Monday 23 May 2022

REP Arundel Triathlon 2022 - gallery live - and take the survey


warm water at 5:45am, looks inviting ? It was at 29DegC !

The Raw Energy Pursuits (REP) Arundel Lido Triathlon race gallery is live here:

Fully searchable and all completely free to download...because that's how things should be.

Meanwhile if you look closely - you can see they have planted a memorial tree for me exactly next to the race arch where I've sat for about 18 years. Reports of my death must have been taken seriously in Arundel, for which I am honoured and just a little bit panicked.

But enough about Arundel, you really wanted to take our survey here

Why ? so far it shows that 20% of you who have had Covid are not feeling 100% better yet, and about a third of you are not as bothered about taking part in running races as you were before lockdown. I mean - that's a lot of not bovvered. At least they were enough to do the survey - as you should be too !

The straight-forwards question answers are interesting enough - but it gets even more revealing when we start to cross-reference questions and answers: are people who have had covid more or less bothered ?, has illness or lockdown affected peoples forwards planning more? and is it the cost of living really affecting people's forwards planning or was it having covid ? and what's that one magic thing that race directors could do to help get entries that doesn't match what they say is stopping them from entering races ?

This is the sort of smile you have to put up with at events!

So this and more will be revealed when we have some more survey responses - which is where you come in to do your helpfulthing pleasethankyou....

Some of you may think this stuff doesn't affect you - but in reality it really really does. Cardiff Half - had only 52% of actual entries show up the other week, Colchester Half (which we didn't cover for the first time ever - sad face emoji) only had about half the usual number of runners yesterday compared to 2019 and 2018 and I am looking at a fairly busy race entry website and can see that one of it's main event providers in the south east that has a handful of major half marathons in it's portfolio has now got all their events and races closed to entry. The Hackney Half - one of the largest halfs in the calendar in 2019 with 17627 barely moved it's late 2021 total of 12493 runners to 13078 for May 2022. That's a 25% drop in entries. 

Weather it is event organisers like Chris Evans and his big running weekend thingy cancelling early, we can all agree - something is up, and we would like to know why. Not just a guess, or a survey of our own reasons, not just "it's the covid" - we need to survey all of you. Because it matters ! Should races cut all their costs to the bone to get things going again ? (because parkrun is free to run and they're not back to full strength) , or actually should they reshape their experiences to cater for half as many people instead ? who should they target with their marketing and what sort of messages should they be making to reassure potential entrants ? we won't know until we have a really good depth of survey results - so every entry counts ! Thank you ! (I mean - they're planting memorial trees for me now, this is getting serious !)

And enough of the survey reasons - here's some photos from Sundays REP Arundel Lido Triathlon.

First off and its 6am

Excellent glassware

Look at the sponsored prizes you could have won !

Family cheering you on for that good feeling

Show no emotion from Goddard. Emotion is weakness.

big thigh victory for Brighton

Excellent final chase in

Yellow speed machine

Allcomers Retro - with offroad tyres just in case

Defending yourself from the suns radiation as the spiders attack

Took this shot from under the water looking up.

scooting along

aaaaand stretch

bonky head warning for the remaining 2 lengths

I can see me !

So relaxed, almost asleep

The warm up pool was a bit steamy

Off to the Tower for any rules infringements

Camping for the knights of Tri near the castle

sunrise at 5:35 am, and you know it's almost worth it

we're off for the jubilee weekend, but have a load of local athletics to taxi our upcoming athletes to and fro from, and then we build into the busy June and July of events ahead.

Check our calendar of events here - and please enter them - their survival literally depends on you getting there and taking part, as other event organisers can attest to : -

but also make sure you get a trail half marathon done this summer, and we're duty bound to suggest the Hampshire Hoppit  -  - enter it now !

And don't forget the survey - thank you -

Until next time, and hopefully some survey insights,


Friday 20 May 2022

Back to running Survey 2022

Are you leading the charge back to the start line ?

Have you got back to Running yet in 2022 ? what's holding you back, or getting you going ?

We're seeing some races come back at 80%, some 100%, and some at 50% compared to 2018 and 2019, so we're interested to understand why that might be, and then we will wonder out loud what can be done by events to help.

So please - add your voice to this quick survey on entering events in 2022 -

and help the races help you !

Thank you (and please tell your friends to tell us too!)

why the delay ? - tell us today !

Thursday 12 May 2022

Ultra-X Scotland 2022 gallery and the months ahead


and some of them ran 75km the day before !

Just a bit of a quickie this week - because all the photos on sunday went out live on sunday using the pic2go technology and event branded and personalised sharing galleries (, but just in case you want to search about by race number - the backup gallery is now available for the Ultra-X Scotland 50km from the Sunday here: 
All free downloads and upgrades to prints etc all available.

Some absolutely stunning views across the highlands and around the sides of Loch Ness as the race finishes running up north towards the Inverness end of the loch. No monsters were seen in the water, but plenty of racing snakes around the shores !

Here's some views of what you missed out on last weekend... most don't need captions do they.

Fresh up the first hill from the start

Start field for day two is just down there in the distance

As Kate Bush said - Big Sky

Rush Hour

Double thumbs up ! must be good then.

almost Braveheart. The Culloden battlefield is relatively nearby.

don't hit the spectators

Someone was happy they finished !

Longest run to catch a Taxi ever... but then Uber dosn't operate around there...

Loch Tarff. Quite calming. Don't forget to take a photo of the runners. There are some in this photo apparently.

So well done to everyone on the Ultra-X challenges - get yourself over to their website if you fancy doing something Ultra somewhere nice in the world they have a summer one in the UK...


So, another convert to free photos...

