Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Clarendon Marathon 2020 gallery live, covid races, Nailvember etc

The Clarendon Marathon was live and online live during the race last weekend (4th of october) using Pic2Go technology - just register with your race number here - and if we could see either of the barcodes - then you'll be on there (shame the rain meant many were covered up!) - http://sspimg.com/pic2go-register

We've now also had time to put the backup (normal) gallery for purchasing on the gallery here: http://sspimg.com/Clarendon-Marathon-2020-Gallery

There is also a browsable and downloadable gallery of fere images taken by the volunteers - which is separate :https://sspimg.com/Clarendon-Marathon-2020-Volunteer-photos

And here's a few photos from the rainiest day of 2020 so far, which of course was race day... (and a very well done to JJ for organising a safe event in different times in difficult weather conditions!)


all good running away from Salisbury cathederal

bubble running

calmly confident at half way, baton in pocket

all good crazy fun

The black wet dog runs over the slippy bridge

almost at the end

marshalling up the course

victory against the attacking mud

top work into the finish

He still had more energy in his legs than his head

damn competition

All the way on their hands !

For the win !!



Anyway Covid - So how are you doing during all this ? (I'll be Stiff upper lipped and apologise for not asking about health, jobs, family etc)

Clarendon has been our first work since march, and whilst we await news of the three levels of local lockdown, we are still booked for that other great October off-road races along Beachy Head. Then it's the end of the running season as it normally would be, and it's all over for ever.

The canary in the hole that was parkrun returning to the UK in October unfortunately died a rather sudden death and didn't even get to take off anywhere, but we have seen triathlons and a handful of off road marathons take place around the country.

I checked the company cashflow situation for the ONS (office of national statistics) monthly return and managed to scrape together almost £85 of total overall income. "Any other reasons why the numbers were lower or higher than forecast?" nope, can't work that out, although I know I've not done a whole load of "come and get your old photos of when you were young and fit and thought you were immortal and beautiful and handsome" - it's come to the point that we now know just how long that interest stacks up for average people. That average seems to be about 3 weeks until after the event.

And yet I see people posting pictures on facebook of memories going back 10, 15, 20 years and reminiscing, and telling stories of great silliness, achievement, and surprise, and joy and companionship and love of many many things, and that keeps something going inside everyone. Time to remind you we have everything back to 2013 online all fully searchable - that's 24 million images apparently, do go and have a look if you can.

Meanwhile - I've had the chance to do some running and some Mountain Biking, trying not to panic and worry about no income - I've also lost weight and started to discover 7 minute miles and could probably do with a parkrun test ! (everyone here in the office has been furloughed - and we've been trying to keep things at 100% top-up for as long as possible) - the next scheme might not be as feasible for the long term parking of the company whilst we wait for things to calm down and the 2021 running season to begin - if it does.

Race best practices in a covid safe world - is there such a thing ?

Through the past months we've been watching the world and how races have been conducted - and the growth of virtual events as a way to feel part of the running community. I've been on conference calls with Sport England and England Athletics discussing how the event industry can survive, and what the logistics problems are - especially for traditional start-finish line races. It's really all about the crowding.

Covid Measures such as waved starts and masks for the first 50m and wearing them after the finish line all try to address the fundamental problem of the start and finish where people bunch up and crowd together - and breathe everywhere on each other, but they are trying to apply covid rules to a run design that is pre-covid. All the advice kept coming back - "yes you can do what you want just comply with the guidelines" and the reality is - you can't make 2000 people keep 2m apart in a starting pen.

Real not virtual, Actual not remote, distanced not crowded - that's what is needed. 


Thinking about race routes ?


A new design of race is needed - Running through somewhere.

So we need events without a distinct start, and without a distinct finish - but they all need to go somewhere Real. A real location to run to and through - where the race organisers can register your run and participation, providing the social proof you did it. You can be on the livestream video, the official photos, have a commentator giving you a shout-out and saying hello and well done, qualify for the online goody bag, and share or submit your race on an online run mapping service where you can see other peoples runs (although has Strava flyby now broken for free accounts? other services are available - I think an organiser could compile them all into one big participation heat-map and of course - get those charity donations coming in and making stories to share - and get something to talk about on that family zoom chat at last...

