Tuesday 30 December 2014

Brutal Longmoor 2014 and the year end

The gallery for the Brutal Longmoor 2014 is now live and on line, with pictures of cold people throwing themselves through ponds and ditches of mud and water, running up hills and smiling as they freeze. Yes they can all be seen, even some being pulled along by their Canine friends - most of whom had more sense to run around the water if they could, it was widely noted that the Spaniels didn't shirk the challenges as much as the other breeds this time...

New Race Galleries Gallery Link
The Brutal Longmoor 8k and 16k 

and if you missed them:
The RPAC Holly Run
Seaford Striders Mince Pie 10
The Hogs Back Road Race
There is always a list of all the races covered on the gallery front page here - just scroll down

I hope you all managed to have a good break over the last few days, and for some the travel chaos of seeing relatives and parents wasn't too taxing in the cold spell - the snow wasn't easy for many north of the M4.
Christmas at SSP was a quiet affair, everyone out of the office for three days, and clearly there was no last minute panics on the actual big day of presents to buy people involving race photos as we had a sum total of zero orders on the day, not even for those immediate screen resolution downloads. I take this as a healthy sign of offline Christmas days !
Normal service was resumed on Boxing day, and we have been working back since Saturday and Sunday to catch back up with everyone back in the office today (Monday). It's one of the problems when your job involves working when people are on their day off - you lose your days off! With that in mind - this Thursday is the 8th Serpentine New Years Day 10k that we will have covered - so no Partying it up the night before for us ! I hope you have a good one, and hopefully we will see you at Hyde Park - perhaps burning off that hangover ? (it's sold out by the way - sorry).

With the snow that fell on Boxing Day, and the heavy rain and weather warnings - we were expecting anything from not being able to get to the Brutal to bright sunshine. As it was it was very cold, with a bit of a northerly wind and a slightly cloudy sky. ISO5000 in the woods at lunchtime though - so quite dark as the sun barely raised itself up into the sky. A very good test of many Christmas presents - from new shoes and tops on the runners to my second merino wool top which seemed to work very well. My Vader's little princess calendar will be going up in the office though.
In other news the Christmas rest has helped my Achilles tendon a bit, but it probably needs some ultrasound to get it healed up a bit faster now, you can see how rubbish or excellent we are at running on our Strava group here which you can join !

Next Events into January 2015
So after the NYD Serpentine 10k, January is one for the Cross Country championships - we are currently scheduled to be at the Sussex XC Champs on the 3rd at Bexhill, then the South of England XC Champs at Stanmer Park on the 24th. If you like the Brutals - then for all those wise women out there - it's the Womens only Brutal on the 24th of January
There is also the Fred Hughes 10  on the 18th January in St.Albans - there's definitely a growth in popularity for the 10 mile distance - not as far as a Half Marathon and harder than a 10k - can you go further at the same speed ?
Test yourself at the Canterbury 10 on January the 25th - all things being equal the 10 mile distances are excellent race training at this time of year if you're entering an April Marathon.

Brutal 10 - Longmoor v2
For those of you who have done the old course at Longmoor you'll have missed the old lake crossing and bog dip, however there was still the tank dip, the sand dunes, more Canicross than ever before, much larger and easier parking, and did anyone mention the Hills ? Some awesome performances, and some faces for this race season are starting to become regulars - we are watching with interest... but the real challenge this time was the cold. very cold.
Dog Runs away, Stephen bombs out

Cold bits ?

Mistletoe kept them away for Sy

Not enjoying being chased by an Ostritch

Lisa looks Awesome in the Buff (SSP Buff)

Happy as you can be with a race number we can't read

Giving the camera that look that means you are enjoying the hills

The Sand dunes delivered their usual pleasure

How to get in the water

Christmas spirit reigned supreme

it's easy if you just get going route 1 through the middle

Good work to win the ladies 16k race

Try not to fall over and keep up...

come on little doggy

legs too short ?


it all seems so easy at the first puddle

Up and down this beauty several times

Gail winning the 16k Canine race at a canter with a 9 minute gap

The marshals seemed to have a good race too...

The pictures really don't do it justice as to just how cold -5C is overnight with a cold northerly wind the next day - afterwards there were a few people shaking themselves to pieces afterwards as they waited to order hot bovril from Tom's diner. I think they really needed a warm bath to get themselves sorted out safely. Even Sy took the whole thing seriously, ran faster than usual and left apparently because his friend had turned blue like a smurf.

Very good work by all the marshals - it was a cold one, especially to the water stops getting wet hands - it's not as easy as it sounds !!!

That's the 5 year anniversary for the Brutals - I've been to every one except the Enduro24hrs, so here's wishing the team - winners of the Mudstacle Award for "Best value for money races of 2014" - all the very best for the next 5 years !

So have a very Happy New Year for 2015 (have a thought for people having to work on the Eve and on the day), enjoy the gallery and perhaps treat yourself to your pre-2015 "before" picture so you will have something to compare yourself to next Christmas after 12 months of hard work and training !

until next year

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Hogs Back and Mince Pie 10 2014 galleries now live

The really bad rain that was forecast for Sunday after that fantastic (but cold saturday) didn't turn up, so it was a bit of a shower at The Hogs Back and nothing more than a few drops of rain at the Mince Pie 10 over at Peacehaven on the coast. Also it warmed up quite nicely from the frost, so it was perfect weather for running and by the end - the sun was blazing through a clear sky.

Race and logo Race Gallery link

The Seaford Striders Mince Pie 10

The Hogs Back Road Race

A good turnout of fancy dress at the Mince Pie 10 miles, making it the furthest anyone I've seen run for a single mince pie and a medal ! It was also nice to see the end of the water works for the past four years and the return of the course to it's original route with the lack of the large metal boundary fences getting in the way as they used to. 
Very well done to Geoff and all the Seaford Striders for the colossal effort in putting on the race - 81 marshals throughout the route !!

