Only one real headline for this blog: Get out and Vote on Thursday in the EU elections (because that's democracy at work everyone, and take your friends). If only 33% of the UK eligible population vote, then you can't complain if the vociferous 17% of the voting population get a majority in the European Parliament MEP seats. If we have a fantastic turnout, then 17% of say a 65% turnout - will only get a quarter of the seats and not a majority. Who's the 17% I hear you ask ? - probably the 17% you don't want in any position of power... ...so get out and vote, you can probably even do it on a training run !!
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” Don't be one of those people.
Anyway we return to this blogging after what has been over 500,000 images added to the gallery in the past two weeks with Southampton and Velo Birmingham adding that total between them - two massive events of extraordinary complexity - who would be a project manager !!
And in the meantime our 16 and 18year olds are having their brains mashed out onto A4 paper. How is exam season treating you and your family then ? No better excuse now the weather is nicer to go for a head clearing run - in the evening to help with a good nights sleep or indeed in the morning.
So here are the recent galleries of your fantastic efforts to remember them by:
We are on a bit of a two week break with the bank holiday - we're not working at it - but if you are in the local sussex area - you can laugh at my total and utter failure of fitness for the past three months (a wrist operation and then a right nasty month long cold has taken it's toll) - as we have the Focus 10k on June the 2nd for a short run around... you might like it: https://www.chf.org.uk/focus10k.html
and then here's the list of events we are working at for you to enjoy - pick the ones with free photos !!
So what to talk about in today's news and blog ? perhaps the massive 6600 finishers at Southampton across the four different races of Marathon, Half, 10k and Fun Run !!, or the Raw Energy Pursuits Steyning triathlon - where Charlie claimed it was a cold early morning, but he doesn't have a temperature gauge in his car, and it wasn't snowing, so how would he know !, or the fantastically scenic trail run that is the 3Forts challenge - which is technically an Ultra being over a marathon length around the Sussex South Downs north of Worthing, but you can do a half, if you just wanted the nice mornings run !
All this leads nicely to the summary table of past events below, and some future ones - which you'll have to be quick to enter as they mostly have free sponsored photos, and you know us - we're fussy, we only like to work with the best event organisers we can find !
As I've been told not to spoil this blog by talking about brexit, and had a little bit of feedback (one agreeing email) on the topic of single use plastic and environmentally aware race entry from last week (drive a mile and consume more energy than a single use cup uses, so enter locally), and told not to draw attention to the crushing local elections, I'll point to one small (non-running) success story, which if we were to find out who they were, we'd be getting them out on the mental positivism roadshows in an instant - their achievements are amazing and on show for us all to see in the current social climate of confusion and government failure - and that is - who is Theresa May's Psychologist ? - because no matter how badly things are going, they seem to be able to turn anything into a positive for their client... and I want someone that good on my team !
Right - time for some race photos, you know the drill now - try to match the race to the photo, whilst also working out what on earth the caption really means (and no, it's not a cryptic crossword puzzle clue).
Up that hill with Arun runners
Good double thumbs
nice views once you're up the hill on the half
Hello Caroline !
The hills are alive !
Dr Jim and his MAGA hat (Make athletics great again)
It's a great trail run along the south downs
some great thumbs up
Literally caught at the point of turning into a lemming up the side path
Full of it
it's a triangular route
proper racing friends at the finish
none shall pass
smooth running #1
Good to see some great double thumbs
Dr Helen floating into the finish
3 miles in, might have dipped a bit early
Meanwhile earlier on the very same hills, but a bit norther in Steyning
the joy of finishing
Type 2 fun on a bike
Type 1 fun on a bike
Charlie had been briefed not to swear with hand signals this year
she stood there for hours like this. Fantastic strength skills.
Meanwhile at Southampton
Family photo time - Mum takes a photo of proud son, with Pat the race referee, the Mayor and Paul Sinton-Hewitt (of parkrun fame)
*That* feeling when you see the family at the end
bad case of elephantiasis there. Probably needs strapping
focus your energies
All good double thumbs up from the Boss
Phil made it to the end in aid of the Stroke association
So, everything from this weekend was fully sponsored by the events and supported by the brands supporting those events - with Storm the Castle being full pic2go activation for their decathlon with all the images going out live on the day for participants -over 10,000 images all done by the early afternoon ! What more do you want as a participant ? Answers by reply please...
Here's the latest table of recent race galleries and Future events you might like to enter. You'll also see the large number of events that we have secured sponsorship for the event photos - which means you can all have your wonderful race memories for free ! Happy Days !
You can see we're getting ready for the busy spring and summer season - with loads of sponsored events coming up in the next couple of months, so get your entries in before they run out of spaces... and get making those memories to remember !!
