Tuesday 28 October 2014

Beachy Head Marathon and 10k 2014 now live

It was the most perfect conditions we have ever experienced for The Beachy Head Marathon and 10k on Saturday.
As you can see - it was a very clear days with views all the way over to Worthing in the distance...
The view at 5pm from Beachy Head towards Seaford Head, Brighton and Worthing

Namely and specifically the nice conditions were - no frost, no rain, no hail, no gale force wind, no ice, no burning sun, some light. Something wasn't quite right. The weather was so good, even Stu decided to just run relaxed and enjoy the views and the race (if you can call 3:09 "relaxed" )

So, seriously - the photos from the day will probably never be this good for a while - the weather was near perfect.

Having said that, I know what this course can do during a day (Northerly ice hail storm last year anyone?), and it was at 5:30pm when I came off the top of Beachy Head overlooking Belle Tout and broke cover from the lee of the hill curve that the 5 degrees wind chill off the 12 degrees air temperature started to cut through my winter sallopettes and other various winter clothes. Usually I'm exhausted by 4pm but still felt fresh to the end, the effect the weather can have is immense on long days like this, and I think I'm right in saying it's the same for the runners !!

Having the wind behind you up the Seven Sisters and the final climb up the Head must make a very big difference.
It's always good to see a new face win the race, and given the lead field through the early part of the course it was good to see a very competitive race - led home by Stephan Wenk #2170 in 2:55:39 and Jo Singer of Vic Park #1866 in 3:32:48

One thing that really stood out for me this year was the number of Parent/Family/Child pairs running the Marathon together - and how with the weather and light conditions we're really unlikely to get those sort of shots again - so if you're in one of those - please don't miss the opportunity to get them.

Race Logo Race Gallery link

Beachy Head Marathon
Race Gallery:
Results ? The results are here

Please remember to vote for this Blog (not just this one, the 500+ in total I've written over the past 6 years) here and see if we can win something !!
Gandalf chased Stephan only so far up the First Hill, He still won it despite a calf cramp rest 

Easy and up the hill from Jevington

Second Hill Done victory dance

Already turned to a Zombie at Hill 2

He still showed his number better than anyone with a Tri Belt

Synchronised Jazz Hands


Orpington caught checking the local cab companies that accept dogs

Seeing the Head ahead you can't really blame Orpington

Gareth points out that will be Goodenough, Ian.

Dad takes responsibility for entering the race. Daughter Approves.

Only 3 miles early on the final dip

Honest and being in touch with your deepest feelings is important 

Andrew here is seen wearing the latest autumn Fashion - SSP Buffs available from the shop soon

Hollywood thinks long and hard about entering next year

Happy Minion

Suzie receives a guard of Honour

Ruth decided to push up the old Belle Tout lighthouse

That downland view as the sun cut through

Running *Down* That Hill Ms Bush

Larkfield AC, larking about !!

I think the dog wanted more than a number to eat ?

Sometimes we catch people by surprise

That Brutal Buff has hair extensions added

It's very hard to run like this...

Caution not to poke out your fellow pilots eyes when flying along

the joy of finishing

Bracknell make it all the way

That view across the south downs

The new Alfriston Bridge

Down to the start of the Seven Sisters - the last bit of flat !

Not a way to make the race easy ! They are supposed to run with you...

Exceat completed and it's flat !!!

Correct finishing technique !

Burgess Hill practice the Hokey Kokey. I think they put it all in ?

Debbie nails it. Again !!!
Very big congratulations to everyone at the Eastbourne Council, the volunteers, the race directors, the marshals, feed and water stations it's a fantastic achievement, almost a big a deal as completing the race !!! Well done everyone !

Next weekend is the Veteran car run from London to Brighton (our one car event per year) and the November Back2theTrenches if you like your Muddy Fun and obstacle racing, so here's hoping this incredibly good weather keeps going ?!!!

Until next time

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Brutal Woolmer, Abingdon Marathon and Cabbage Patch 10 2014 galleries now live

Quite how we managed to avoid the rain this weekend is quite amazing, it all dried off before the start at Woolmer, although it could be argued that it doesn't realy matter at a Brutal if you are running it - but it does make a big difference to the marshals, volunteers and organisers - so everyone ends up happier !
Then it went through again on Saturday night in time to leave Abingdon and Cabbach Patch 10 both dry, although a little on the windy side - meaning the opportunity for these two very flat races run along near the river banks are ideal PB material.

Race Logo Gallery Link
Brutal Woolmer
Abingdon Marathon
Cabbage Patch 10 miles
next weekend - Beachy Head Marathon...

and on every post from now until April....

