Tuesday 25 September 2012

Tonbridge Half 2012 - Gallery now live

The Race photo gallery for the Tonbridge Half marathon is now live and online here: http://bit.ly/Tonbridge-Half-2012-Official-Photos

There is a fantastic race report and summary of events on the race website here: http://www.tonbridgehalfmarathon.co.uk/ so I won't repeat that, just click on the link.

At the time of typing this the results are still provisional and I know that the team at SportSystems are going carefully through the records to ensure any misfiring or missing chips are all accounted for and worked into the results correctly. Look out for the final results posting from the race director when it's live, and in the meantime if you spot a possible query then do let SportSystems know so that they can work their magic for you.

Gallery Searching
In the gallery you just need your race number to find your pictures. We go through them one by one to do our best to make it quick and easy for you to see your photos using the search box. Sometimes we just can't see any number so you will need to check against the search results for 000 (that's three zeros).

Celeb Spotting
You might have noticed Dame Kelly Holmes (described as the greatest British middle distance runner ever - by Seb Coe (across both the men and women) ) was there cheering you all on - so if you want to see pictures of her in action - then simply search on "Kelly" in the search box. We did our best to get shots of you receiving your medals from her too, and it was a challenge and a half to get as many of those pictures catalogued with the right race numbers for you - but hopefully we have managed to do that.

Also Kaddy Lee-Preston from off the telly box weather forecasting was there - she unfortunately had to leave early to go and turn on the rain (successfully) but any images we have of her are indexed with "Kaddy" so you can search on them quickly too.
General photos from the day can also be seen in the "misc" selection so have a search in there too.

Charity donations
As with all the charity races we cover Sales from the gallery are put towards the charities supported by the race, so if you want to make an easy donation with something to treasure afterwards - then race photos make an ideal gift - for your friends or indeed - for yourself !
Over the past 12 months we have raised over £2500 this way, so please help us to raise even more money for good causes.

To add to the long thank you list on the race website, thank you to you all for turning up on the wettest day of autumn so far and well done to the whole team lead by Andy Blundell  with the Tonbridge Rotary and Tonbridge Lions Clubs providing wonderful manpower and organisation skills to fuel the day.

Next Weeks Races and call for final entries.

Sunday 30th September:
Fingers crossed this weather will pass through and Sunday will be perfect autumnal running weather - it's last call for entries for the inaugural Ealing Half Marathon
Also we have the -

  1. The Bexhill Big 10k 
  2. The Folkestone Half Marathon
  3. The Purple Patch O2O Reading 10k
All are still taking final entries, and whilst we are at it, Chris Carter asked me to mention that the Brighton10k in November is onto its last few places - so don't miss out if you want to do it.

7th of October

And if you're planning a slight weekend off running, then travel to Basingstoke half or the Events to Live Badger half on the 7th of October.

This Saturday 29th of September

And finally a special mention for The Hurt this Saturday - even the winner of the pilgrim half marathon was reduced to his hands and knees on this "slightly undulating" cross-country forest trail challenge. If you fancy some amazing views, then this is one for you.

Aaaand- now here are some photos from the weekends Tonbrige Half ! Enjoy.

All go go go at the start

Top team

Dad's a Winner !

First three places take a bow

First Lady home

Excellent Team Entry from the Vegan Runners
It's an undulating course through the roads of Kent

Tasting the half marathon for the first time

Spot on and enjoying the run and the rain

Proud moments at the finish

Excellent Charity fundraising running

The top medal hand-out team at the finish

"Bagpus, Bagpus, big fat lazy catpus." there appears to be some kind of mistake ? The mice do all the running usually. And anyway where's Emily ?

Happy moments at the finish

Demonstration of touch and hold to get spot metering on your phone camera.

Official Start line video. I hope she charged for that service...

Good running on the out lap
Double thumbs up

Top team running

Waterproof mascara was the right choice

Relief for Clark

Top team finishing

Friends providing a warming coffee on the finish straight - what more could you want ?

