Tuesday 27 March 2018

Colchester Half 2018, Bolt for GUTS and Cranleigh 15-21 now live

The Colchester Half , Bolt and Cranleigh 15-21 race galleries are now live and online !

Probably the slowest 13.1 miles this Porsche has ever driven, but never mind !

After the last weekend of frozen weather it was nice to venture out into the daylight, blinking and not shivering for this weekends events without actually thinking about 24hr survival in the event of traffic gridlock. The annual pain of the clocks going forwards on what is our busy workday with early mornings is less than helpful - anyone fancy a 5am GMT lift to an event or indeed being my childcare and starting work then ? no, I thought not.

Finding childcare for early Sunday mornings has been one of the key operational challenges of growing this business, and I can't even put it on the company - where's the fairness in that eh ? (and they usually make more than a photographer would at the event - so where's the economic argument for event photography to be a worthwhile endeavour I hear you ask ? - I don't know - you've got me on that one...but might be why we can't cover small events that only need one photographer any more)
The start of the Bolt round the Holt with GUTS http://www.gutsfbc.co.uk/

The event galleries are listed here, and a few upcoming events we hope to see you at - checkout which ones have free photos too !

Date Event Event Gallery / Website
Sun-18/03/2018 Hastings Half Marathon https://sspimg.com/Hastings-Half-Gallery-2018
Sat-24/03/2018 Bolt round the Holt for GUTS - Free race downloads https://sspimg.com/Bolt-Round-the-Holt-2018-Gallery
Sun-25/03/2018 Colchester Half https://sspimg.com/Colchester-Half-2018-Gallery
Sun-25/03/2018 Cranleigh 15-21 https://sspimg.com/Cranleigh-15-21-2018-Gallery
Sun-01/04/2018 RBK Spring Half Marathon http://www.kingstonspringhalfmarathon.com/
Sun-08/04/2018 PP Grand Union Half http://www.purplepatchrunning.com/index.php/grand-union-canal-half-marathon-2
Sun-08/04/2018 Paddock Wood Half http://bit.ly/Paddock-Wood-Half
Sun-22/04/2018 REP Bluebell - Free Race Downloads http://rawenergypursuits.co.uk/?p=3938
Sun-22/04/2018 Southampton Marathon http://bit.ly/southampton-half
Sun-29/04/2018 7Oaks Tri - Free Race Downloads http://www.7oakstriclub.co.uk/our-events/triathlon
Sun-06/05/2018 3Forts Challenge http://bit.ly/3-Forts-Challenge
Sun-06/05/2018 YMCA Fun Run http://www.ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk/funrun/
Sun-06/05/2018 REP Steyning Tri - Free Race Downloads http://rawenergypursuits.co.uk/?p=3947
Wed-09/05/2018 Mundays 5k - Free Race Downloads http://mundays.co.uk/who-we-are/corporate-and-social-responsibility/princess-alice-hospice/charity-5k/
Sat-12/05/2018 The Little Welly - Surrey https://www.thelittlewelly.co.uk/
Sun-13/05/2018 Oxford 10k http://www.townandgown10k.com/oxford/
Sun-13/05/2018 Run Gatwick https://www.rungatwick.com/
Sun-13/05/2018 London 10 Mile - Free Race Downloads http://www.london10mile.com/

Free downloads
A few standard questions on the free race downloads - "how do I get my free photos?" - "there's watermarks all over them ?" Simple - click add to basket - on the top tabs of prints,products and downloads - select "downloads" - and then select the free one (at the top of the list) for free download !! because it's free you won't be asked for any transaction/payment - but the rest of the process is the same as normal ordering - so you get a download link by email, and it's also put into your downloads folder on your user account for 10 days.
If you forget within 10 days - just order the free ones again !
Didn't have a user account - then open one (with the same email address) and as if by magic - they will be in that user account for you.
Watermarks are only on the ones you see on the gallery - you've not downloaded them - the downloaded ones don't have watermarks on them, so please download them !

Full explains and help on collecting orders can be found in our handy "My Orders" page on the gallery - here
One final thing - phones and tablets don't really like downloads unless they are from an app or the app store, or you're running Windows mobile - so most of the time you will need a computer to download your images. (Sorry, but changing the world of mobile OS software policy is too much for us).
The last four of the OurAmy foundation with the rest of their team supporting behind them

Charity fundraising
One of the things that we sometimes see at events is significant teams fundraising for a local cause - and Colchester Half Marathon had a significant team out for the Our Amy foundation.
more information is here - https://ouramyfoundation.co.uk/mission/  - it's worth a look and a read - and if you do take a moment to share the lesson that Amy has for us, then it's probably worth making a donation to their charity.
Her sister, family and friends all ran and walked the Colchester Half 2018 a fantastic fundraising effort.

