Sunday 31 October 2021

Beachy Head 2021, and RBK Half now live and free downloads

Sunrise over Eastbourne - the new early start time had a minor drawback for action photography

So that's the end of the season for us, the Beachy Head Marathon and 10k, and Royal Borough of Kingston Half Marathon all done and dusted. 

This weeks free race galleries and upgrades available here:

We're now going to work our way through the winter just like we did last year, and hope to see everyone on the other side. It will be a bit different without furlough though - but we are well used to the seasonal nature of our work. It is off a smaller base this year - and it's a longer break - these are testing times (and I don't just mean Brexit and Covid).

Free downloads are the future
Every singe event we have covered this year has been a free download - paid for by the sponsors or the event themselves. This has been a five year strategy, stretched into six, based on helping events make increase the overall package that runners get from their event.  Some race directors "get it" immediately, as do some of the iconic brands and charities that we work with. Some haven't and we didn't see them this year. I will keep asking on your behalf - because we know it makes you happy, but sometimes I can't move mountains !

Still doing a great job !
We aim to continue to frankly surprise people with the quality, quantity and speed with which we deliver images to people after an event, based on decades of doing better each time we can work out how. You will have seen my rant last time about AI - and I know it can and will get better - and with good programmers it will - so we will always keep an eye open for the next improvement available !

A Tough Year - tougher for some more than others - some breaking industry news

In other news - we heard that The Race Organiser - has gone into administration -  There's the small point that the other company they bought F3 Events has also gone into administration. It would appear that the websites have not been changed since October the 8th when it was announced  - so at the moment it's not possible to know if they are being managed as a going concern or being wound up - but everything they are organising tomorrow on the 31st of October is cancelled. 

The race page for Sunday the 31st Octobers Danefield dash says it's not going ahead, but they are doing the kids Trick or treat run
Meanwhile F3Events continue to promote their popular triathlon races around Dorney Lake for the autumn season.

 I note with interest and sadness that the AAT Guildford10k scheduled for tomorrow Sunday the 31st October has been cancelled - we don't know why as no reason has been given on the website - was it council license, lack of entries, or administration ? All of these things have been affecting races recently - hence my shout out last blog to please turn up if you've paid your entry or deferred to the new date !

I'll be honest - if I was going to enter into any events over the continuing covid crisis -  for now I would only be entering by credit card and reading the small print on refunds. 

Protect yourself - but get your entries in
I was once involved in not letting a major credit card company not pay a major airline for flights that had been booked into the future - because we didn't think the flights would take place - because the airline was struggling - and then we wouldn't get the money back to refund the customers. The airline went bust, our customers hadn't flown - they got their money back - I don't think we were solely responsible for them going bust. I think what I'm saying here is - book your race entries with a credit card ! The purchase protection insurance that goes with them is very much worth it sometimes (It's technically the law that protects you under the Consumer Credit Act 1974). Oh and READ THE REFUND SMALL PRINT - especially on entry-gateway websites that are not the actual race website (even though they might look like they are - check the URL if in doubt!) - who might take your details and pass them onto the actual race entry page - leaving you think you have entered directly, but actually you've entered through a third party. Try getting a refund when *that* happens.

Anyway - here's the free download gallery list for the latter part of the year - one job for the next few months is going to be getting some endorsements from race organisers and events...


Free download and upgrade Gallery


The Beachy Head Marathon 2021

A race with a bit of a difference this year - because of flooding the day before it meant that the half marathon course was going to be run twice - which any runner will tell you makes it mentally much much harder. It did however give those who had bitten off a bit more than they wanted to chew - a really safe place to stop after the first lap and of course - it gave us two chances of getting their photo up beachy head itself.

 The earlier 8am start was a lot darker than usual, and I was grateful for the clearest conditions (I could clearly see Dungeness Power station from the top near the golf course), and also the stillest conditions - there was literally no wind whatsoever - which is the biggest battle when I'm up on top of the cliff tops. Staring into a gusting wind, sometimes in rain, often in cloud, and having left a few times early due to hypothermia setting in with uncontrollable shivers - this was the most perfect conditions for running Beachy I've ever known it since 2004.