Here's a few pictures from the weekend - everything was free and downloadable - so really just a bunch of very happy people getting free memory boosters !! see if you can put the photo to the event ?
all smiles after the swim
good game !
up the transition hill
for the win
yes - spring sunshine
girl power !
double thumbs is always a good sign
no surrender !
Good work and off the ground
not really off the ground
look how big the sky is !
chasing through the trails in technicolour
lots of double thumbs means lots of good stuff
double downhill thumbs up
fan of the Sound of music ?
it's only a small hill
but it's a big win on the hill !
good to make it up to the top
chase them down !
for the win !
two for the win !
here's a little view to enjoy !
always look at the pretty flowers - they are over there somewhere !
We had an interesting enquiry to cover some marketing for the new ohoos at the london marathon (probably overpriced ourselves in the quote, but probably best to do that instead of work at a loss or exposure credits!) - which got me thinking about the environmental energy cost of cups and reusable cups and the whole hooha - which is more about waste disposal than carbon footprint and global warming.
To be honest, if we are serious about the environment - we'd significantly reduce business travel flights by insisting on internet webcam meetings, and if "it's a bit crap" - go and invent some technology to make it better you dullards... I mean - EGames and massive multiplayer online games exist and have significant numbers (ie millions) of users - so the technology is out there, it just needs redirecting. We don't need VR headsets, we just need the webcam to just pick out ourselves, and not the messy house behind...and then make it an interesting sort of a thing to use. I mean really - it doesn't take a genius. Stop flying, start using the internet, or the phone.
Reducing your running carbon foot-print ? (aka Carbon trainer-print ?) So at the next race you're thinking of running and driving to it 50 miles away, but there's one right on your doorstep - support that one nearby, perhaps cycle to it, and then drink as much as you want at the water station from whatever they give you - guilt free.... Perhaps strava has an extension to calculate your carbon trainer-print ?
so with enough of that thoughts on saving the planet, have a wonderful weekend - I'm off to southampton to get ready for sunday ! Until next week Anthony
. As usual a very big well done to everyone completing an event recently, you've done better than most people. Feel good about it and make sure you get your memories for that rainy/sunny/cold/muddy day. You never know when you're going to be looking at this running stuff like the spire of the Notre Dame... (too soon ?) or is this your come back like Tiger Woods after 11 years in the wilderness and wondering what you should have done differently in your past life? (also too soon?)
It's been a busy few weeks, and with my wrist in plaster, I've been off camera duties and pretty much not typing much either (and left handed mouse driving is surprisingly easy, but annoyingly slower) - but the news is that the plaster is off, I have two two-inch scars and my very swollen wrist is good for typing once again... ligament repair or not, nothing is going to get in the way of my amazing wit and caption writing (which you know is the only reason you keep your subscription to this blog). How did I end up needing my wrist in plaster you might ask ? well, let me start... well perhaps not.
Here's your links and galleries for the past recent Events, and a nod to the future - have a look at all those lovely free photo events that you want to get your entries in for !!! (some are sold out - I'll leave you to have a look for yourselves...)
A few of our favourite Henfield Joggers enjoying the sunshine
Another weekend for big races - the Colchester Half and Hastings Half Marathons - all covered in glorious sunshine, even if the air was a little on the chilly side, we're starting to pack the suncream into our kit bags.. (there you go, winter will be back next week).
Join the winners and get your race photo memories today ! - Galleries and future events listed below
Welcome to this weeks blog news - a busy one with three races over the weekend - Richmond, Brentwood Halfs and Leicester 10k - and all fortunately not cancelled due to the cold weather from the Beast from the east like last year !
So were you at these races this weekend ?, was it a first time ?, are you regularly one of the teams out there raising money for good causes with your hard work ? Check-out the galleries and events below to get the proof and your winning photos !
Otherwise here at SSP towers we're on business as usual - I'm off camera duties with a doctors note having had my wrist chopped up and tendons repaired (TFCC if you're interested) and a bone spur removed from my radius too. Nothing too serious, but just had another plaster cast put on for another 4 weeks, so I'm potentially out of action until the 15th April, so I'll miss quite a bit of the fun half marathon races over the coming months which is quite annoying, on the other hand - the early sunday mornings for a while will be on the back burner and I get to do the parenting instead...
So with no further ado, here's a few pictures from this weekend... can I just say 1)the captions in no way represent the opinions of those in the pictures and anything that might is purely coincidental and 2)I'm saving myself for Brexit themed captions until next week...
Mario flies in and past carrot stick man
He's been tango'ed
ahead of the pacers, that'll do !
six legged record attempt went well
all busy at the start and good charity teaming up
why why why !