Bolt round the Holt for GUTS http://www.gutsfbc.co.uk/ - free race downloads

all six feet off the ground - flying

simply not pulling their weight and earning their rewards

surely just give the dog the relay baton ?

top photo jumping

Good running for a great cause

Great sponsor fundraising

The side effect of running for GUTS

The Boss man did 5k, good work !

get in !

It was at that moment it crossed Rory's mind to call in an airstrike

Always take your warm-down seriously. That's how you prevent injury. Watch and learn.

If you can run 21k dressed as a dinosaur, the world is your oyster.

The Cranleigh 15-21 miles

All go on the roads of Cranleigh for the start of the 15-21 miles

clearly early on in the race judging from the smiles

Ben clearly wasn't paying any attention to the banter from Woking AC

all going well past the waterstation

not raining, what's not to enjoy ?

Dab or just a bad Bolt ? or a completely wrong Mobot ? you decide

Double Bolt madness I tell you

brutally honest TShirt, but it seems right and they all seem happy enough

Colchester half Marathon 2018
0.2 miles left, and this is how it feels

nice water tower

Hello !

Almost at the end and the enjoyment is bottling up

Get your team photographer on the job for you

Nothing like a bit of teamwork

Essex Air Ambulance team makes it round together

this is an accurate depiction of how it feels to run a half marathon

he won the bet for wearing the unicorn shorts

when a start line looks like this - you know you're in for a good race

so that's that for this weekend - it's a quieter Easter than usual without the Folkestone 10 on our radar (although I think it's still going ahead if you're that way inclined on the Friday,) and the RBK Spring Half. If you fancy giving me a run for my money, I hope to be at the local Lewes 10k on Easter MONDAY [correction, Ed] - https://www.lewesac.co.uk/events/easter-fun-run at the very sensible time of 11am.
Goodness, I could even do a parkrun (if I wake up in time as there's no kids activities scheduled in) When will this madness end ?

Until next time - and good luck to all of you getting your last long runs in before Marathon taper (Brighton or London)...

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Hastings Half Marathon 2018 - gallery now unfrozen

All go on time and just a tiny bit cold at Hastings 2018

The Hastings Half Gallery 2018 has been unfrozen and is available here: https://sspimg.com/Hastings-Half-Gallery-2018

A dry clear day set out for everyone in Hastings last Sunday. On the face of it another early spring day with some bulbs in the flowerbeds poking up and the odd patch of frost to be seen in places. But this hid a terrible truth. The dry air was taking the water from anything it could touch, snow and frost was evaporating gently, the sea was hardly breaking a wave, and any exposed skin was having the moisture sucked out of it like Dracula on a Bite-2-get-1-free special offer. And just to add venom to the pain - the wind was gusting 25-35 MPH and delivering a wind chill of -8degC to -10degC - really depending on your choice of letting the wind see your eyeballs, or cowering in a corner out of the wind and wrapping up in every single coat you can lay your hands on, or just sitting in the car.

Personally, 4 technical layers and three technical winter coats, a pair of thermal lined trousers covered by sallopettes, two pairs of gloves including hand warmers, feet warmers, military boots and gaiters - just for that off road look (and to keep ankles warm), didn't really work. My fingers are starting to suffer from Reynauld's - where the finger tips start to tingle in utter pain like pins and needles because of the cold, just writing a quick facebook message hurt from the cold after about 20 seconds.
It was a long day... I suffered for my art.

Mark from Sportsystems getting down and dirty with the timekeeping game
So it is with great joy to point out that Hastings was one of two events that took place at the weekend in the mass-participation scale of events from the 19 that we were tracking through the end of last week as the weather forecast set in. Yes - you just figured that out correctly - 17 events cancelled.
If you didn't know - at 12:15pm on saturday UKA (that's UK Athletics) put out an advisory note to everyone organising endurance events at the weekend to err on the side of caution and not to put emergency services under pressure, during what will be a difficult period of heavy demand normally.
Come sunday morning - quite a few events were grateful that they had acted on that caution and cancelled - Reading Half marathon - after cancelling their junior races on saturday, only cancelled their Sunday Half at 6:30am on the day - when they awoke to 2-3inches of snow across their race village... whilst the Fulham 10k had already checked the wind and gusting forecast to decide that even if they could build the event village they wouldn't safely be able to deconstruct it by the end of the Sunday - so cancelled on the Friday Morning before people flew in for the race.

