Tuesday 26 March 2013

Brentwood Half Marathon 2013

The Start of the 2013 race and the snowy winter scene

The Brentwood   Half Marathon and Fun Run is now live and on line here:


In what was the snowiest coldest expedition by us in a long time 6 of us braved the journey to Brentwood through snow drifts and standing snow on the M25 to Brentwood and the annual Half marathon.

Tony Clark and the Rotary put on another great event with help from Scouts, the School, Cadets, and volunteers including the main sponsors LV= . The pre-race saturday check at 6pm had crucially had no ice on the course, and despite being on the edge of the Met Offices Severe weather warning zone for heavy snow - everything was given the go ahead early on Sunday morning after another course check.
Given that at least 7 other major races were cancelled on Sunday - it was great achievement to get everyone to the start line.

With over 2000 people finishing the main race and just over 630 in the fun run - it was as well attended as ever, the Siberian wind cutting through the air failed to put people off raising money for Rotary and the charities the race support. Profits from the photo sales go towards the Rotary - so please help us raise as much as possible - and you get a nice race photo memento to share and keep for life too... just buy your race photos and make sure your friends get theirs too - and then stick them on facebook, just giving, or wherever else you can to show people what you've been up to, prove you did it despite the cold, and give Rotary and the charities some well earned support !

Bizzarely - the actual temperature out of the wind was above freezing - but with the air temperature being so low and with wind chill - it was vicious. I wouldn't have wanted to be struggling out at the 6 mile mark - it must have been very hard going around that point - so big respect to everyone making it around the course.

It was also good to see Paul from Run247.com - and his report and race video is available here which gives a good feel for the atmosphere at the finish line.

The full race results for both races are available here: http://www.brentwoodhalf.org/results.htm

Sophie Riches won the fun run by a distance

I'm sure he's shouting encouragement, and I 'm sure that's his son.. beating him :-)

Good finishing from the LV= team members

Hazel Vuvi won the women's race in 1:22:27 - a top class time

The 1:30 pacer was a mere 5 seconds fast, but I don't think that made too much of a difference to the people behind him...

Broken away at the finish - Ryan Prout closed home in 1:09:47 away from Paul Molyneux  after he had lead most of the way

victory finish

good teamwork round the course

The Mayor ready to get things under way. (my other caption got sub-edited out).

Most appropriate T-shirt competition winner - it was Brutal

Main race start - the leading three took it out from the start - although Crispian as a local still only just turned up on time !

The New Photography. Frame the shot first before considering the light.  Glass Plate cameras will be the next vogue.

"Yeah,hot soup and a start running the bath , I'll be there in 5 minutes I'm on the last corner"

It was busy out at the 12 mile mark

741 taking emergency action after this spectator just stood in the way (edging out further) for about 3 minutes "to get a better view" on the last corner ignoring the pleads of the crowd to move back. Look at the writing on the road and gauge just how far out she was - standing about two yards into the road by our reckoning. Crowd barriers are there for a reason, as are the marshals. 741 was lucky she wasn't taken out. So was the spectator. Very Lucky.

The Fun Run course went along the winter paths

Looking determined from the start for Sophie.

Cold ? Who cares !!!

Exodus from Narnia

Always good to keep warm 

That kick on the last corner from Ryan Prout to leave Paul Molyneux

Determined finishing

Eh ? that clocks broken...

Great Family Support always gets you through !

So - since people have asked - how do you survive days in the office like sunday ?, sitting still for 3h30m in temperatures where spilt coffee on your camera bag freezes and brushes off ? well the answer is you wear this:
Hannah, getting a well deserved cuppa to warm up after covering the race finish.

See you all at the Richmond 13.1 Half on Easter Sunday - places are still available: http://bit.ly/richmond13-half-2013-entry if it's not any warmer I'm going to have a word with the boss about the temperature in the office because this is getting silly now.

