.

Driving out at only -1degC this morning (that's 8degC warmer than yesterday!) and in about 4 inches of snow once I'd made it to the Southwick Tunnel on the A27 to Chichester it was like stepping out of the cupboard from Nania - almost no snow, slightly damp roads +2degC. The race was on !

A survey of the course online sent me to the 7km mark. As I'm not the official photographer (Martin Lewis here is ) I'm not putting my gallery front page in public view - but as you're special you can access it via this link:
It will be a good test of social media to see how many of you share this link with your teammates and friends ! You can't get to the gallery any other way, and if you surf out of it - it's not listed on the front page, so use the link above again.
Strong at 7k

Good team pacing and enjoying running !

As usual you can search for your picture using race number, but of course as I was testing things and at 7k with the pack quite tight, I can't guarantee to have got everyone (well I know I didn't - a job like this should be three to four photographers to be honest to do a thorough job). Do enjoy it, twitter and facebook social sharing links will all work as usual.
From where I was there were a lot of happy faces running 

In other news, the accountant bloke has called time on being self employed. So from as soon as possible I'm no longer going to be living the dream, but going to be the owner of UK Sport Photo Ltd (trading as Sussex Sport and once again an employee. It's taken almost exactly 4 years from quitting the day job, 9 years from first covering running races, 28 years from first picking up a camera, and almost a month from my 42 year old mid life crisis half marathon (Cambridge) for which my right calf muscle has not been playing ball.
To celebrate I will mostly be wondering how I cover the VAT that will inevitably have to be levied and paid soon, so before that hits home, get your pictures ! I will try to tell the new owner that the whole point of this work is "to make people happy", I hope they don't get all corporate on me.

Finally, some of you might have noticed some blanked out large preview images on the gallery. The system blanks out any images that have been right clicked. Who would do that ? well it doesn't matter, but it means that the only way you can preview the image is the thumbnail, which I agree is slightly inconvenient - but at least you haven't had something stolen from you !

More Pictures below,
Until next time

p.s. don't forget - if you can get there - Deal Half Marathon next weekend

Date Some Latest galleries
04/02/2012 now live - G3 February Race 2 - free downloads
29/01/2012 now live - Epsom Perch 2012
28/01/2012 now live - South of England XC 2012
22/01/2012 now live - F3 Events 10k #1 2012
22/01/2012 now live - F3 Winter Duathlon #1 2012
14/01/2012 now live - G3 January Race 1 - free downloads
08/01/2012 now live - Sussex XC Champs 2012
02/01/2012 now live - Brutal 10 Race 1 2012

Lead Bike marshal starts having a bit of a kickabout

smooth running down to the foot of St.Marthas in the woods

Toby in the blurry action flash picture

Not blurry off camera flash action - done in the studio

Thames Turbos enjoying their club XC champs

Grinding up the last hill

Enjoying the closed roads at Chichester

Mr Bolt trademark salutes

Enjoying the run out

Peppa Pig put in a good time

Best socks seen out all day

Smiling all the way at 7k