There were plenty of other races on over the weekend (which we were not at!) - notably locally was RunGatwick with it's new course in the countryside right by the airport, so it is no longer "RunCrawley" as the race director once referred it to me... (finally a post lockdown Covid upside) also good to see that we seem to have made another slight shift in the world of event photos - because after years of us saying to them that runners really do want to have their race photos as part of their race pack and goodies - and always being promised "next time" for several years - and then we decided to stick to our guns and stick up for what we thought was right for the runners (and ourselves staying in business to be honest) - so it's very good to see that RunGatwick have now adopted and are providing Free Race Photos as part of their race package (albeit with another company, but never mind - the market forces have spoken for the runners!!).  Nice to have you aboard.

Also - as ever and in line with the maxim: "all runners want to know at the end of a race is what their time was and how they looked" - I've got to say just how nice and cleanly laid out their website
is after the race. Really simple and straight forwards to go to what you want - get your time and your photos... !

A good example of a post race website landing page.
The flip side of this is - see what a difference to promotion of the photos it makes when the event has "some skin in the game". When events are paying for a service, they definitely value it more - and then make much more use of it - which is what we all want to see isn't it !

AI recognition - does it really work ? Search engines matter.

Whilst I'm on a roll on the customer experience thing - let's talk search engine results and race number cataloguing and the resultant "search for your photos" and see if you can find them. I'll put my case that the events that use AI recognition of race numbers and faces all have a facility that says "this might be you - have a browse" and "this is not me" - really is effectively admitting they don't do a very good job at all. 

As many of you will know from parkrun - and possibly food shopping, manufacturing, and pretty much everywhere else where accurate number entry is really important - barcodes are the solution. Like - universally the solution. Worldwide. 

So that's why we use the small 2d bespoke barcodes / special QR codes from Pic2Go. Because they work. and if there is no barcode found in the image (because someone carefully folded it, or pinned it or whatever) then it simply says - help! - and we can then manually check it over, which we do. Which means - everything is correct. And if we can't see any barcodes or numbers in an image, then it's "000" for the universal find the hidden people.

 Meanwhile an AI will say - "well I'm 76% sure that's a number there" and will stick in whatever it jolly well thinks it might possibly be, and well - if it's wrong, nobody is going to come back and find it for them and correct it - so it will never be found under the correct number search - and it is forever lost into the data of wrongness. 

Sure, face recognition is a second method - but given that a)the police's systems should be the best out there and they don't trust it, b) the privacy rights campaigners say it doesn't work, and c) what the hell are you doing letting people gather databases of your face anyway labelling it with your number and name for them to sell onto the err... police ? or facebook, or Alexa, or google street view, or... do you see where I'm going with this ? "it's ok they don't do that and they delete it afterwards anyway". Yep Sure they do, they even say they do, and your private life is safe with them to commercialise, and yes, they use standard software solutions in the cloud in the background, and no, nobody knows what those companies are doing with it. And yes everything on the internet can be deleted properly...

I've not yet started on the computing power and internet speeds required for AI and face recognition either have I... let's not go there with the price of energy at the moment !

Hopefully people at these other companies will read this (yes I know some of you do !) and either a)disregard it as the ramblings of a madman - which is cool, because they are helping us retain a competitive offering advantage over them, or b)they will improve - which is also cool - because that's better for everyone. 

But I will always say if I think people are not getting the service they expect, or being tricked into paying for something they shouldn't have to - like if it's free photos - then that's all of them, not half of them, and don't direct me to the paying for page and make it hard to see the free page with only some of the images. That's literally the opposite of customer service.

In the meantime, don't even start me on companies still pushing the photo sales model as driving an income stream for race directors (which in the scheme of things for a race is pennies) and then also trying to promote half price race photo packs before you've even seen them or how many you get for your hard earned cash. That makes no sense to me... anyway I digress.

Get yourself signed up !

Right, and on that note, we have the start of the MacMillan Mighty Hikes this weekend, and providing the proof and serving witness to their hard work and effort. Live photos out during the day to help them get sponsorships incoming during the marathon walk and help them raising money for such a brilliant cause. The series raised over £12million last year, so with 14 locations and 21 events this year - it's going to be Mega !

Enter yourself now !

and so until next time - enter any of the events listed below - because pre-covid race numbers seem to be returning and you don't want to miss out !!


Date Event Event Website
Sat-14/05/2022 Mighty Hike - Norfolk Coast
Sun-22/05/2022 REP Arundel Tri
Sat-11/06/2022 Mighty Hike - South Coast
Sun-12/06/2022 Mid Sussex Tri
Sun-12/06/2022 Hampshire Hoppit
Sun-12/06/2022 Mighty Hike - South Coast Half
Sat-18/06/2022 Mighty Hike - Lake District
Sat-18/06/2022 Parish Walk
Sun-19/06/2022 Mighty Hike - Lake District Half
Sat-25/06/2022 REP Arun Swim
Sat-25/06/2022 Mighty Hike - Giants Causeway
Sun-26/06/2022 Mighty Hike - Giants Causeway Half
Sat-02/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Yorkshire Dales
Sun-03/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Yorkshire Dales Half
Sat-09/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Gower Peninsula
Sat-09/07/2022 BHF Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim SAT
Sun-10/07/2022 BHF Bournemouth Pier to Pier Swim SUN
Sat-16/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Thames Path
Sat-16/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Northumberland Coast
Sun-17/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Thames Path Half
Sat-23/07/2022 BHF Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge SAT
Sat-23/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Peak District
Sun-24/07/2022 BHF Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge SUN
Sun-24/07/2022 REP Dawn on the Downs
Sun-24/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Peak District Half
Sat-30/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Dedham Vale
Sun-31/07/2022 Mighty Hike - Dedham Vale Half