Wednesday 23 July 2014

REP Arundel Castle Tri and F3 Events Marlow Half Iron Tri 2014 now live

I hope you're coping with the hot weather !
If you didn't notice, last weekend was a triathlon one. There were all sorts going around the country, and we were focussed on two races, one in Marlow and one in Arundel.

Race Gallery Link
REP Arundel Castle Standard Triathlon
F3 Events Marlow Half Iron Triathlon

The F3 Events website has a great post race report here - with a mass start for the men and then the women about 5 minutes later it was a straight race from start to finish which unravelled itself over the three skills of the discipline.
Unknown to many, but shared by the Race director at the end of the day - there had been a car accident on the bike course that had shut the roads. Only with the help of the Race Marshals and team were the police able to open the road in time for the race to continue - with about only 10 minutes to spare before the bikes arrived ! Good job marshals !
Given that the course had already been changed to accommodate the roadworks on the dual carriageway south of Nettlebed, some would say to a more challenging and interesting course up Pishill  it was a great relief for everyone involved that it didn't get stopped.
It's taken a few years but now the F3 Half Iron is a popular race with a flat run and a testing bike ride. I would like to see it get registered for BTF accreditation - that would surely see it more than double in size.
Tom Burkinshaw won by a country mile. And had the best barcodes too.
The Raw Energy Pursuits (REP) Arundel Castle Triathlon is a new standard distance race in the calendar. Swimming in the river Arun on the tide turn, followed by a very challenging bike ride around the South Downs, finishing off with a 2 lap 10k run around the Castle, finishing in the Town Square.

There's a great race report here on Tri247 

Mick Dicker the race director has been a long time supporter of us providing free race photos for competitors at his races. It seemed an ideal opportunity for us to test the new Pic2Go system which can put competitors race photos directly into a Facebook album for them - live during an event.

Mick got the Pic2go barcodes printed onto his race numbers at very short notice, and then we also tried to back this up with stickers. Given we know the price of bikes, bike helmets, wetsuits and all other kit that makes triathlon we were seriously concerned that these very very sticky labels would damage anything other than fabric that they touched. So some very straightforwards instructions were given - stick it on the swim cap and fabric only.
 There was only one problem that we hadn't anticipated after testing it on everything we have in terms of running technical fabrics - a lot of good tri suits are apparently covered in teflon - you know - the non-stick stuff. We didn't test it on a good tri suit... we came unstuck...

So, saved by the tyvek race numbers with the barcodes printed on them, we were able to get the shots where barcodes could be read from the swim and bike start onto peoples Facebook pages whilst they were on the bike course! Then as soon as the run was complete the remaining images were uploaded through the system which meant that within 2 hours of the event almost everyone (96%) had images available.
Later that day we manually indexed off the rest of the images, put them onto the gallery as usual and made sure all 100% of competitors had images on their facebook albums.

In conclusion, triathlon continues to be one of the hardest events to try to number up. The rules dictate front and back numbering at different stages of the race, cover yourselves up with wetsuits that can't take any markings (one day perhaps someone will design one with a small panel on the front for numbering ?), and then crouch over on bikes to hide any markings that you did have (again a bike helmet manufacturer is one day going to design one with a numberplate space on the front ?)

Overall for a small race with 150 competitors, over 14,000 people were shown the race pictures via the social share, so if nothing else - it's had a load of publicity to increase the size of the race for next year !

pic2go barcodes
We will next be testing the barcodes only for faster cataloguing of a race on Sunday at the Purple Patch DTUF (Down Tow Up Flow) half marathon - they still have entries on the day if you are interested

Soon we hope to get all races that we cover using the barcodes - this will speed up the service we can provide for races and better for you by getting the galleries on line faster.

Race Numbers
In the meantime we have invested in the technology to print race numbers onto tyvek and can match very competitively on pricing for them, so we can help races include this technology as easily as possible.

And - Here's a quick summary from the races in pictures...
All setting off near the famous Marlow Bridge

calm and collected into T1, or not so if you're struggling behind

Doffing your cap to the locals as you pass

Fast downhills through the roadworks

Not a difficult "guess the word he's saying" caption competition

Yaay for high fives

ROB. You're the best.

Correct Finish technique

Well done Jessica

Taking a bow on the red carpet

Well, he does have Nikon as a sponsor name on his top.

Over in Arundel
THAT picture postcard background 

Barcode Tags on hats seemed to work well

Off out for a ride from the foot of the castle

Damn those south downs !

Running along near the lake

Past Historic folleys

Down into the town centre along the Castle Walls

Flying into the finish at the foot of the hill
Very well done to everyone involved with F3Events and Raw Energy Pursuits on putting on two great events in hot conditions. I don't think we saw a single dehydration case at the finish line in any of the races - which is a testament to competitor sense as it is to course safety.

So for those of you keeping track of these things, just so you feel older, our eldest finished Infants school today. If you've been reading this Blog since before then (It's 8 years old and 505 posts in that time) then I hope that gives you a small marker of the passage of time that goes too quickly.

Until next time - I hope you all have a good summer holiday planned, and to the chap who rode past during a race shouting "love the blog" - thank you, that makes us all just that bit happier !


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