And finally, email subscriptions to this blog have now gone through the 10,000 mark (another 5364 didn't activate their subscription after requesting it, and another 4600 who subscribed, got their news and then unsubscribed) and we have seen over 3000 of you regularly read these blogs in the emails.
When I started doing it, it was a quick update, gallery links, and a few pictures, and somehow a race report or other, and somehow I think I've managed to keep the happy spirit with which it's intended and I've only  ever had one person mis-reading the wrong captions and get offended (but that was quickly put right, and it was a caption about a friend of mine too !). Just don't start me on the two-earphone topic ok.

Anyway, this is a quick thank you for subscribing and I hope you continue to enjoy the weekly updates and photos from around the races. Just let me know if you have any ideas - seeing as our distribution is larger than most local newspapers these days there might be something bigger and better we can do with it. And I always like to hear from you as well as seeing you out running !

Until next time

Monday 24 September 2012

Pleshey Half Marathon 2012 now live

The Springfield Striders Pleshey Half Marathon gallery is now live and online here:


With a weather forecast that not only signalled the end of summer and the start of Autumn, but also given it's ferocity it felt a bit like the interim moment before the start of the the Age of Aquarius (that's at 11:11am on 21st Dec 2012 - if you're wondering), about 350 hardy individuals lined up outside the White Horse Pub in Pleshey to go for a run.

Many would argue that if you are in a 350 person queue outside a pub then you ought to do something worthwhile to kill the time before 11am and opening hours. I know a few who might just debate the point that going for a Half Marathon is a bit on the extreme side of queue-active exercise, but then I know a few that would also argue that going for a 150mile bike ride before breakfast is also a good idea. Such are the circles I mix in, when I'm allowed to. I think the point I'm making is that it takes all sorts to make a race. Or queue for the pub.

So, there they were. 10:30 in a pub queue with 349 other people, waiting for the off and killing a bit of time before lunch with a run. Not any old run, this was the Essex Half Marathon championships 2012, so good accurate proper chip timing, (from Ian at Mucky Races) very accurately measured course (every mile marker was precisely next to the chalk markings on the road), good parking in the field, and very slick marshaling and water management, as well as a very present St.Johns battle waggon and Ambulance. At this point I should also add that the food Tent was one of the slickest operations that I've ever seen, and even at last orders had freshly cooked sausages and bacon and cakes still available - something I rarely see at many of the events I cover - the team in that tent worked hard all morning. Overall - you would have been hard pushed to tell this was the first time the race had ever been put on.

So, the racing ? Well Local favourite Paul Molineux (for some reasons with number 1) zipped off at the front of the pack and decided he wanted to make it back to the White Horse before the rain started, and just about managed it in 1h:09m:37.4s. I have to admit as a part time viewer of Essex races I had expected Crispian Bloomfield to be higher up and challenging at the front - and even his 1:15 was impressive, but he didn't look like he was attacking it with the focus I've seen him have before at the early stages.

June Allen completed the sweep for Springfield striders across the genders with a 1:19:00 win in the female race, some 7 minutes ahead of second place Nikki Brockbank, also from Springfield Striders.

June Allen on the descent at 3miles

Team Springfield peloton

TGT looking for inspiration

Dagenham looking for inspiration


The 3mile water station - very well marshaled

Paul Moleneux at 11 miles

Crispian put some turbo power in, but too late in the race, but still got 7th

Smiling through the rain

Good support from St.Johns

Nikki Brockbank zooming at 2 miles

Pitsea put in an early surrender

double double thumbs up

Back in time for the pub before the really heavy rain

Chasing in at the finish with friends

Cruising in with style at the finish

Many thanks to the race director Ian Cardy and the team from Springfield Striders on putting on such a well organised inaugural event. Fingers crossed next year it won't clash with the Ipswich half and numbers will be up - as it rightly deserves for such a scenic race. Here's a route map of sorts if you want a look http://goo.gl/maps/hTuoz, and the results are up here http://www.springfieldstriders.org.uk/pleshey-a-essex-half-marathon.html

A special mention should also go to the team back here in the office who put 10hrs into indexing this gallery so quickly on a Sunday evening. Awesome work. The investment in computers and training seems to be paying off - well it will if you all buy your images and be cool.
The Tonbridge Half gallery is next up for processing and they already made a bit of a start into it tonight.

Next Weeks Races and call for final entries.