After brexit they won't be allowing st.Patrick over here, making life more fun for everyone
Top team ready at the start
Imperial ? where's the stormtrooper helmets ?
top family effort fun
a whole new world of "how do you like your eggs?" genre of questions. A: "Runny"
top work Jan !
high score !!
proper imperial stormtrooping
made it all the way around !
top little wave from the left of good luck
ok everyone - who is actually looking where they are going ?
the winner had a bit of a lead at leicester
Peter Parker getting in a bit of essential cardio
close run finishes are the best
pushing on for the finish
goal achieved !
probably waving quite a lot to friends all the way around - could have gone faster, but why if you're having so much fun ?!
all ok. I think.
I don't think this is a brexit tshirt slogan?
always a smile across the line
best high fives ever
this brexit fancy dress pose won the competition
this is not a brexit fancy dress outfit
thirsty anyone ?
the pacer unfortunately had wandered off course last october - but eventually found some runners and finished a different race this week. probably needs a rest?
Some of you will have noticed that we provided the images for the National Cross Country (XC) Champs and the Cambridge Half Marathon free and live during the event and same day using the fantastic pic2go.co.uk technology (and you can still get your free photos from those events via http://pic2go.co.uk/register ).
If you enjoy your stats - we do that with a fully tagged gallery that delivers a personal gallery link via social media directly to participants using pic2go technology. For the Nationals we provided over 150,000 images, and for Cambridge over 300,000 images fully tagged for the event - which when you compare it to the other events that claim and promote entries based that they are giving a handful of free images (it would be embarrassing to name them!) you have to thank the sponsors for enabling such a fantastic service ! - we really think that we're able to make people happy with our work, and judging from the fantastic feedback we are - so here's fingers crossed for more of this sort of sponsored coverage in the future - we certainly think it is the way forwards ! more information here http://pic2go.co.uk
So, only a smattering of images from the past few weeks for our amusement today, because my wrist is hurting (a lot) and you should have had a load of looks at them already, so lets see what I dig out in the next 10 minutes....
"Spring is coming !" was never said on Game of Thrones...
Having had a weather-imposed week off work last week with the Watford Half Marathon cancelled due to the ice and cold (and the slightly important point that if the ambulance can't get around then neither can the runners) we returned this weekend for the Worthing half marathon, 10k and 3k fun run in the form of the Worthing Running Festival - in what promised to be horrendous windy conditions and torrential rain. As it was it didn't turn out too bad, although the westerly wind was challenging for the runners and photographers alike - it wasn't as strong and gusty as had been forecast - thankfully, we just froze and it didn't really rain (although the rain was seen out over the Rampion windfarm)
We have a busy next few weekends coming up with one of the most popular half marathons in the country at Cambridge (about 9000 participants), and the English National XC championships (about 8000 entries) - both very large events of significant importance - and both running with Pic2Go and free event photos for all competitors - what's not to like !
Hopefully the "beast from the east" will stay at home this year and the mid march races of Brentwood and Hastings and Colchester will be warm lovely affairs !! I'm also off for surgery on my wrist at the start of the month, jokes aside - it is my work hand - so it's going to be a bit of a worry if it doesn't recover in time. (*warning to everyone in the office* - I'm going to be a whinge bag)
So - here's some pictures from Worthing - and remember to keep the training going and safe on the dark nights - wear something reflective or at least white/bright - black training jackets and tops and leggings are frankly insane !!
All go at the start into the wind
It's only a bit of rain, not a problem
head down into the wind
today's lucky number
Excellent work by No4
Vegan runs from Rhino in strange twist after failing to get message across
All is ok and it's just started
special mention for any trendy neck buff wearers, these are rare fashionista items
Saturday Night Fever for Zoe
"look it's a camera!"
pointing out the rainy sky
Top work for third place, a new Brighton vest wearer in the county
New vinyl album cover photo shoot worked out ok
She almost managed to catch the illegally flown drone
a study in two forms of concentration
For the win on the mens race
top friend running
push to the line
a busy and friendly finish line awaited
dynamic lead bike marshalling with top hand gesturing
Oh and one other thing - if you've not paid to be in a race, don't bloody run in it. We can see your lack of number, we can see the lack of timing chip on your shoe, we can see you not go through the finish funnel, yet going all the way around the course, and we see you relying on the support of the race officials if anything goes wrong (because a marshal or medic will always help you). We have photos of you, we actually know you by name, we know which running clubs you run for even though you're not in your club colours, and some of you we have actually spoken to you about not stealing watermarked images and putting them on your facebook pages. Not only that, we then check the results, and we know you're not there, sometimes we check the entries, and we know you're not there, so we have to go through the images - and now - we make sure you're not there. If you're running with a friend or better half - just enter the race - there is simply no excuse not to, it's just simple freeloading and morally reprehensible, but enjoy posting your run on strava all the same - just make sure it's set to private eh ?
and now that rant is out of the way, have a good one until next time Anthony
That's the end of the New Year ! (and here comes the snow...)