Please vote for us in the Running Awards nominations here:  Online - Blog - SussexSportPhotography. Thank you for the 94 or so of you who have clicked through so far (I trust you voted for your favourite... ;-)   ) keep them coming :-) we think we are doing ok so far... your vote counts !!!

The weekend of route changes and locations...
The new route for Brutal Woolmer and new parking arrangements seemed to work a treat for everyone.
In terms of where we can cover the course - working out where we can get somewhere earlier and then get back over to a later spot took some thought. It meant we got some new spots - although not without a bit of hard work - if some of you noticed me clinging to the side of that ditch at 3k trying not to slide in with my kit with my foot braced against a small tree - yes - interesting new spots, followed by a sprint back across the course to get to the 9k spot. Seb had a similar journey, although more scenic than muddy, then a walk back to the finish, and Mike had the earliest shot and then over to the bog at 7k.
Alas with Gunge alley now is about a 4km walk and only half way around the course - that meant that this year it was ruled out on simple logistics - but the four new locations we covered all added up to a better race coverage overall.
That 3k ditch crossing gets busy

The Cabbage Patch 10 offers it's own logistics problems - mostly caused by london traffic and a massive river down the middle of the course ! The general rule is that for most races you need the race to thin out a bit so you can get some decent photos of everyone - however that bridge is only at one point on the course, so it's important to get that in the shot background, plus on the other side of the river - everything is backlit with the sun - so you'd end up with those lovely sillouette photos if you arn't careful.
If the sky had stayed slightly cloudy it would have been better so the bridge wasn't too bright in the background, however the bank undergrowth had been cleared properly this year - so there is more of a view.
Seriously we didn't pose this one

The Abingdon Marathon had some small but significant course route changes this year, starting on the track exit instead of on the track, and changing the start of the lower course loop meant that the waterstation table was bang exactly on the apex of the corner I regularly used to use to get everyone just leaning around nicely.
This meant that instead of getting the town square crossing shot (always a bit crowded), that two of us covered the very short section of the course where we can get a bit of river in the background, and then change our locations slightly at around the 14 mile mark to make the best of it. Sally was covering the usual loop locations - as the sun direction and trees and buildings around there determine those locations automatically.

1k out of the start and everything looked ok

 So here's a few other shots from the races... First off the Brutal

Given the reaction to this shot of Bailey eating his owner and running over me on Facebook, I'll just start taking pictures of the dogs at the Brutals.
It is the second coming. Actually he was just on his first lap.

Nobody jumped clear across despite some pretty good efforts

If you're wondering if it's competitive at the sharp end of the race - this was second and third at 3k fighting for position to get out

Probably regretting all those bangles weighing her down at this point

Welcome to the River Styx my devils

New haircut for Julie's dog

Suddenly he was reminded of that critical project at work that also had a creek and no paddle involved

Never been happier

Todays winner of the Harry Enfield Lookalike competition (can't be awarded due to flappy number)

The Marshals enjoy watching the Brutals just as much as you enjoy suffering in them

Oi ! Really ? A hand out perhaps ? Nope - no sexisim here - everyone for themselves..

Making light work of the bog

Making hard work of the bog

Jayne picks the hard route to the OCR world champs in the states next week

ah, you picked the Vicar of Dibley route then ?

And this is how you make Mud bread...

Tony Blair lookalikes apply here

In order from left to right - 1st, 2nd, 5th, 4th. No idea where 3rd had got to at the 2k mark !!

You know it's a bad day when you have a devil on both shoulders

Top teamwork for the finish !

Cabbage Patch 10
Fast off round the first bend with the Run Fast crew

all looking good after Richmond Bridge

This is how you wave at a camera. A lesson for everyone in proper celebration.

We are sure we didn't set this shot up, but it does look a bit like we did doesn't it... next years race marketing material...

This is what you look like after running sub-5 for 10 miles. Really ??? Awesome time of 49:35 by Loitarakwai Olengurisi

Equally non-believable poise from Steph Twell for 56:05 to win the ladies. I think I might manage that on a bike. Just.
Meanwhile on the other very flat race on Sunday at Abingdon
Clearly not prepared for this - he looks too relaxed

He was a she, and took a walk on the wild side

He did quite well without the elephant

Nailing it for the win

sub 3:30 feels good

Sub 3:30 doesn't feel good

Getting down into the set position for a quick extra lap at the finish

Sheer relief

Good team work

Jan feels the burn of a V45 second place as Jon looks on.

Very big well dones to all the race marshals and directors - the weather held off, and as far as we can tell, nobody did anything too silly out there on the courses...

Next weekend is the Beachy Head Marathon, one of the most iconic courses in the UK - so we will see you there -  http://www.visiteastbourne.com/events/BeachyHeadMarathon.aspx on Saturday...before the clocks go back for a nice lie in on sunday to recover !!!

Until next time, (and don't forget to vote)