And if any of you think you are faster than my kids over 800m or fancy a nice 10k in the Sussex Countryside - then the Lewes 10k and Fun runs are for you on Easter Monday then go here: http://bit.ly/Lewes10k-race-entry

Very well done to all of you completing the race the Brentwood Half Marathon and I look forwards to seeing your choices from the gallery soon,

until next time, when hopefully my feet will have thawed a bit,

Cranleigh 15-21 2013

The Cranleigh 15-21 2013 race gallery is now live and online here:

The race results are here: http://www.mabac.org.uk/results/results%20by%20year.html#2013

We're still working through the Brentwood Half Marathon pics, and aim to have them done by close of work on Tuesday - but that's what you get with 6 photographers, 7 cameras, 2 races (yes we covered the fun run too) and lots and lots of people - yes - lots and lots of photos. We are half way through so far, but we want to make sure we do a proper job of the cataloguing.

Just for the avoidance of any further confusion (4 phone calls and numerous emails today) - we didn't cover the Eastleigh 10k. Yes, after 4 years of covering it, it was a bit of a shame not to be there, however, we don't know who the race organised to cover the race this year - but it wasn't us, so we're a bit confused why they put our name in the race information booklet. Please contact the race organisers directly on eastleigh10k@runningmania.co.uk and ask them who they did get, because we don't know !

So for those of you who braved the cold wind chill on Sunday at Cranleigh - very well done. In conditions with light slow, a tough Easterly wind, in conditions that were sub-zero - 15 miles might not be too bad, but 21 - that's the serious marathon training distance, just up to the wall. For many this will be the longest race run before marathon time, and probably will have been more enjoyable than marathon day itself (no big race day nerves) - but certainly for the first timers - equally big an achievement. Remember this day, for it is one step closer to big day marathon greatness !
Equally well done to the MABAC team for putting the race on and getting it done with Brian Vine at the helm as usual - difficult conditions for everyone to stand around marshalling, timing and general race assistance, as well as the worry of slips, trips and hypothermia out on the course in conditions like this - well done everyone on getting through the day !

Leading light from Horsham

Warm thumbs up

Mobot smiles

double thumbs up with 2 miles to go

The finish is over there

04 ?

who loves ya !

warm hands

The Cranleigh 15-21 2013 race gallery is now live and online here:

So, we're full power into finishing the cataloguing for Brentwood on Tuesday, updates as it happens on twitter @uksportphoto the facingbook and here later.

Next races - 
If you are looking for a half marathon to race on Easter Sunday - then I'll recommend you the new Richmond 13.1 Half marathon - here: http://bit.ly/richmond13-half-2013-entry  by comparison to this weekend - it's looking quite warm !!
Locally - it's the Lewes 10k on Easter Monday - not one to miss - a bit of a classic and the muddy bits could be interesting - but it's snowed during it before !! http://bit.ly/Lewes10k-race-entry

until next time

Tuesday 19 March 2013

Brutal Windmill Hill, F3 Dorney Half, Finchley 20, and Colchester Half Marathon 2013

The weekends galleries are now live and online for you to enjoy !

 Brutal Windmill Hill Gallery:
 F3 Dorney Lake Half Marathon Gallery:
 Finchley 20 2013 Gallery:
 The Colchester Half Marathon 2013 Gallery:

Links to the events and their race information and results are included on the galleries' front pages.

As we are in the major Half Marathon season - you may need to get your training races sorted out and get that racing schedule practice in before you do that big one, or a half as part of your taper later in april

Next weekends races are:
The Brentwood Half Marathon - race full
Purple Patch Water of Life Half Marathon and 10k - races full
Cranleigh 15-21 - race full
and we're not at the Eastleigh 10k this year so take your camera if you're supporting

And in two weeks - Easter Sunday and Monday
The Richmond 13.1 Half Marathon - places still available
The Lewes 10k and fun runs - places still available

Three weeks - April the 6th and 7th - places still available - but going fast !!
Bolt Round the Holt - http://bit.ly/bolt-round-the-holt-2013-entry
Bournemouth Bay Runs (Half and 10k) - http://bit.ly/bay-run-2013-entry

Paddock Wood Half Marathon - http://bit.ly/paddock-wood-2013-entry
The Sussex Marathon and Half Marathon - http://bit.ly/Sussex-marathon-entries

Weekend roundup
As the vast majority of the photographic work is outside, we tend to take a good long look at the forecast and wonder if sitting in the office at a desk cataloging photos and doing admin and pre-race preparation is a better life than the regular foray into the great wild outdoors that is our office. I'm personally going to complain to the boss because the thermostat seems to be broken at below 3degrees C for the last three months now and IT'S NO LONGER FUNNY. and I'll add that's ignoring wind chill.

