Monday 21 February 2022

Hampton Court Half 2022 Gallery live - and welcome to the new normal

 Hello and welcome back to the almost normal Running Calendar for 2022 and free download race galleries.

The original Quicksilver Hampton Court Half Marathon 2022 - Free Download gallery is now live and online for everyone to get their fantastic memories from yesterdays race.

Over 60,000 images - fully searchable and instant download available - perfect for social media and sharing over your zoom meetings this morning. Tag them with #hamptoncourthalf and don't forget to mention @quicksilver_run on twitter, and quicksilverrunning on instagram. You can always give us a mention on @uksportphoto as well !!

We gave King Henry his medal before the start because he insisted.

More race photos in a minute...

As the bookings continue to come in for events through 2022 it's great to be back and working with the well known and established event organisers who always put on a good show. The sort of events that continue to create an experience you'll want to come back to - either to do that bit better before your knees wear out, or because you fancy "giving it a proper go" next year, when inevitably the weather will be worse.

Without turning it into a Ros Atkins explainer on what makes events good to be at, or running a Michael Spicer "man in the room next door" advice line for Race committee meetings, I'll just leave it with a Marketing 101 course basics : If you want your participants to tell their friends they had a good time - give them the material to do it. 

Give them the proof, help them tell their story. Supply the photos - Quickly (the faster the better), easily (literally put it in their hands) and make sure it's branded with the race name - and "set it free". Your participants are your best ambassadors, recruits and hard workers to get friends along next time, as well as reminding themselves that they also had a great time - sharing their story, and they might just enjoy doing it again next time too...  

Empowering current customers to be your best promoter is always cheaper way to reach new customers than paying for adverts. Equally - if your event truly is rubbish - I wouldn't recommend giving your participants free photos - just as nobody wants to see the photo of dirty kitchen on social media complaining about a restaurant you've just been to - that stuff you can keep - nobody wants to rummage through the bins - it's like searching hopefully for one photo on a 500 image facebook gallery post...

Up coming races we will see you at... because you know it makes sense

All these events have free download photos. Which is obviously fantastic for everyone (including us because it means we can buy Baked Beans!)

Some of these - with Pic2Go technology - meaning live on the day personal galleries - so you can share that fabulous feeling as fast as possible !

Date Event Event Website
Sat-26/02/2022 The English National XC Champs - with Pic2Go on the day technology - register in advance
Sun-06/03/2022 Cambridge Half Marathon- with Pic2Go on the day technology - register in advance
Sun-06/03/2022 The Steyning Stinger
Sun-20/03/2022 The Brentwood Half Marathon
Sun-27/03/2022 RBK Spring Half Marathon
Sun-24/04/2022 The Southampton Half and Marathon
Sun-24/04/2022 7Oaks Tri
Sun-01/05/2022 3Forts - Half and Full Marathon

So it seems that everything is returning to a near normal as far as events are concerned. With London Marathon still remaining in October - it's going to be interesting to see how that's affected the training and race plans of "mere mortals". Has there been a considerable reduction in runners training through winter to get those miles in ? Has there been a drop in winter and night running clothing sales and safety kit ? 
Essentially we are going to set up the BBC2 equivalent of "spring half marathon watch" and see what happens over the next few months, we've seen a few races realign themselves, delay a bit (might be due to a whole factor of reasons these days), as well as plan for much lower numbers. It's definitely going to be an uphill effort for all races to get runners back out and taking part after such a long lull in events at this time of year.
One thing we used to see if an event missed a year (due to snow or other reasons) is that it takes a monumental effort to relaunch and recover an event entries to the level they used to be at. Some events just don't throw themselves into the marketing effort necessary - some - like Brentwood Half - couldn't do more to let people know about their race. It's interesting times ahead to see how full races get, and also as much to see how many turn up on the day - because that's down too.

Post Covid recovery and back to fitness
I could do a whole blog post on just this, all I'll say is I have many many friends reporting their lungs are knackered post-covid infection. Some from the earlier Alpha and Delta variants seem to be worse off, others equally so from the Omicron BA1 Variant, making just getting up stairs needing a lie down afterwards - even though that's supposed to be more in the throat than inflaming the alveoli deep in the lungs (which is what made Delta variant such a high mortality rate).

What I'm hearing about is a lot of people coming back to training too hard, too soon, and then just being totally knackered for much much longer. So be careful out there - rebuild yourself gently and slowly - don't panic, it will get better.
I do however await the number of pre-race excuses to include "feeling a bit covidy today"...

If you're stuck to see how things are going worldwide with the various infection levels - this is an easy starting website 

Anyway, you wanted to have a look at a few fun race images didn't you ?

The Hampton Court Half Marathon 2022

Lottery numbers on how long his next wife was going to last. About Parr.

Almost a leg number win - put it vertically on the front, and no pins in the barcodes plez..

Fast running to win in 1:12

OK, Who's responsible for this new Belgrave vest design ?

Fast finishing for Fulham

2hrs on the dot ! time for a taxi !!

Top fast finishing effort !

When the Pacing Plan delivers on time !

perfect conditions down-wind at the riverside

This vest is what football teams refer to as a "half and half"

It's a long way from Royston, but everything appears to be good !

Double thumbs - because it didn't rain

looking comfortable

Rocking the camouflage shorts look - much to everyone's surprise 

Flying in the wind

No Surrender

didn't get the memo that running numbers go on the front

Running with silly friends is the best.

Running with silly friends is the best

It's witchcraft

Ta-da !

McFly-ing with the wind

No Salute. Vertical leg number, but not at the front  - so close

When your friends decided to take up podcasting a little too seriously

Burn that finish sprint and leave the rest for dead.

So, enjoy the gallery, well done to you all on getting out there in the wind and avoiding the rain very well. 
the free downloads are all here

Until next time - which will be the English National XC championships at Parliament Hill....