Thursday 5 October 2017

Septembers Race Galleries 2017 - a summary of things

It's been a month, and apologies for the lack of updates and photos I have a reasonably good excuse (more on that in a bit).

Here's the current list for you of Septembers and this weekends events - and your galleries to get the memories of your achievements to live by.

Date Event Name Gallery or website
Sat-09/09/2017 Ride Across Britain
Sun-10/09/2017 Chestnut Tree House 10k
Sun-10/09/2017 Pilgrim
Sat-16/09/2017 Revolve 24 Brands Hatch
Sun-17/09/2017 Reigate Half Marathon
Fri-22/09/2017 The Mudathon
Sun-24/09/2017 Velo Birmingham
Sun-24/09/2017 Winchester Half Marathon
Sun-01/10/2017 Tonbridge Half
Sun-01/10/2017 Basingstoke Half
Sun-01/10/2017 Clarendon Marathon
Sun-01/10/2017 PP Reading O2O 10k
Sun-01/10/2017 RBK Kingston Half Marathon

Bananaman takes on the Basingstoke Half and Salutes you

One of the things some of you tell me that you like about this blog is the honesty and openness that I sometimes share with you, so I'll let you know the reason I've been away is that I've been with my father going through paliative care and passing away in August, and the planning and sorting out of the funeral just last week. It's been a sad time, but this time I had the luxury of time over the past three years to talk and learn and organise things with him, so it's been a very gentle and peaceful process. This last bit has been more organisational and project skills that have been called upon rather than my emotional muscle power. I'm sure the emotional baggage lorry will drive through at some point as the reality of where we have been getting to finally arrives, and when it does I'll try to let it go, so far it's only been spotted in the distance.

As a nice aside, the justgiving page we set up for the Headley Court Charity has gone beyond everyones best expectations, and that's something of an extra legacy to remember him by. What is also nice is that increasingly I see other runners also donating to the same charity on that justgiving page, and I also get the irony of them using stolen copyright images from our gallery from the races they have recently run in - right there on their justgiving pages is not lost on me. I even considered donating them some of my own money to help buy them off me legally. Frustrating at the point of the crazy upsidedown world we live in.

Meanwhile at work it's been busy, and all through the busiest time and largest events we have ever covered, and I'm indebted to my wife Sally, colleague Tony and the wider team of photographers and back office staff here to make sure everything has been happening, whilst only missing a few beats, which has frankly been amazing. The average sleep for the past month of 5hrs per night needs to change, and as we reach the end of the season then hopefully we will get that recovery and a chance to reflect on our successes this year with you at events.

One of the things that does become critically focussed during the process of preparing for a wake (we actually called it a reception, wake is too dour, and it helped to keep everything upbeat), is to provide photos for people to see of the deceased. Fortunately I have a reasonably good and well organised archive (because it would be embarrasing if I didn't) and spent a few good hours rattling through the different folders on my computer, selecting the best one or two from each meeting/meal/christmas folder and sticking them into a collection to get them printed. 95 photos later, covering your dining table three deep as 9x6 prints, you need somewhere to put them, so you end up borrowing the marketing boards from work to pin them all up, and make it easy to carry to the reception at the hotel and put them up quickly and easily. It looked quite good and it brought back a lot of happy memories for people. And yes, it's gone as well as these things can be expected to, so thank you for your kind thoughts.

Cheers Dad
But through all this, and fortunately I have a few good shots of Dad, it did dawn on me that the photos we take of people at events, of their achievements and experiences - weather that is at the top of a hill on the south downs, or at the end of a half marathon, or somewhere near the finish of a 100mile cycle ride, that what we do is still a vital service - but not only for you, (the people who buy them) - but actually also for the other people who will need them when you are gone - your family and friends need something too. We all need something tangible to remember each other by, and a)actually having photos of you is a thing that should exist, as your duty to your family and b) digital files on a computer hard drive doesn't cut it for me.
I often hear a lot of people saying "I don't do photos", "I hate photos of me", or "I look but I never get any". Well you should get at least one - because someone is going to want one, someday, and you might as well pick your favourite for them !

I've still got some more folders to check through, but I'm not going to leave them in digital copy. Creating a record in a photo album is a way of creating a permanency and family memory of him. Files in a disorganised hard drive on a computer that will eventually break - is not a legacy. As I say to all future wedding couples - get prints. The sun works, paper works, prints work. In 3 years from now the latest apple iphone 20 will be obsolete and your USB-thunderbolt cable won't pass any data, and your online backup will be lost in a cloud server terrorist attack somewhere in america. Prints just work, for hundreds of years. Backup yourself up !

So, meanwhile - depending on how forward focussed you are, make sure you share your images, make sure your family share in your successes, (and you can do that for free with our link and social sharing facility on the gallery), celebrate the wins, share in the joy of taking part, and then when you do have your photographs of your races, achievements and experiences (and not necessarily taken by us!) please make sure you're remembered how you want to be ! (and make sure that access to your favourites are not password protected - because nobody will be able to access them afterwards if they are!!!)

So now, here's some favourites over the past month for you to enjoy, in no particular order see if you can identify the event !

The owl and the pussy cat

All smiles out of the water

when your phone tells you to run faster and take your headphones off, and it's only 50m into the race

A nice busy start at winchester on the high street


Such a regular, smashing out the races

low fives

Brad Pitt on a skateboard, filming steady-cam footage. You don't see that everyday.

The busy littlehampton 10k start, in lovely sun

the joy of running

Spider Girl? , or Spider Woman ? which one?

Good double thumbs

Batman v The Snowman - not another Avengers franchise ?

suits you

Camoflaged Cruela de ville running

Good work from all the minions

Kelly welcoming them home at Reigate

Rich just trod in something

When they don't hang about for the rest...

No Surrender

Mobile water station

Top work at Nuts, and top photobombing effort

Always nice when they wait for you to finish

He's soo done with triathlons...

I'll photoshop in the tyre laters

I did not photoshop in this tyre, good work

"Grip it firmly at the base" ... shouted the race marshal...

Too much gripping ?

I think I have a cunning plan...

Teamwork, but spot the odd one out

Just GO Run !!

10 pies down, and we're there

The relief of back marking

When the police do a drive by and give the lights a spin for you in the highlands

the five stages of cycling development

Sometimes, there's a large support team

Almost a live Greek Fresco

Team Toy gang up ready for the days work

A quick tour of the market stalls at the start in Kingston

These Richmond people, coming over here, running in the cycle lane...

I don't think she believes his story

The joy of the Nuts challenge

Arty Night stuff at brands hatch

Nailed it - thumbs up and branding all in one

I think they could have worn shoes, it still would have been authentic !

When Brides go wild

Do the funky chicken

Something wasn't quite right

Almost done at Winchester

Surprising everyone including themselves with their speed

Not now Cato


Unwittingly they took a wrong turn during their sunday club ride onto a live race track

Tada !

Dave does Spiderman. Careful you don't get stuck doing high fives

Dame Kelly welcomes everyone home

The 1:30 road train

All going well at Maidenhead

Stormy brooding

Hello Julie !

enjoying the views

Colin training hard for school and running away from the kids as far and as fast as possible

kowabunga !!

The new mudwear range from zizi is also practical

The waiting officials at Tonbridge

moody foggy nights up the Paddock hill

Swim for your lives - at Reading Tri
So that's it for now, I don't know when I'll be able to get back to doing these blogs weekly (who cares eh?!) and I hope you all have a fantastic weekend ahead.
Until next time