Monday 24 May 2021

Three Forts Challenge 2021 and Ultra-X Spring Trail Series - Free Race Galleries now live


The Three Forts Challenge 2021 - the comeback year

The free download race galleries for this weekends races are now available and online !

For Three Forts Challenge - just go here, search by your race number and "order" the free digital downloads -

The Ultra-X gallery was delivered direct to participants live during the event using Pic2Go technology - register here to get your race images - I'll try to do a roundup of that event next time.

It's been a busy weekend with a Saturday and a Sunday event as the outdoors countryside slowly unlocks itself. It wasn't my turn for the 4am start on Saturday - and the 100k/50k/HM/10k that was the Ultra-X over at Haslemere with a 6am first wave off - for what is frankly a very challenging distance to take on in any weather, let alone the wind and rain over the weekend. Fortunately the wind had died down from Friday - but that picked back up for Sunday !

Sunday saw the comeback year for the Three Forts Challenge - ably organised by Mike Airey - fundraising for the Rotary with some tenacity through all of the pandemic. It wasn't so funny that the event toilets left on site saturday night were set fire to in a bad case of arson, 6 of them gone into a molten acrid heap. The only one to survive was the marshal's loo for the the officials stuck near the finish line and various end services - and that one had survived (just) an arson attempt on it - two burnt holes by the sluice pump handle. So well done to the suppliers of WCHire on getting the replacement toilets on site on time.
To that end - the waved starts probably helped relieve what would have been the usual pressure on the facilities before a large race start ! Quite how the rain managed to start precisely for about 15minutes at the beginning of each races first wave I don't know - but it was perfectly timed to be exactly annoying.

HOW TO PUT ON A RACE NUMBER and why do I need to?
There's a lot of reasons why you need a race number to be visible - but I'm going to concentrate on just the one reason we need it - if we can't see your race number - we can't tag your photo with your number. You may well get a firm "show your number" shout-out and understandably you've put a temporary layer on over for the weather - but why ? I hear you ask...

It's all because the team in the office can't hear you later when you reply saying your number to us - the wind and distance sees to that, and frankly I can't remember all of you and relay that at a team briefing (You can picture it can't you - an office huddle with me trying to describe what they look like and saying - ah yes they're 651, don't worry I'm sure you'll recognise them in the 10,000 images we have to go through.). 

So I get that some of you don't want to put a pinhole in your latest £250 gortex breathable layer, so you pin them to your shorts. OK so far. However - you then pin them OUT OF SIGHT on the side. And I'm not going to get all rules and regulations about folding event name ID and sponsors names out of sight (meaning you could be running without entering - and yes we see a LOT of that each year).
So here's our best advice if you must pin it to your leg.

1. Have a big leg. 
2. Pin it to the front.
3. PUT IT VERTICALLY - so all of the digits can be seen from the front.

Here's a vertical number - but not on the front - you can see it would work better on the front - but this is almost right.

Vertical leg numbering (just needs to be on the front)

Side leg numbering doesn't work, even if it is vertical (ref the red legs) if you're on the wrong side

You'll see a whole load of examples from the photos below with side numbering, or where water/ultra harnesses cover the numbers - again - put the number vertically on your front so that the digits are between your straps and we can read the whole thing. It's absolutely useless if we can't read a digit on either end of your race number ! (it's even worse if we think it's a two digit and not a three digit number - because we then do it wrongly and you'll never see it).

So my apologies if you need to search on "000" results to find your unidentified pictures - especially as we might have read it at one spot because the photographer is lucky to be on the viewing side, it doesn't mean we will know the number when a different member of the team here is looking at you from a different location and can't see the race number ! So please do look through the "000" photo search results - just in case !

Here's a few from Sundays Three Forts Challenge - and remember you can get your free race photos from the gallery directly !

The legend that is Bob off on his way for a swift Half

social event bubble begins

smiling all the way from the start

It's just a short walkies today

they kept this up the whole way round

The rain made people do unusual things

Happy at the course split point and with his mask !

running with the wind behind gives you wings

Off for a cheerful marathon

Always a thumbs up

Looking thoughtful

Got to enjoy the puddles

Kate broke the chain, in direct contravention of Fleetwood Mac's instructions

What puddle ?

Quick sip of the natural water

Team running

Straight through the middle

Over the top - gives you wings !

Too early Frank...

walk the hills !

It's about this long

What do you mean no Ubers in Worthing ?

All ok for Arena80

Portslade Puddle Hoppers

good concentration in at the finish !

Front of leg - all digits in sight - vertical next time please !

2 walkies ?

classic first digit missing - vertical would have solved it

She's happy because she got all her race photos first search. He will not.

Best foot forwards - how light on your feet do you need to be

Hod Carrying practice

Debbie was practicing for her hod carrying too - 

Oh to have a knee lift like this after a 5k, let alone a marathon

Remember to sanitise afterwards !

Thank you to all the Rotary volunteers that make this event happen for you !

So that's about it for this weekends roundup. Off the back of doing some epidemiological forecasts for morgue capacity planning in Greater London when I had nothing better to do (don't ask) I've re-ignited my race simulation skills and familiarised myself with computer simulation software.
It includes the ability to do map based (GIS) logistical simulations - so with a bit of touch and go - I can now do full time based race simulations - which for races with wave starts, different distances, and various unknown factors - can help event organisers and other support crew (like us knowing where to sit for when and how long) - and make the right decisions on timings etc. when things happen at the Finish line.

