Friday 27 November 2015

Ah, so it's that time of year again ? November 2015

Finally Autumn realised that it wasn't supposed to be 16 degrees in November and the leaves finally starter to get blown off the trees a bit. We didn't cover any events this weekend and with no Running Show this year up at Sandown to hang out at, it was a bit of a slow one.

However, it isn't even December and pine trees are being put up all over the place, even at schools, let alone in the supermarkets (thank goodness for £2.50 deliveries!). As for American thanksgiving, jolly good, we have the Harvest Festival, which if you were paying attention - was quite a few weeks ago. As for "Black Friday", well, this is how it makes me feel, if any of you remember Johnny the Painter from the Fast Show

No I'm not about to go wading through the 40Terrabytes of our image data storage banks screaming "BLACK!!" with a raised camera monopod as I smash along the shelving, but you know, sometimes consumerism makes us all feel a bit like that doesn't it.
Simon and Terry in 2004 at the Preston Park Road Races working on inter-club relations
So, no, I'm not going to be going through the Archives with a blunt broadsword, and we will be having no last minute sales this Friday. No, the same prices we have had for - well years frankly, will continue unchanged until at least the end of the year. Just like the Bank of England we thought rates were going to go up at some point in 2015, but just like them, it turns out we were wrong.

But what if I did decide to go a bit "Johnny Painter" with the data drives here ? Would everything be gone forever ? What happens to the images once they are gone from the main gallery ? Well, we keep all the master data files here on racks of hard-drives, and then put them onto our archive gallery. It's our archive (and not our main gallery) because it doesn't let us do cool things like great value collections for £19.99, and it has data uploading restrictions that make it impractically slow to get images up for current events (anyone for a two day gallery upload?), but after three months - it does provide a long term safe haven for your images and races, even though it does cost us a fair bit of money for the amount we store on there - it is still there for you as your memories get more and more precious, and gain in sentimental value.

The 2015 Archive
So, for any events from 2015 that have been archived from the main gallery, can I point you in the direction of our archive here:
It has been a massive task for Tony here in the office to get this archive going - and we are hoping that it enables many of you to come back and get those cherished memories that you didn't manage to catch earlier this year...

Who remembers the Heatherly 6'n'10 from May 2004 ? This was the first race start shot we ever posted
How about earlier years ? we still have full archives going back to 2004 for running races - but it is taking a massive amount of time to get these onto the archive. Also, disk technology has moved on - IDE hard drives are not the same as the SATA-III connections your computer now has - trying to get the data off the older ones can be a challenge.
We have barely been able to keep up with archiving events from this year, so we are considering our options. Getting the necessary infrastructure could be a solution - and could be the commercial solution of the future - if only we can get them over here... and that's a plan for the next few years I think.

I wonder if Jacko remembers the 2005 Preston Park Road Races ?

Archive requests
Did you know we do archive requests ? If we can find your images (assuming your race number was showing at the time and it was catalogued) from a race we covered (full list here - scroll down) we load them onto the archive gallery for you too, have a navigation around and you can find those - just send us an email (to with the race, date and race number (you can usually get that from the results) you want to see and we can pull those images from the main databank and make an archive for you.
We should (if we had any common sense) charge for that recovery service, but we don't at the moment, so best get your requests in now before we get hit with some kind of Archive retrieval tax from George Osbourne.
11 years ago at the start of the Brighton 10k in 2004 - didn't they all look healthy !
So that's enough wandering along memory lane, can you tell it's been a weekend off for us here (first one since April's Easter weekend and even then we were at events on the Friday and Monday Bank holidays). A week in the office of admin and year end accounts instead of post-race image cataloguing and PR emails can take it's toll...

Latest Memories are available and where you're making your next ones from:

So here's the current and next race galleries
Date Event name Event type Gallery link
Sat-14/11/2015 Brutal Long Valley XC - challenge
Sun-15/11/2015 Back 2 The Trenches XC - challenge
Sun-15/11/2015 Brighton 10k 10k
. Coming soon - get entered . Link to event via Gallery
This Sunday-29/11/2015 ETL Molehills Road/trail - entry on the day
Sun-06/12/2015 The Hogs Back 12k-ish trail
Sun-06/12/2015 Seaford Mince Pie 10m trail

and with news just in that the Grim Challenge on the 5th and 6th of December is cancelled/postponed due to MOD permission (more info here that makes your last chance for a muddy race in 2015 the Brutal at Longmoor on the 28th of December - go here to find out more - it's like the Grim, but more Brutal - Brutal 10

So enjoy the last weekend of November. Not seen a lot of "movember" action going on this year, perhaps it will be more obvious in December when I can see people's faces again ?

Until next time, train safely, keep warm and get your race entries in. No sorry I mean - buy your race photos before I go all "Johnny Painter" on the archives...


Tuesday 17 November 2015

Brighton 10k, Brutal Long Valley and Back 2 The Trenches 2015 - Galleries now live

The leaders take the race out to Hove straight from the start past the Pier in this years Brighton 10k
A weekend of the three B's "Brutal, Brighton, and Back", although that would also accurately describe the Brighton 10k wind conditions alone.

Saturday saw the return of the Brutal 10 to Long Valley but from a new start location to the south east that worked out well, along with a new route that discovered some of the boggier parts of the course. The long bog and marsh between the 2k and 3k points really tested the field, which interspersed with hills, woods, trails and lakes made it a very multi-terrain course and one of the most varied there has ever been - and the toughest naturally challenging race there is. The rain and mist just added to the atmosphere !
Everyone seems to enjoy a bit of the Brutal washing machine.