Fingers crossed this weather will pass through and Sunday will be perfect autumnal running weather - it's last call for entries for the Ealing Half Marathon
Also we have the -
  1. The Bexhill Big 10k 
  2. The Folkestone Half Marathon
  3. The Purple Patch O2O Reading 10k

All are still taking final entries, and whilst we are at it, Chris Carter asked me to mention that the Brighton10k in November is onto its last few places - so don't miss out if you want to do it.

Right, beauty sleep ready for the Tonbridge indexing tomorrow, only 22,000 to index !!

Until next time

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Maidenhead Half, Pilgrim and Chestnut Tree House races now live

Hello again, and so soon !

Yes all the race galleries from the weekend are now live and online. With over 68,000 images from the weekends action for you to saunter through, or indeed search by individual race number.

Here are the direct links for each race - click on the name and then use your race number to search for your images:

Date Event
16/09/2012 Pilgrims Half and Full marathon 2012
16/09/2012 Maidenhead Half 2012
16/09/2012 ZSL London Zoo Stampede 10k 2012
16/09/2012 Chestnut Tree House 10k 2012
15/09/2012 Pride Run 10k 2012

The Maidenhead Half Gallery is here

The 2nd Pharmalink Maidenhead Half Marathon organised by Purple Patch Running went off very smoothly this year with perfect running conditions (compared to the torrential rain endured last year). Triple Gold medal winning Maidenhead Paralympian Sophie Christiansen started the race and with over 1800 runners completing the course and supporters lining the traffic free routes it was a very well turned out event.

The remapped course ensured everyone got away with a smooth start to take on the two lap course - the same top half of the course last year.  This is relatively flat - and the whole field seemed to take advantage of it with 96% of runners finishing in under 2hr:30mins - we're used to that being about 3hrs:30mins - so it did get very busy at some points at the finish, but probably a lot more PB performances than normal.

For me it was the second finish gantry that has fallen onto my head, although I'll say the gentle deflation of a finish arch onto my head is vastly preferable to the sudden landing of a scaffold tower. The un-fixable failure of the air blower for the arch was the guilty party this time, not malicious unplugging which is something I've also seen at a few races.

Full results and race reports are available via the race website on Purple Patch Running here and I'd thoroughly recommend their other races - the next half marathon of note is the Grand Union Canal Half Marathon (very scenic and flat) as well as the Reading O2O 10k - again very flat and along the river.

The Chestnut Tree House Coastal 10k gallery is here
The Chestnut Tree House Coastal 10k hit a record 984 finishers raising money for the fantastic charity work that they do. Their full race report is online here . Hopefully you didn't get taken out by the Storm-trooper and possibly ran a little faster because of it. Big congratulations to Leanne and the team in organising the race and all the road closures and logistics involved with the event - it's growing year on year and likely to be even larger next year, so make sure you get your entry for next year in early http://bit.ly/Chestnut-10k-coast-run-entries-2013
We donate money raised from the sale of images to the charity - so help raise a bit more by getting your pictures !

The Pilgrim Half and Full Marathon Gallery 2012 is here

The Pilgrim Half and Full Marathons
The latest Pilgrimage from Sandy nr Farnham to Guildford and back attracted 463 runners on the Half marathon and 291 runners to St. Marthas Church near Guildford - and back.
With the Cycling Tour of Britain finishing in Guildford on the same day, the TV crews were out and about - and you can see our friend Ruth getting interviewed here !:

On a course that is very sandy, hilly, tree-tunnelly, and with some spectacular views (if you look behind you) it is one of the toughest marathons and half marathons in the calendar. With again perfect weather on Sunday - some great times were put in across the competitors. Dave Rollins - race director of the Brutal 10 Races won the half marathon in 1:25:13. To give you some idea of the terrain toughness - that's about 15 minutes harder than the Maidenhead half.
Just for a change  the women beat the men in the marathon distance - with Holly Rush from Team Bath (which is a bit of a clue to her pedigree) setting a 3:07:03. To be honest you would have done well to do that time in a car given the traffic around Guildford on Sunday with the bike race. An outstanding performance, and given her PB is 2:37:38 on the road again shows how tough it was - 30 minutes harder than normal.
So for the mortals amongst us - add 20% to your normal race time and you'll be in the right reckoning for this one. You can check your results from the link on the main race page here: http://www.farnhampilgrim.org.uk/

A General point on internet etiquette
We hope you all enjoy the galleries, by the end of play yesterday at about 11:30pm we had indexed through over 92,000 images, put about 85 man hours in at the office, and 45hrs in at the events, so over  130hrs in the past four days. You can figure out how much that costs, even at minimum wage rates.  It is an intense undertaking !