2021 - The red line shows the cliff edge from a photo in 2008
In the spirit of COP26 and climate change - it's always worth a quick mention of erosion along the edge of the cliffs. A big chunk fell away last year - cutting across the road that gets to the Belle Tout lighthouse - itself moved back from the edge in 1999 - may be needed again... 

I can only make a small shout out - but thank you to all of you who got the memo about leg numbers down the front of your thigh. It really does make a difference when we're cataloguing the race numbers for the search function to work properly.
Shout out to the vertical shorts race numbers on the front ! Some didn't get the memo.

Great team effort for the finish

Nobody here got the number memo

Not too far to run back to Burgess Hill, and re-pin that number so we can read it from all angles...

We still don't know who they were !
got the leg memo, and it worked ! It almost got back to the two behind as well.

They definitely didn't get the safety common sense memo. And won't find it that close to the edge.

This years winner. Good number for Halloween preparation. 
This years winner - strong pace all the way round for 3hr5min !!

It felt as if he was mocking me about the leg number memo.

Finish BIG !!!

Then the next day we had the Royal Borough of Kingston Half marathon.

This was a full pic2go technology event and we had all the race images online and passed over to everyone who had registered by 2pm on the day. Something we always find rather pleasing ! The backup gallery (as linked at the top of the page) was ready and online on Tuesday. Watching twitter is always a pleasure after these events because the images make their way out onto social media very very quickly...

This one made it's way out onto the world as a happy tweet that got over 1300 likes and a load of comments. It has since developed into a meme because of her surprised face at his sprint finish ! Interestingly she had this for the train ride home after the run, on the same day. Glad she got the race number memo !

all good going past Hampton Court

love a double thumbs up !

Floating on his feet

got to give Jim a wave

The subtle double thumbs up

Proper sprint in at the end

All good for the win !

Didn't get the race number memo, but he did get a loaf of bread (no I don't think he was in the race!)

That first bit through the bustling streets of Kingston !

So that's it for the weekend just been, There was also the Beachy Head 10k on Sunday morning which also had a good start, and being a bit later - had some daylight too !

That start - up that hill

Done 10k for the feel of it !

So lets see what next year holds for us - we have some bookings in march and provisionally through the summer. If you know a race organiser or a potential race sponsor - then tell them to get in touch - we can do great things - 7 Million brand views on a good sized half marathon - and we're cheap by comparison to other advertising methods !

So, until next time, I wish you all a very safe rest of 2021, fingers crossed you've ordered your tinned food and toilet roll for Christmas already, and we await the ongoing management of the NHS, which if anything should be enough motivation for us all to keep fit and well with our running through winter.

See you on the other side, Happy New Year !


Thursday 21 October 2021

Cambridge Half, Town and Gown 10k, Basingstoke Half and 10k and Clarendon Marathon Galleries live 2021

Beachy Head Half 2021 - the start is more of a climb than the entire Cambridge Half Marathon !

So only the ~380,000 images live on the day catalogued and distributed to the runners at the Cambridge half marathon last Sunday. The pic2go technology made the grade - we did have a very nice optical fibre cable internet courtesy of the University, and a *lot* of computing power (actually only three desktops, but well configured etc) in the back of our processing van. It looked a bit MI5 with loads of screens to be honest, but we had roughly 200,000 done through by 2pm and then wizzed back to the office to get the rest done ready for your evening gossip and chats about achievements.

Cambridge is very pretty - especially the Kings College and The Backs along the river.

If you want to see the publicly shared galleries - then have a look here  - count the likes and comments and then wonder how you can get us involved at your next favourite race ! The pic2go gallery really does get the conversation going - what you achieved and what the race was like - it's a brilliant way to share the day.

So Here's our table of free download galleries - if it was a pic2go event you can always get your free pic2go personalised RunPage gallery by registering here:

Date Event FREE DOWNLOAD and UPGRADE Gallery
Sun-03/10/2021 Clarendon Marathon
Sun-03/10/2021 Basingstoke Half
Sun-10/10/2021 aCR Islington 1 hour
Sat-16/10/2021 Cambridge Town and Gown 10k
Sun-17/10/2021 Beachy Head Half
Sun-17/10/2021 Cambridge Half Marathon
Date Event FREE DOWNLOAD and UPGRADE Galleries to be
Sat-23/10/2021 Beachy Head
Sun-24/10/2021 Beachy Head 10k
Sun-24/10/2021 Royal Borough of Kingston Half Marathon

For pre registration and after the race go here:

and the backup and upgrade gallery will be here later in the week

Doesn't the computers do the cataloguing automatically ? Nopey Nope.

and made me laugh because that's what you get with AI tagging - someone who looks a bit like you running slowly in a bus lane.

