I had a great morning out today at a 10 mile road running race. It was held at the Ford Motor Company site at Dunton in Essex and took in their vehicle test track and the perimeter roads around the site. The run was a charity event in aid of St Lukes Hospice in Basildon and was well organised with chip timing and on a virtually traffic free course.
I only found out about the event last Thursday when I picked up a leaflet at our local sports centre and bearing in mind I have had a bad back for the last few weeks and hence have not been training I decided that I wouldn’t enter. I did however decide to go along and be a spectator – partly as there were people running who I knew, partly to have a nosey at Fords place and partly to take a load of photographs.
It was a glorious morning and I cycled the 15 miles there from Southend and it was blooming cold. It warmed up later. I was there in good time and was able to have a look around and get some photographs of the build-up. I’m guessing at maybe 300-400 entrants which was pretty good which included club runners and fun runners – and the obligatory dragon.
I had tweeted about the event in the days leading up to it and found that twitter friends @lisanneattwood and @pickledseal were both running so it was a good opportunity to try and say hi to them.
The race got underway at 9.30 sharp and consisted of two laps around the site. From the start on the test track straight the runners headed west and around the curve then headed back to the strat were they peeled off and continued around some of the site access roads. The route then brought them back onto the test track were they headed east and around the hilly and steeply banked curve before heading back west along the straight to the start.
After photographing the start I walked over to the main access road where I spent most of the time photographing the runners coming and going in both directions. It was a lovely bright day and perfect for pictures. The runners seemed to be enjoying the conditions too.
I picked up @Lisanneattwood running pretty soon and managed to take a good number of pics of her during the race. I also got a fair number of pics of @pickledseal too although I didn’t register him at the time and didn’t manage to see him after – shame. Once the leading runners came past for the second time I walked back to the track and took some pics looking up at the test track east curve and then as the runners crossed the finish line.
I saw Lissanne complete her race – in an excellent 1hr 29mins – and once she had caught her breath – went over and said hi to her and her fiancée @Beetlemanic02 which was really nice. Great to meet two jolly nice people who I have been chatting to through twitter for a while now. Unfortunately I couldn’t linger as Sunday lunch was on the go so I bade my leave and headed back along the A127 cycle path on the bike to Southend.
All in all it was a jolly nice morning out and I took what I think was a set of half decent photographs.a
A selection of the 1,367 photographs that I took are included below. They open to larger versions in new windows if you click each photo. I have also uploaded virtually all the photos I took to my picasaweb photo sharing website into various folders as per the list below. If you see yourself in any of the photos and would like copies then feel free to save copies to your PC direct. If you want a higher resolution version then email me at email@example.com and I can send you them.
If you feel inclined then maybe a small donation – that will go to St Lukes – would be appreciated for my time spent taking, processing and uploading the photos. I’ll provide a link to a just giving site if you email me (I’ll post the link here later too).