How would I do a "Race through a place" ? (ie "Race Through Brighton")

I'd put up a big arch with branding and a timing mat and a direction of travel - somewhere in the middle of a big park - as the location for runners to go through the arch, and then continue on their run.

Runners would be told to park at least 5k from the location (therefore distributing the virtual start line and finish point) - and they would have to run through the arch at some time in a 3hr window (for a half marathon for example) - on race day - so the arch would be up and timing mat turned on from 9am to 12pm.

Runners would have to wear their race numbers (sent out before by post!) with timing chips, carry and bring their own water/snacks etc, and not stop in the park/place where the arch and Race point is.

This would give people a real sense of participation, community and involvement, a deadline to train to, and a race and results - of people who ran past the timing mat and what time they went through. The Facebook livestream alone could be used to get online supporters engaged.

Do we get a winner ? - well yes you could do that too - The GPX tracks would have to be submitted to the race organiser and have at least the race distance in them. If it was a 10k run then the fastest continuous 10k of the GPX file would be used to calculate their race time and prizes allocated accordingly. GPX files would need to be submitted on the same day as the race. I'm sure somewhere there is software to do this (of course there is isn't there Fetch !- believe it or not I wrote this before being aware of the Dr.K. race format).

Other prizes are available !- you could run a sweepstake on the time of day people thought they would run over the timing mat - closest to their estimated time of day wins !

So - event organisers - get in touch for your "Race through a Place" event photography company - I know one that can help !

Charity Fundraising - it's almost November...I mean www.Nailvember.co.uk !!

All this running is frankly irrelevant anyway as we get towards Nailvember, that time of year where traditionally (well since last year at least), Men who don't usually wear nail varnish put their best fingers forwards for good causes and charities that need a show of hands (see what I did there ?) and a taboo challenged. And this year like no other - there's a whole load of charities that need a helping hand (especially without all the charity fundraising races). 

The Nailvember Challenge - is exactly that - because you'll be challenged to explain the why, who and what for supporting your charity of choice by putting on nailvarnish for the whole month !

Its a real taboo for men to wear Nail varnish, even just one nail - so putting a taboo out there to challenge people to talk about taboo subjects and support charities that often help people suffering from taboo topics - it's a small action with big rewards !

This year with Covid-19 I'm going to be directing my donations towards Mind, last year was the fantastic Sussex Beacon, who has come on board this year to drive it as a major fundraising event for themselves and is the official lead charity partner. Anyone joining in can direct their funds to whichever charity they want to - just make sure you join the Nailvember team so it all gets counted in here: 
https://www.justgiving.com/team/nailvember2020

Last year the number one excuse given to me by others was "they won't let me do that in the office" - well apart from you needing a frank and full discussion with your HR departments on equality rights and pretty much everything else to do with sexism, I think we should be grasping the joy of working/furloughing from home these days, and how you can hide your hands in that online zoom call if you do end up having to talk to HR for whatever reason.... So, you're out of excuses now - and even just one nail ? How hard can it be ! (you can even build up to both hands over the month as you gain in confidence !)

There's a facebook page for Nailvember too - it's here - https://www.facebook.com/nailvember  - which is where any fun events, catch ups, discussions and photosharing will be done, as well as sharing everyone's justgiving donation links.

Hopefully - somewhere in the 30,000 of you subscribed to this post - at least 3 of you won't be the last ones to join in... and you cat and dog will love you all the more for it.

Cheers ! - Nailvember is a great way to raise money for a charity !


So that's my thoughts - enjoy the clarendon marathon, hopefully we will be uncancelled at the Beachy Head Half, Full and 10k, if the lockdown doesn't come (but honestly - I'd rather we were all protected and healthy by government care, than sat on the top of a cliff in the cold wind), have a think about the race through format and talk about it - and ring me up to discuss it if you're a race organiser, and finally - finally - have some fun - put some nail polish on a finger or two (or even an entire hand), set up a justgiving page and nag your friends to give to your favourite charity - because you need something new to show your colleagues on that work zoom meeting for the umpteenth time, and by christ - you'll be surprised how much you raise and be proud of your friends for helping out !

until next time (which might be next week, or could be next year...) I might even not mention the American election and covid again...or brexit...

Anthony









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