Neil models the latest SSP fashionable Tech Scarf

So here's a list wot I did of races with more than 300 people (very light mass participation!) in the south of England:
race status
Colchester 15 mile Road Race cancelled
ADIDAS City Runs - Fulham 10K cancelled
Eastleigh 10k cancelled
Stowmarket Half Marathon cancelled
Hampton Court Palace Half Marathon took place
Run Whitstable 10k cancelled
Fleet Half Marathon cancelled
Brentwood Half Marathon cancelled
Victoria Park Winter 10K Series - Race 3 cancelled
Windsor 5km, 10km & 15km Run - F3 cancelled
Battle of the Knights cancelled
Queen Elizabeth Park Run cancelled
Richmond Half Marathon cancelled
Hastings half marathon took place
Reading Half Marathon cancelled
SEAA road relay championships cancelled
Finchley 20 cancelled

Many of these races had never cancelled in 36 years, so you get an idea of how hardy the conditions had to be for them to do so. One surprise was the Hampton Court Palace Half going ahead - given that Richmond Half just up the road cancelled on Saturday - however Richmond did have some parts of the course that ran on grass, whilst Hampton Court Palace was entirely on gritted tarmac or the riverside walk - which is light gravel.

I've not gone digging about to find out if HCP had a particular problem with hypothermia of other runner injuries, nor Hastings for that matter - however Hastings was outside both the yellow and amber warning zones - it's just that you may have had to drive through a bad zone to get there in the first place - and with that in mind three photographers didn't make it in the end, and one extra got roped in. As it was the race was only a couple of hundred down on the usual race numbers - either wise locals or trapped from further afield - but certainly more than we had expected given the sub-zero conditions.

If you're into videos of the race - I did a bit of a facebook live feed before the start and towards the end at the finish line - thank you to everyone who tuned in with your encouraging comments (sorry about the small bit of swearing too, but it was 'effing cold).

Pre-Start video
Near the end video

and if you want a heartwarming story of great charity raising - here you go http://www.pestalozzi.org.uk/article/704/hastings_half_marathon_2018
Bonus points if you can name the country flag without using google image search

So now the cold snap has passed our sincere thoughts are with Richmond, Fulham and Brentwood who all had to cancel due to the weather conditions - all these events have put out excellent communications and messages - we believe that Fulham 10k is trying to reschedule - but that might prove a bit tricky given their route and the premiership end of season football season... we wish them the best of luck.

Next weekend is the Bolt - a great race around the trails of Alice Holt forest near Farnham, and then we also have the Colchester Half Marathon (sold out) and the Cranleigh 15-20 - still places I think - so get yourselves out and about as soon as you can.

GDPR and an easy solution (if you're interested!)
One last thing - and a lot of you involved with race organisation or running clubs will be using things like Mail chimp to communicate to people about goings on. Well with GDPR we are all wondering how we fix it - so here's a little website that solves this for you very easily - it's free for under 1000 in a data set - so perfect for small clubs and events to keep things under control - and easily explained - sspimg.com/port-gdpr

We're busy making sure that our gallery and business practices are fully GDPR compliant over the next month or two rady for May - including your subscriptions to this blog (it's always been a two part authentication - so we're fine, and you can unsubscribe at any time - just click the unsubscribe link!)
Some other legislation is the implementation of quarterly business returns instead of annually in 2019 - and that's going to be a big shock to the admin here - so we're already going over to an online live accountancy package to pull that all together...

So here's some photos for you from Hastings, and I wish you all a warmer week and weekend to come
Catch No1 if you can...

looking strong at the front

mind out Lewes coming through...

well, at least she had warm hands and wasn't angry

happy to finish 

not slow or late, in fact well on time

Happy St Patricks day !

Lycra they said, yes I have some she said. Wear a hat too, ok she said.
All turned out exactly right for running in the cold !

Strong team finishing together

winner of the best hair competition

Keeps you warm and you can wear it in public at least once a year without question

proper mobot at the finish

Good running from democracy Donald

Anyone for the Posh Club ? http://theposhclub.co.uk/clubs/hastings/

Super fast sumo

The view at the finish line back along the seafront

Wacky races all the way in that wind and cold weather

I should add that in the last three years we've raised over £580 for the Hastings Lion Club from sales of photos at the event and I hope you'll help us to continue to make donations to their excellent charitable causes !

until next time