Posted in AT Your Service, client case studies, Coporate event photography, special event photography on December 22nd, 2012 by John Coxon

endurance marathon runner(click to enlarge any image in this case study)

CLIENT : Rory Coleman, owner and director of Ambition Events, an British based endurance all terrian running company he developed to organise and run the most extreme  running events in Britain and abroad. He is in the Guinness Book of Records as a  World Record Holder for the most ever marathons by a single athlete. Currently in the last 17 years he has amassed over 720 marathons and over 180 Ultra Marathons.  He is now both a life coach and fitness trainer and co-owner of new extreme running events company ,  Ultrarace.Co.UK  .

apic2BA mighty climb to get shots like this in the wild !

BRIEF : My  brief was at first to fully document, in images,  the Pennine Relentless Challenge , involving a marathon distance run followed by a 100 mike bike ride  loop and  finishing with another marathon along trails and tracks in the Pennine Hills with ascents up to 10,000 metres in what turned out to be atrocious weather during the second phase of the event. I was to  provide the athletes with a record of their achievements but also provide the emerging company with promotional images for press and website use to raise it’s profile of what were annual events and increase participation numbers. Since I didn’t just turn up, shoot the “gravy shots” and leave but remained on site, followed the runners and encouraged and supported them en route and helped in a number of other ways, I was asked to cover the whole calendar of events.

DSC_0736Above the Great Malvern start , I paused for a break , weighed down with my camera gear back pack half way up the second highest peak in the Malvern Hills

Naturally to get authentic shots it was up to me to make it to the heights of those climbs with camera back pack on foot making it a tough personal challenge which I relished. As it turned out ,the latter stages of the event, so cold and in total darkness, saw horrendous rain storms and only one competitor actually managed to complete the whole event. I got my client further great PR as a bonus  writing an illustrated report for the prestigious Tri 247 Ezine here Pennine Challenge . I might not be the fittest photographer around but no one can question my commitment, stamina and effort on behalf of my clients !

satruday (178)shooting high on the Pennine trails in blistering heat 

EXTENDED BRIEF :- On that basis,  my efforts at that event , I was asked cover a number of races for the company  including  double marathons , a day and night marathon and finally two really big events in terms of total  distances and really tough terrain, the South West Coastal endurance marathon  and then finally the killer event , the five day Marathon of Briton.


finishday (87)

Image – the medal that says you completed the toughest race in Britian

That  started in the Malvern hills above  Great Malvern and finished in Nottingham. With those two last major events I covered, the ultimate aim was to provide a series of “wow factor” images to be used in a major presentation with which my client  could ultimately pitch his company to the global communications giant Naseba who were looking to increase their portfolio. Ambition Events ,  was already a great product and high integrity brand  but I am proud to say my images were a factor in the successful pitch and Ambition is now one of Naseba’s brands and  that presentation help0ed net  equivalent of a lottery win for my client!

Rawa_333the image  out of hundreds that excited my client the most – he thought it iconic

With an interest in photography himself, the only constraint  from my client in those two races was to leave my long zoom lens at home and work exclusively with either a standard or wide angle lens. This  often meant  lying on the rough ground  and shooting up and close as runners passed by to get more dramatic angles to get a portfolio of the kind of shots he needed. From those two events my  client  cherry picked the images that were to be used in the pitch to Naseba.


dday2 (18)my mobile office doubled as a runner support station

These athletes put themselves through hell and, in order for me to do my job properly, it meant I had to suffer too  and was, as ever eager, and always willing to do so. Following the event routes initially in my car , because of the varied terrain I worked   mostly on foot, crossing fields, woodlands  and climbing huge hills , often  waiting for hours for all the runners as  they came along one by one , often split by big time gaps. It meant climbing on foot in the final event to the peaks of two highest hills in the Malverns, with a camera back pack and a five litre bottle of water for the runners , quite a challenge !

strat1 (190) (1)working in the wee small hours 

 Five days ,rain or shine, at all hours , with as little sleep as it was for the athletes, eating camp food with them, working  either throughout the  day or late into the night , being at key points on the long routes of a series of gruelling races at various altitudes, sleeping for a few hours in my car.

cDSC_1528I’d  lugged all this emergency drinking water up  the highest point in the Malverns & wasn;t expected a runner to brief  shower with some of it !  

At the race awards presentation meal, at a swish hotel in Nottingham, I was given a race  tee shirt and a special award trophy from my client for my efforts , going the extra mile (miles !) and for helping support the athletes as well as providing so many great photographs. Later , in addition  I put together a souvenir DVD for all the runners as  a substantial record of their finest hours.


WHY NOT – view a sample of the images in a slideshow ,a mixture from my archives of images taken for my client from several of the extreme marathon events including images that were used in the successful presentation pitch to Naseba here.  ENDURANCE RACES

satruday (75)

Footnote : In addition to the actual brief I also wrote and illustrated reports about some of the endurance events I covered for specialist running magazines /on line Ezines another  example of which can be found here   Tri 247 magazine

DSC_3329and they ran through fields of gold – from my Tri 247  feature

A small sample of my images from just one of my earlier endurance race shoots, the Chelmsford Night and Day Marathon , posted on line for the participants to view,  can be found here  Flickr Album .