By 1am in the morning, just from Tuesdays gallery views over 480 images had attempted to be stolen from our gallery of the weekends photos. i.e. people had tried to take watermarked copies without paying for the real thing. How successfully the watermarked images were taken I don't know, but even at our minimum price of £5.99 (less than two pints of beer and will last considerably longer), that represents almost enough turnover to cover most of the costs associated with working at these events - which we do for free, and even donate money to the charities from sales.

If you want more detail on internet etiquette - here's a guide on sharing without stealing
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33098/How-Not-to-Steal-People-s-Content-on-the-Web.aspx  but considering we do have a direct link and tweet button on every page for you to use - it should be easy to share without taking watermarked copies !

Here's another good reason from @eddiephoto

From a survey I did once, 100% of people knew it was wrong to take watermarked image copies from the internet, and 95% of people said we should name and shame them. (i.e. Phoenix AC - is this one of yours? ) So if you fancy having a look at the images people are/trying to copy without paying for them, and in turn jeopardising our ability to provide this free gallery service - and if you can bring some socially conscious pressure to bear on them - just "advance search" on the keywords contain "hide" when you're in an event online. Or if you're viewing an event - just click here and have a look to see our "most popular images". If you know them - do us a favour and have a word please, it would mean the world to us. Thank you !

Your Next Race
The next events we're at this weekend (Tonbridge Half and The Pleshy Half) are all full and registration is closed, so see you there if you're all prepared and organised.

Otherwise the main event this month is the Ealing Half Marathon on September the 30th. It's going to be the largest race we cover this year and the newest and largest half marathon in London - with easy access from the west of town. An ideal early autumn pace-setter for you and over 4000 entries so far.
Enter it here now: http://bit.ly/Ealing-Half-2012-race-entry

And now, as ever - here's a handful of pictures from the weekend - try to spot the race as I'm going to jumble them all up for you !

Pre-race preparations at the town hall

Sophie Christiansen's Three Olympic Gold medals is the new qualifying standard to start a Race.

The start of 13.1 fast miles ahead

All systems go for Malc. using Bean power.

Paralympian Sophie Christiansen's golden postbox about 100m up the high street on the race course

I'd love to see this footage

Half way - get fresh sweatbands then

Fast finish for the 1:10:57 from Jonathan Stead of Herne Hill Harriers

Busy start like last year but with no loop - so far faster

Something about that corner makes you want to stick your tounges out ?

John Terry completed the course in a Baywatch disguise

Far too happy !

The correct position mid-Mo-bot

In training for the bank robbery

woah there !
The surrey Countryside and Pilgrim way

Dave Rollins adds one to the collection

Strong finishing in front of the crowds

always a strong start for the full marathon

Nice to run with some company on the country lanes and paths

Dave was so fast we didn't catch him at the top of the view

Angle one - a good high jump

The frame is this wide

For the win - Holly Rush wins the Marathon for Team Bath with her suitable surname.

The view is to the right...

A mild touch of the Julie Andrews

Here's the view to the right

Angle two - the mid race jump

The prompt start from the Mayor on the seafront
James lead from the start to the finish for 33:43

Makes me wonder what he would look like with a chimney on him ?

Excellent family day out raising money for the charity

The Storm Trooper with a stolen Princess Leia cloak.

A near perfect Mo-Bot - note the symmetry

Hello Ruth !. Looks like you went fast enough and did push yourself, despite the ability to do an early training run the next day.x

And remember to smile next time you see us. 6 years later and you might end up in the news  (hopefully for good reasons like saving a life) http://t.co/YgCNqs0U   , we have over 5,000,000 images in our archives all catalogued by race number, so remember to look us up if you need a press release...

Until next time, and I hope you're enjoying the perfect temperatures for training at the moment