Sunday's Back 2 The Trenches was challenging as ever with slides, trenches, mud drenches, fire jumps and somewhat surprisingly, no rain ! Some new obstacles and course variations made for a new challenge across the hills, mud and of course - trenches...
Sliding back into another trench has never been so much fun !
The Brighton 10k down on the seafront had a few changes too this year - due to the roadworks at West Street (which the council still have not decided to fix as it's the seafront arch works that are unstable) - the course had to be run in reverse - out to Hove first and then 5k back to Black Rock near the Marina.

This arrangement meant that at West street the runners would only be going in one direction at any one time (the normal way around means that you'd have runners going in both directions). Also the reverse direction means that the usual downwind run into the finish for the last 3.5k is replaced with a 1.5k (roughly 1 mile) run back into the wind from Blackrock.

Of course the overall course is still 5k into the wind and 5k down wind, but the psychology of a finish into the wind is much much harder, and anyone who has run 400m on a track with it downwind on the back straight will know exactly how much you look forwards to the wind hitting as you come off the last bend onto finish straight ! How fast can you go downwind and save enough for the last effort ? These questions are only answered on the day - and by trying again differently next time, because experience makes all the difference.
It will be interesting to see if the Council fix the underground arches before next year - my bet is they won't unless it all collapses, so you'll all have at lease one more chance to chase your reverse course PB !

The high speed winds also meant no inflatable arch, flags or banners to make it look colourful, but that's usually preferable compared to it all blowing away to Lewes ? Whilst it gave the race a stripped down to the bone look, it wasn't to save money, it was to save the race !

It's also the last year that your race photos will have the Brighton Eye in them (that big wheel thingy) - because next year it will be gone and the i360 tower will be in Hove, so if you like to have a bit of history in your race photo archive - these are the photos for you !

The Brighton Eye - It's now a historical "how it was" landmark for the archives ! Make sure you get yours to remember.
Here are the galleries from this week, there is of course a complete list on the gallery front page - just scroll down the page here:

Click on the links below
Date Event Gallery and event website link
Sat-14/11/2015 Brutal Long Valley
Sun-15/11/2015 Back 2 The Trenches
Sun-15/11/2015 The Brighton 10k
. . .
Last weeks events . .
Sat-07/11/2015 Poppy Half Marathon and 10k
Sun-08/11/2015 PP Grand Union Half
. . .
Into the future . .
Sun-29/11/2015 ETL Molehills
Sun-06/12/2015 The Hogs Back
Sun-06/12/2015 The Seaford Mince Pie

One last thing I have to mention - is get your entries in for the Worthing Half Marathon 2016 as a romantic race for you on the 14th February. It's not limited to couples only - (just as well eh?) - and a chance for a fully closed road wizz around Worthing on what is possibly the flattest half marathon course there is - here's the website:

Enter the Worthing Half here:

Now, here's a few more shots from the weekends fun, and in other news - independently Facebook was deleting peoples accounts with images they found with our splash/diagonal watermarks last week (yes, it's in their Terms and Conditions that they can do that) - so it's probably best to buy one if you want to put them out there for your friends and family to see...

one advantage of that Bus, I got a nice head on shot at the start

Everyone off and Hove beckons - and yes, who would park a bus there then ?

6 seconds in and someone is still smiling

Past the Pier and the wheel

Ever get that sudden feeling that someone isn't waving at you ?

I think it's my ex-coach from my days at Trafford AC

Any attempt at Solar Powered running was doomed on sunday

Blown past the turn point !?!

Hold onto your number ! Perhaps the one pin wasn't quite enough?

Three legged race ?

Laurel and Hardy throwback opinion on the reversed course

Breaking the age barrier - top work

You try having a Doctor who's this fit, there are no excuses Dammit !

Nice time, nice Brighton Backdrop, now what was your race number ? Ah, no I can't see.

Emma put in the win for the Ladies

The Monty Python Hand of God chased the pigeons off

Top supporting

This is how it feels.

Definitely running away from something

Good work into the wind

The wind was so strong it blew Ed's hat round...

Meanwhile at the Trenches
That moment being in front wasn't ideal

UP. And then back down...

Pushing on through

All is good

doing your duty

Nobody mentioned this

Safe landing

do it with style and confidence

or not

We left her there for days - Deer Hunter style

The firepit was a lot longer jump this time...

On Saturday at the Brutal they did this:

a nice gentle warm up to the first hill

need a rest ? then take one !

A sort of helping hand

A Michael Jackson Thriller fan

Limbo down into the mud...

A message to Paris and France from the night before

Ollie all ok through the Swan Lake

Good teamwork !

Some didn't enjoy the cold quite as much

Harry Potter and his invisibility cloak do Brutal - he's in the middle

Don't think she was too impressed with the swim section

Good run in for the win

Is it me or are they getting younger these days ?

Good family team

Somewhere there's an owner with a lead, calling his name, in a bog.

You can take sheep too if you like

Well done on the finish - good work out there

So that's it until next weekend. Oh, hang on, there's nothing on for us. First weekend off in er, 7 months, and as we work every day during the week - so guess who's going to be getting a lie in on Sunday for the first time in for ages ? Yep Me. and I'm telling the kids too. And then a full english. BRING.IT.ON.

Catch you soon,