Monday 31 December 2012

Brutal Longmoor, 2012 and all that

The Brutal Longmoor 2012 gallery is now live and on line here:

Race results can be found here:

A little message
As 2012 trips over into 2013 and I plan for the early start and off to the Serpentine 10k New Years Day race for the 5th time, we start to get near to the 10 year anniversary of this business.

From starting as a "paying hobby" back in 2003 when the internet started working, and with the luxury of a "proper job" to cover costs, investment and food, it grew firstly into a full time self-employed job in 2008 (when the proper-job and 20 years of career was thrown out of the window), and more recently into a limited company (UK Sport Photo Ltd) that has salaries to pay, people it employs, and VAT and other tax bills to sort out.

Quite when all this got all very "serious and sensible" from what was just doing something I'd loved to do all my life (from 14 when I first picked up a camera) , I'm not quite sure, but what I am certain of is that we wouldn't be in this situation if it wasn't for great people like you supporting and helping us (mainly by buying your photos).

So in this landmark year that my Grandma is forecast to turn 100, I'd like to say a bit thank you to all of you for your support, purchases, suggestions and salutations over the past 10 years either saying "Hi !" out on the race routes and at the finish lines, over the internet or on the phone and email. Thank you also to the team here in the office that work so hard to support the 35 photographers we use regularly to help cover races.

Thank you for being you, and please continue to be you, and I wish you a Happy New Year in 2013 and may all your training plans come good.


and now ... some pictures from the Brutal Longmoor 2012.

It was wet, muddy, and they had to avoid a rally car race, but they got there in the end, rain and wind allowing, here's a little something to show the people back in the office after the holidays...

a quick dip 

Happy reindeer antlers

victory is in the taking part

The only Bolt of the whole day

The white tape doesn't take your weight

Vicar of Dibley puddle moment

attacking the dunes early on

Succeed !

The pain of trying and finishing

spare arms and antlers
don't slip up !

No number, use 000 or search on wolverine
More fun in the mud than you can possibly imagine - Brutal  runs !

The Brutal Longmoor 2012 gallery is now live and on line here:

Happy New Year and we look forwards to seeing more of you in 2013


Monday 17 December 2012

RPAC Holly Run 2012 and almost the year end

The RPAC Holly Run Gallery is now live and online here:

It was an excellent turnout across the junior races with the U11 and U13 races being extremely well attended by children from the local schools. For the first time in a few years we also covered the senior races - so those pictures can also be found on the gallery.

The Race website will hopefully have the results up sometime soon :

Mo Farah ran this race as a junior in 1999, so hopefully in this years race there is some similar talent bubbling up through the ranks.

Archive searches, previous race photos - Christmas presents for friends, kids and family.
We have cleared the backlog and trying to turn around archive searches same day at the moment - in the important run up to christmas - so if you have a race number, date and a race that you want to see the pictures from previous years - just reply to this email with your archive details and we will do our best to reload it in time for Christmas present orders (full size digital files are immediate on our archive gallery).

Next Races

The Holly Run was the last race we're covering before Christmas, and the last race of the year we're at is the Brutal at Longmoor Camp on the first Saturday after Christmas (the 29th).

If you are having plans to eat all the pies (like I am) over Christmas, then you will be able to assuage your guilt at this Brutal as it's hilly, muddy, sandy and wet, and will get you out of the house for a few moments before you have to go back to work on Tuesday the 2nd.

I should also mention entries to the New Years Day Serpentine 10k 2013 at Hyde Park organised by Serpentine Running Club - because it's the only proven way to clear the head after a good nights partying, apart from sleeping.

Many of you would have watched BBC Sports Personality of the Year last night - Mr Wiggins took 30% of the telephone vote - all I can say is watching the peleton and the effort they were putting in at the Olympic Road race was a phenomenal sight - for him to go and win the time trial just a few days after that - quite amazing, not to mention the tour.
Bradley Wiggins on the 2012 Olympic Road race with the GB team

Happy Christmas
All that is left for us is to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - we have continued to grow our race coverage only because of your support. By buying and ordering photos from us we can continue to fund the team behind the photographers and the websites that make it all happen and bring searchable galleries to you quickly after races. 

4.9million page views this year alone (up 37% on last year) shows that you love to look at the galleries and it is very fulfilling to know that we are providing a service that is wanted and fills a need. I had three people ask me yesterday for website details because they hadn't brought their cameras - and even at that level it's good to know we can provide a backup !

For 2013 we promise to continue to bring the very best of the action from around the races as soon as possible, online, searchable and of the highest quality.
Hopefully we will continue to bring sponsors on board so that galleries can be free to download for you, and I look forwards to seeing you all out and about at races in 2013 and your choices and orders in the year to come.