It's because I get told all the time that I *should* use AI and it's a lot faster than manual tagging and they quote me higher prices. But actually every time I look at an AI tagged gallery, along with the "selfie face recognition" capability that they have added to these - I just get error after error after error. My favourite test is to see how many race numbers I can surf before all the images are 100% correct for that runner. I usually start off with "1234" as a seed search, and then browse on sequential mistaken errors. You can get 10 to 20 runners surfing done before you find a race number with an entirely correct set of photo images. Quite apart from the fact if you do the selfie stuff you've probably put your personal face-data into some unknown database with goodness knows what privacy and GDPR permissions, which is probably cross-referenced to all your computer cookies and the websites google analytics. (I edited out a complete rant here about privacy, I'm sure you can ad-lib it yourselves as they sell your face-data and keyworded associated cookies).

Yeah - ok only a few out of lots are wrong you say, so what if AI is a bit wrong, it's mostly right ? well a) do you want to see other people, and what about those people seeing their photos which are tagged as you - how's that going to happen ? and do you want other people seeing you without you wanting them to randomly ? so it's a lose-lose and twice as bad as people think it is on the surface.

So that's one reason why we use the pic2go barcode system. We don't have to upload full resolution files to the cloud (wasting internet bandwidth and online storage), we don't have to turn on a zillion amazon servers to cope with the processing necessary (yes AI and face recognition is processing heavy and expensive), and if we can't see a pic2go barcode properly - it simply tells us to have a person look at it and make a decision, which we do, and we get it right, and if we can't we say "000" - so it's not confused with anyone else.

Yes it's fallible if the barcodes are not fully visible, or have pins in them (which obscures them), or they are rubbed off - but to be honest - that's the same problems as trying to read a race number. The numbers are usually a lot bigger and a little more tolerant to partial obscuring (you can read some digits  with only a partial bit of the number showing), but then that's why we usually have two barcodes on a race number - so the one your hand isn't hiding can be seen, and also put next to the number so it's displayed nice and cleanly. And then we can always fall back to the race numbers - if you've not covered those up too...

Beachy Head Marathon - with free downloads
So if you're lucky enough to be out at Beachy Head Marathon this saturday - follow the usual standard guidelines - numbers on the front, don't fold them, don't cover them, and don't put pins through the barcodes, [and if you *MUST* put them on your shorts - put them *VERTICALLY* (ok so the number is sideways) with the barcodes *ON THE FRONT* up your thigh - facing forwards. This way the number can be seen from either side of the path.]
Don't put them horizontally and wrap them around your thigh - because only the first or last digits can be read from the side - but not all of it, and don't pin them on the side - again - because it can't be read from the other side ! Just down the front - easy ! and if you're in any doubt at all - tri-belts don't work for anyone except someone selling tri-belts. frankly I don't think I ever can read a number pinned to a tri-belt. You'd be better off using a bit of bamboo as a flag stick with the number on it.

Actually that FREE DOWNLOADS - LIVE ON THE DAY also applies to the RBK Half Marathon on sunday - which I'm again pleased to announce the full pic2go services with bespoke shareable personal galleries - fully customisable, and you can pre-register to get notifications as soon as photos of you are available during the race - so once you've got your breath back - you can share and tell people of your time and achievements ! You can also add your own selfies and medal shots to the mix if you want to and really make the memories your own.
Pre-registration is here

Anyway I promised to keep this short - apologies for the lack of loads of images and witty captions - but I'm solid exhausted from last weekend and trying to build up myself for this long weekend coming...
So until next time when the dinosaurs once again rule the earth..

Until next time - fingers crossed for the weather forecast this weekend and we can work out what's going on with our leaking roof,

good luck if you're running too !