After a week of Snow closing schools and major motorways in the south on Monday, sunshine on Wednesday and then heavy rain through the rest of the week, it was anyone's guess what was going to happen.
I don't know how many of you remember the forecast on Saturday, but if you need reminding it was cold, wet, a bitterly cold gale force wind, wet sodden ground and standing water. Basically everything that you would want if you were doing a Brutal and feeling a bit mildly insane and wanting to re-connect yourself with nature after a week in the office, however not what you would want if you were doing the Half Marathon around Dorney Lake - looking for a fast - which is windswept even on a perfectly still summers evening.

Sunday whilst it was snowing at Longleat and along the M4 corridor, whilst it raining heavily in Finchley it was unbelievably dry (but a brisk cold wind) in Colchester. Which was a nice change for the team that made it there, just as long as the wind wasn't a problem... It made for an excellent race - and a good test for the locals who seemed to rise to the challenge of the first hill (it's a massive climb within 3 miles) without walking.

So, here's a few photos we took out of the 65,000 or so from the weekend that made it onto the gallery...I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Someone was enjoying themselves

balancy steps, just mind the hidden hole

rage on

warpaint and hard work

clearly not gone through the water yet

Leading up the hill, damn hard work

Tough Running

Hang On a moment !

downhill running  = double thumbs up

This weeks Hero

oops lost a scrunchie !

it wasn't that deep in the middle of the second water crossing

in a hurry to finish at Dorney lake

on the windy road around the lake

good use of a bin liner until they disintegrate

flying along the back straight

big double thumbs up

focus at the finish

marshals make the drinks go round

hugs and encouragement

Keep calm and go for a run

Flying along at Finchley 20 on sunday

Flying along even faster at finchley

double thumbs at 3 miles

good motivational teamwork around the 4 laps

number 42. That's the answer !

travelling up from Winchester for this - must be marathon training

All smiles

Woah big fella !

Salutes all round

no surrender at the finish

this is how you may feel after 15 miles of running

The first hill at Colchester

"You did what ?" "doh..."

Kate Bush would be proud at the top of this Hill

Winning ladies approach the finish, which was yet to get busy

Thumbs up to the finish

This way ? - Yep

Always good to see friends 

No Headphones, but earmuffs were allowed

a sudden realisation that all was not as it seemed

Synchronise watches at the 13mile mark

Leading the race at 13:15mins through the  High Street

Glad Tom could see the funny side

Only two left, he sold the rest on his way round the course

For the win

A shiny trophy for an excellent time

Surely it's easier to swing from his webs ?

why crowd barriers are needed at race finishes #1 - blocking the way

Run Rabbit Run !!

Full pain for full power at the finish

Paul - looking trim in his Fetch Vest..

Why you need crowd control barriers #2 - people block the route for runners and the view

Proud achievements - rightly celebrated

The Mayor did his own course check and survey on the way round

All the race directors and teams of volunteers did fantastically over both days in difficult weather conditions. Saturdays races included a broken leg and at least one case of hypothermia, Sundays races included no headphone rules, the usual complaints about that (mostly from people who knew and then were annoyed that the rules were applied), yet also witnesses to cars cutting up into runners on the roads, where if those particularly unfortunate runners had been wearing headphones they would have had some seriously dangerous encounters.
 Having seen ambulances not get through a sea of runners because people were wearing headphones, and also having seen ambulances zoom down race roads because headphones were banned (and everyone heard the marshals shouts and got out the way) I know what side of the fence I prefer. To all those who wear headphones, I'll say this - it's a rule, and whilst it might not be for your benefit, I sincerely hope it's not for your benefit when you're in need of emergency care but waiting for that ambulance that's stuck behind someone else wearing headphones because they can't hear it. Accidents happen at races, so be prepared and do everything you can to ensure you're not the problem. I've only once ever pulled someone out of the way of an ambulance, they had headphones on and I sincerely hope I never have to do it again.

Until next time,
Be safe, keep warm and lets hope spring turns the corner pretty soon !