And here's a little action from yesterdays Holly Run

Santas little helper

Flying round the course

Don't cut corners (NB the marshals quickly moved the arrow to the other side of the corner)

Poised to chase down the leader

Tight racing out front near the start

Fancy dress and fancy socks

Tight running from the U15 Boys

Good outing for Windsor Slough and Eaton

Good finish from Oxted

Junior Running is in prodigious health
 so until next time - remember we will be processing digital orders until lunchtime on christmas eve if you need a picture quickly !

Have a great Christmas Holiday

Anthony and everyone at the SSP team


Monday 10 December 2012

Brutal Long Valley and Seaford Mince Pie 10 2012 now live

The Brutal Long Valley Gallery is now live and on line here:

Results are on the race website here:

Striders Banner

The Seaford Striders Mince Pie 10 race gallery is now live here:

Results and a race report are on the Race website here:

A weekend of two off-road races of contrasting scenery. Firstly over at Long Valley near Fleet the Brutal 10 yet again lived up to it's reputation for being, well, Brutal. If you want to see just how brutal the course was - here's the map - 
To get  a real feel for it - save the KML and look at it in Google Earth with terrain at x3 - makes the hills look like what they really are...

This years Long Valley technical challenge had to be the Swan Lake - which on Friday the course designers had been wading about in it to clear the ice sheets - although come saturday no such joys remained. Waist deep in near freezing water is never a nice thing to be doing...but at least this time everyone went through it and not round it.

It was also a perfect day to do a spot of marshalling - no wind, crisp blue skies and a warming sun - it wasn't too bad outside at all. However the marshals who dealt with poor Zoe who popped her knee probably had a harder time than usual, we wish Zoe the best of luck in recovering. The course itself had less mud than last time, but considerably more water - so if you didn't bring a spare set of warm clothes and a towel for afterwards, you probably didn't get home alive.

Sunday at the Mince Pie 10 was a different matter - the mostly trail race around the south downs near Peacehaven - did have a few muddy bits, but mostly it was safe paths and tracks. What nobody mentioned was the cold bitter north westerly wind that cut through whatever clothing you could find. For the first time I went for two coats, the outer one being a big yellow high viz long coat - that stopped any wind cutting up my back, but even after 2 hours the ankles started to feel the chill as it finally ebbed in. The sun was mostly hidden from view by a bank of cloud out to sea, but the sky above the downs was mostly clear blue for most of the race. As usual some of the runners managed to turn out in fancy dress, including one Santa Morph, a few Christmas pixies and some reindeer antlers - which always encourages a bit more of a shout from the marshals and brightens the day up.

Some photos from the weekend below, next weekend is the last race before Christmas - which is the RPAC Holly Run - it always attracts some good race entries for the junior races - under 11 races to under 17's and then senior races. We will be covering the Junior races from 11am to 1:30pm - races that include a pedigree of Mo Farah taking part - so a good base for athletes of all abilities ! Fingers crossed it won't have snowed by then - but you can't be sure given this weeks forecast.

Last order dates
After that it's Christmas, please don't order mugs after this Tuesday 11th if they are going to be for presents as we can't guarantee delivery from the printers in time. I'll be doing digital orders here in the office right up to Christmas eve - so you have your last minute lifeline for those - you can print them at home if you need to.
Prints - last day for those orders to get to you in time is the 18th - we send everything first class, but I really don't want you to risk it and run it late.
So - if you like a bit of certainty - this is what we recommend:

  • Tuesday 11th - Mugs
  • Tuesday 18th - prints
  • Wednesday 19th - CD's in the post
  • Friday 21st - Full size collections by server download
  • Monday 24th - noon on christmas eve - all other digital files by email

After that, see you on the other side - at the next Brutal on the 29th of December  no better way to slay the pudding.

The long wade through Swan Lake

Doing his best Petr Cech impression

All ok here. Honest. (280 didn't look all smiles a few frames later)

Last one in, be a darling and fetch the arrow...

2 WP up the hill (that's wolf power)

Gritty running up the last hill

double brutal

My goodness it's extremely cold mother.

Singing was optional

Chivalry is not dead

Thumbs up from Sy

Matching Tshirts, but what happened to 80 and 81 ?

Victory is in the doing.

Happy Christmas from Santa Morph

Ever felt you're being followed ?

it was her fault

those are leg tatoos

Christmas Pixies getting some pre-day training in

Boxercise all the way

Natasha takes the win


Still got that followed feeling ?

No need for a scarf

This isn't just any running photo, this is a M&S running photo

Requested proof that it was muddy out there

Special Santa hats with direction indicators

Happy Christmas back to you Marc

Snowy enjoyed the days outing

Marshaling has it's benefits - just look at that view (behind him)

Running Bunnies ?

Look out behind you !!

Santa sought anonymity in races to get some pre-day training done

The tinsel three

Morning !

Antlers all the way home.

So before I too start to look at my own New Years training regime, this leaves me with just enough space to say Happy Christmas to you all, thank you for being out there and doing your thing. Keep Running and see you in 2013.

Until next time
Anthony, Sally, and the SSP team.