It does have the ability to also do public pedestrian density and crowd modelling for things like evacuation and building movement - which I'm sure that parkrun would be interested in for their slightly tighter courses and capacity planning - but for now - this sort of things is helpful enough.

How a 10k might run with a wave start

I'm going to be using it with the events we have going forwards in the future - if you need it for a race near you - just get in touch ! (Because it's not as easy as it used to be with mass starts!)
Our UltraX Finish line busyness forecast - runners per 5 minutes example simulation.

And with that, we move onto a lot of Mighty Hikes, planning for the summer months ahead and getting ready for a busy June and July. 

So, ultra runners - numbers on things on the front and vertical so we can see the whole number please - and if there are pic2go barcodes on there - make sure they are clearly shown too - thank you !

Until next time and very well done to everyone who managed a run out in those conditions !


Monday 17 May 2021

The wet one - Arundel Lido Tri 2021 gallery now live

Ominous skies at the Arundel Lido Tri 2021 - didn't disappoint..

The race gallery for the Arundel Lido Triathlon 2021 is all live and online here:  all done and ready by the office team by 5pm Sunday !

Remember all the photos are FREE to download (just "order" the free ones) - so make sure you use them widely and brilliantly to share your achievements and memories - and a reminder to enter next year !! 

If you're a club webmaster - check the rules of personal copyright licenses here - 

The Arundel Lido Triathlon is a fab event, a little different to previous years because the swim was changed to a simple up/down+change lane - but that actually makes things significantly easier to administer from the perspective of marshals and explaining to competitors what to do. Possibly keep it for next year - but make people on the standard tri get out and get back in again to do a longer distance - because everyone was doing the shorter one lap this time. Anyways it seemed to work very well - although next time I'm a race referee about the last ten Standard tri competitors all doing tumble turns would be a straight time penalty in my book... (I should never be a race referee by the way).

There was also an impressive display of racking out for the bike section - so much to keep you all socially distant from each other that the finish area was a bit shorter than usual, which meant I was sat in the rain rather than under a tree as usual - so I got very very very very wet, so wet I had a swim afterwards to dry off. Yes that's how wet it was, my chair morphed into a puddle that I was sat in.

Next weeks events are the exciting UltraX South East Challenge, and the Three Forts Challenge - both of which are fully sold out and taking place over the south downs. UltraX are using the full technology for live gallery updates on the day direct to registered competitors - which given some of them are running 100Km - gives us a bit of a time advantage !

Anyway - here's your guide to the next few months ahead, assuming that the latest variant of Covid doesn't prove various incompetence's about our government, and back them into a U-turn for a decision that is too little too late. Fortunately most of these are in the depths of the countryside - so unlikely to be impacted - here's to everyone still being sensible, and remember - you still need to ask for consent before hugging... (ie "would you like a hug?").

Date Event
Sun-25/04/2021 REP Bluebell - DONE!
Sun-16/05/2021 REP Arundel Tri - DONE!
Sat-22/05/2021 UltraX South England
Sun-23/05/2021 3Forts
Sat-05/06/2021 Mighty Hike - South Coast
Sun-13/06/2021 Mid Sussex Tri
Sat-19/06/2021 Parish Walk
Sat-19/06/2021 Mighty Hike - Lake District
Sun-20/06/2021 Hampshire Hoppit
Sat-26/06/2021 Mighty Hike - Giants Causeway
Sat-26/06/2021 REP Arun Swim
Sun-27/06/2021 Oxford 10k
Sat-03/07/2021 Mighty Hike - Yorkshire Dales
Sun-04/07/2021 Bewl 15
Sat-10/07/2021 Mighty Hike - Gower Peninsula
Sat-17/07/2021 Mighty Hike - Northumberland Coast
Sat-17/07/2021 Mighty Hike - Thames Path
Sun-18/07/2021 Harry Hawkes 10
Sat-24/07/2021 Mighty Hike - Peak District
Sun-25/07/2021 REP Dawn on the Downs
Sat-31/07/2021 Mighty Hike - Dedham Vale

And now for some photos from Arundel...

A frown is a smile upside down

This is Ed. I've known Ed for 26 years now, and he's the fittest he's ever been - go Ed !

The sun poked through the clouds, and decided to dapple off the water - blinding me. No winning.

Some lovely technique on display...

Ripping it up through the water

Everyone had a go and made a great effort at it

The surprise in the eyes !

Almost jumped in to warm up at this point. The gap in the clouds didn't last.

was a bit windy and wet on the ride

He was smiling the whole way round

Go Ed !!

Goth cycling, needs a darker helmet.

He was crying all the way round

Don't hold on too hard - keep the gel safe !

And with that, the Sun went in.

practicing his chin ups

The run was this big !

Way to go Ed !

Correct number display - Thank you !

Proper Victory Arms !!

why are people shouting at me ?

ah, yes, my number, you couldn't read it...

It has to be very very heavy rain to show up like this on a fast shutter - he seemed happy enough

Well done Amanda !

Double thumbs is a sign of a good day's racing !

For the win !!

Always nice to see your wife's namesake do well !

All over finish surprise !! No surrender !

Genuinely happy that's all done !

Yes ! Nobody died !! Medics celebrate, and rightly so !!

And yes - if you're a business owner - local or national - and want to reach that ABC1 profile, as well as all their friends - then please get in touch for a confidential initial chat - because we have some fantastic win-win-win-win (runners, sponsors, charities and the event) sponsorship opportunities for you - for what is incredibly affordable and great value for money !

so until next time - keep dry, keep running and stay covid safe !