The Hogs Back race was also well attended again this year with 536 finishers along the 11.7km route. The strange distance is mitigated by the fact it is in the shape of a pig, and so was the medal this year. Perhaps they should rename the distance of 11.7km a "hog" ?

Call for Entries:
The RPAC Holly Run next Sunday 14th December in Reigate Park - XC races from 8yrs old up to seniors
The Brutal Longmoor - the day after Boxing day 27th December - Beat the flab !
The Serpentine 10k - New Years Day 11am post hangover cure

Over at Guildford it looked like this on Sunday morning:
Locals led the field out at the first point

Clapham chasers got chased a bit before the hill climb

Downhill though the village before back into the Loseley estate

All good to be back in at the finish

Meanwhile over on the Sussex Downs:

What gives you wings ?

Deer Kay getting out in the rein.

giving it full power in the last mile

the run back into the sun to the finish

A little Christmas Fairy 

Debbie brought her own sparkly snow with her

Santas Elfs smiling up the hills
Tomorrow (Tuesday) the Running Awards shortlisting from all the voting in the first round will be sorted out and we will find out if we are in the final 4 for blogs. Many thanks to the 294 of you who clicked through to vote and I hope managed to vote. I'm not sure it will be enough but it is much appreciated even if it isn't !!

Finally, come and join us over on Strava for your running training for some winter season training motivation and sharing http://bit.ly/SSP-Strava

Until next time, keep running

Thursday 4 December 2014

December ahead 2014, brace yourselves

Well you'll be pleased to know that since we are not owned by an american group company (aka Walmart (Asda), or Amazon) so we have not given into the rampant consumerist based ploy to get you to buy things you don't want by discounting them to prices where we make a loss and fighting breaks out in the aisles.

This is as close as we get to Black Friday fighting:
"Excuse me Sy that's my TV" said Midge on the way to the Black Friday Sales. Allegedly.
Yes, you may have guessed we had a weekend off last weekend (first one since January actually) - we didn't cover the Jigsaw run in the end, and the Crowborough 10k apparently went off very well with a turn out of almost 400 people for the two lapped hard hilly course - Kevin Rojas covered the course in 33 minutes - which is sharp work. A very high turn out of club members looking at the results - also good to see Cynthia Dee (Henfield Joggers) back and out at the races.

Call for Entries
So you probably need to be prepared for the Next weekend by getting your race entry sorted out to either of these races:
The Hogs Back Road Racehttp://bit.ly/Hogs-back-entry
The Seaford Striders Mince Pie 10: - sorry race full  http://www.seafordstriders.org.uk/mincepie.html

Santa gets the training miles in before the big night
and if you're not doing those, then once you have decided on your route and done your long run for the weekend, get back here and check out some of our more popular galleries from the last few weeks and make sure you've got your photos from these before they get archived:

Sometimes things need a little helping hand to keep up.

Office lunchtime runs anyone ?
Here in the office we have started a 12:30 5k (ish) pre-lunch run and we're putting them onto Strava.com.
If you record your training and races on there - please join our group - we're all in it for a bit of mutual encouragement and inclusion use this link :http://bit.ly/SSP-Strava
or search for the Sussex Sport Photography club.

I for one would sure like a bit of encouragement to get my lardy self back into some sort of action - especially as things are a bit quieter for us over December to January. I promise to give out as much encouragement as I can do too !

For my part I'm trying to discover how to run at a training pace that doesn't involve near total collapse at the end, sprinting about that triggers off my AF, or being too tired to do an afternoons work afterwards.
This is a skill I'm not in possession of at the moment, so will be taking it steady before hacking about at 7:30 mile-ing. I certainly need to build up the endurance at a steady 9m to 10m pace for a fair while first, and keep the motivation up even in the cold and wet weather that's going to come in soon...
The other aim of the lunchtime runs is to get some daylight in our eyes. It's easy to end up cooped up in the office from 8 to 8 every day, (or 9am to 1am) surfacing for kid school pick up and a bite to eat - and lets face it - that's not healthy. Hopefully this will get us through to March without that winter blues feeling I so regularly get.
So join us over there and get giving and receiving some kudos !

Last chance to get your blog votes in !
Yes, the end of first round voting is getting close - so please register and give us a vote here (it's alphabetical, so we're near the bottom) http://bit.ly/vote-for-SSP-Blog 
listed as Sussex Sport Photography.
And then please make sure you get your vote registered for your favourite races as well... obviously one that we cover too ;-)

Included in the race lists are 10ks, Half Marathons and Marathons, although some of you will be surprised to learn that the Brutal races are in the Fun Run category !!???!?!  I suppose that is technically correct as they don't have any man made obstacles ? The nice thing is that means it doesn't clash with any other races we cover, so we can vote for that one without guilt of denying anyone else we know a go !
So make sure you get your Half Marathon and Marathon votes in as well ok !

Just some of the team that help bring you the images from races through the year

So, now it's past the beginning of December I will sign off with the "don't forget to get" something memorable for your family, friend, or best half. If you're unsure about them liking a photo, just check if they have one with a watermark across it on their Facebook page, or pinned up on their desk at work. Take a note of it, and then throw or delete the offending stolen watermarked item, and help them to get a proper copy as you know they like it enough to break the law, so it's an easy choice as a Christmas present stocking filler, and compared to most things this Christmas - very cost effective !!

So I'll leave you with that thought,  and get ready for the weekend.
See you on Strava, until next time