Well that was a bit of a busy January ! instead of the three events last year with a bit of a leisurely trip up to the Running Show and meeting family and friends we had 15 events and were to busy to go anywhere ! More importantly for Runners - all the new events were parkruns, with free downloads courtesy of @PersilUK as part of their #DirtIsGood campaign.
I have to say I can't fault their marketing - go out - do stuff - wash it with our stuff - and by the way - here's a load of events to go and do stuff at (aka parkrun). It's a modern play on the famous Michelin restaurant guide - which was invented by the French tire company to get car drivers to actually drive their cars outside of Paris and use them - thereby needing more new tires. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelin_Guide#History and sspimg.com/michelin-guide-history )
So here's a definitive list of all those 12 parkruns below - we have been to from Edinburgh to Monmouth to Norwich to Poole. To say we've covered over 5000 miles (Michelin will be pleased), seen over 6100 finishers and made over 80,000 images available - to be honest - even I'm surprised at that !
There's also the other three January events we have been to and the future races for February in the table below - the two big big ones being the National XC champs in Leeds this year and the Cambridge Half Marathon - both with free images provided on the day - courtesy of the superb race sponsors Saucony. However I must point out the challenging and equally rewarding Steyning Stinger for local Sussex runners - it's fantastic and supports a great local club.
A quick message from the team at the Muscular Dystrophy Town and Gown - Oxford 10k (which we take the photos for! - please help them out if you can)
Amazingly our Oxford town and gown has been voted by the Running Awards as ‘best 10k in South East England’ and have been awarded with a lovely gold badge (attached)!
We’ve now been shortlisted to have a chance of winning the NATIONAL award. We’re very excited and think that the Oxford town and gown really deserves this status. It would be brilliant if you could circulate it amongst friends/family/colleagues. If we were to win, it would really help expand the event even further, and give the charity great exposure.
Voting ends on 1st March and the winners are announced at the running awards dinner on 25th April.
and finally - here's a few pictures from the last few events - first parkruns then some Brutal just a note - the parkruns are very very dark in the early winter mornings in the dark woods - it's been a really technical challenge and pushed our cameras to their technical limits - which always makes getting good images slightly harder !
So here's some pictures from around the parkruns with the @PersilUK team and the fun we have been having at them together !
"Merry New Year!!", to quote Eddie Murphy. Whilst some of you may be deciding to do dry January (stay indoors then the rain and snow won't get you, and stick to Dry Martinis ?) or the new "Veganuary" (which Greggs seems to be supporting), we bring you the two real winter tests of stamina and commitment to the running cause - that being the Brutal Longmoor on the 29th of December and the Serpentine New Years Day 10k which is a quick route around Hyde Park - which couldn't have taken place in more pleasant conditions - i.e. it didn't rain, snow, freeze or particularly windy and was quite mild, and the traffic out of London was practically empty.
Gallery links and future race planning - you'll see a bit of an anomaly here - if you've ever followed what we do and how we do it - you can see that we're going to be a bit busier than usual in January - so we hope to see you at some of the free to participate parkrun 5ks over the month ahead and enjoy the free photos that will be coming out of it! It's the #DirtIsGood campaign if anyone is interested in adding that to your social media posts ! Personally I'd been looking forwards to a bit of a rest and fixing the lighting in the office over January - but there we go... Darkuary it is then...
And to some pictures of festive frolics at Brutal and Serpentine
thumbs up from the triathlete
Shoes are not supposed to be disassembled
oo la la
bog monster zombies
he was only teasing with the water splashes...
the cold water had frozen her legs and arms making running tricky
It's a study of a family dynamic
it's not rally that deep ?
easy now, it's not that big, lets look closer...
proper mud running and efforts
found the pot-hole under the water
never let your brother win
perfect form. Nice to see one done properly
all was going to be ok !
and then to New Years Day !
A tight start next to the winter wonderland, but nobody was rushing to go in this time
it's bigger than Victoria Park !
top photobombing and waving by all
Taxi to the Edgeware road corner please...
Sharp running for a bit of winter training
smoothly in at the finish
the junior 3k was a competitive affair
all under control at the top corner
Fordy waves too
All going ok
The Albert Memorial in the background now restored to it's previous golden glow
Strong to the finish !
So, have a merry new year, enjoy training and take it a little easier in the cold, build up the gentle miles and enjoy the views through the hedges and trees whilst you can be a bit more nosey and see what's usually hidden behind things !! I'm off for an MRI on my poorly right wrist which might have some torn ligaments (well it flops about and I can't pour a jog of water at the moment), which might result in surgery and 6 weeks in a cast. Don't let anyone tell you that photography isn't a physical job !!