I offer my clients outstanding service and dedication to their  brief and PR and ,marketing ambitions. I always have a positive mind set, enthusiasm and energy. I bring  nearly forty years experience in film and digital media, working as an independent freelance, taking pride in original creative thinking to meet client needs  and  providing quality images covering a very wide spectrum of topics  for editorial and commercial  use combining a  wide range of skills and techniques.

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If you are interested in hiring my services please contact me any time either by email ( or via my mobile on 07989300104 .  Can;t wait to hear from you.


Posted in Argentine Hockey on December 17th, 2012 by John Coxon
Myself with Las Leonas #27 Noey Barrioneuvo

Myself with Las Leonas player  #27 Noey Barrioneuvo










At a press conference in Cordoba today ,16th Dec , the  CAH ( Confederación Argentina de Hockey ) ,  has formally endorsed  Marcello Garrafo,  himself a retired former national player who represented his country at three separate Olympics  and former coach of the Argentine Men’s team in 1997,  who has signed a two year contract as the new coach to Las Leonas to replace the highly successful outgoing  Carlos Retegui and he will take up his position on January 30th 2013.


The conference took place in the presence of  Daniel Marcellini  president of the  CAH, along with the head coach overseeing both  the male and female teams, Alfredo Castro, plus  Las Leonas players  Rosario Lucchetti and  Macarena Rodríguez sharing the stage. At the same  event the appointment of  Franco Nicola, as the national coach of  the emerging Argentine men’s  team  was formalised , Franco having  debuted with the men’s victory in the recent  Champions Challenge in Quilmes.


Marcello , himself a former captain of the Men’s national squad remarked “I feel excitement and gratitude. Being in charge of a great team like the Lionesses is recognition.” He continued  “It took me  one second decide  to accept the offer to be responsible for the Lionesses. My head thinking of the  Olympic period to be  honest when talking about expectations for the future.”

Alfredo Castro - Head Coach over-seeing both gender teams

Alfredo Castro – Head Coach over-seeing both gender teams

During the proceedings Marcello  was enthusiastic when asked about the future of Luciana Aymar in his plans but also Sole Garcia who we recall was excluded last year from the Olympic pre-selection group by the previous administration of Carlo Retegui. Asked about Luciana and her continuation in the national team, post Olympics 2012,  he merely stated that she was captain and the best player in the world.

Luciana Aymar

Luciana Aymar

On the subject of Sole he suggested  that  a fresh dialogue is likely since she has the distinction of remaining one of the best players in the world and he added, wryly, “Remember I am the new Argentina coach.”

Marcello continued , “This is has been such a successful global team over the past 15 years ,with the possibility that I will add experience and help make sure they  to keep excelling. It’s a big responsibility and, of course, a difficult but exciting challenge.”  In turn, Rosario Luchetti said the players are very happy with the coaching change ” a point re-enforced by her team mate Macarena Rodríguez, adding that the  departure of Carlos Retegui  the team driver  for the Rosario 2010 World championship success , was due to “wear  with the squad”  *1”

Rosario Lucchetti

Rosario Lucchetti

Luchetti said “ We are happy, because his name was  raised as an issue amongst  the team. I think all the changes are always positive. I say this from my experience of life. ” She continued: “I think we should take it as a good thing and to keep growing.” “I agree with what you said Charo. Whenever there is change it is motivating. Start new things and face it in the best way ” Rodriguez added .

On the agenda of those selected for the next year, it was reported that Las Leonas  and New Zealand will play a friendly series in Rosario in late February then with a return series in Oceania  the following month.

Finally, Franco Nicola , new men’s coach, told the audience  that he was pleased that  his new  charges   had  “started off  on the right foot” with their victory in the international Champions Challenge tournament in Quilmes. He continued “For us, it’s a plus and  we will  keep working, with changes in our game, adding players and working towards the main objective  which is to be in the  top five in the world rankings”.

SOURCES : This item is my unofficial translation on behalf of non-Spanish speaking fans of Argentine Hockey  from the original report  from the  Argentine National Press Agency Telam and snippets from the CAH official press release and my own resources and research.

The original official CAH release can be found here :-

Marcelo Garraffo será el nuevo entrenador de Las Leonas

Author’s footnotes :-

all images in this report are from my own stock image libraries

All images in this report are from my own stock image libraries. Please contact me any time for international player images for editorial use.











It should be remembered that recently, knowing a new coach appointment was imminent, Sole Garcia  had indicated elsewhere  that it was unlikely she would be seeking a place back in the team , suggesting she was weary of the sacrifices and commitment she had had to make during here time on the team , indicating that she  had got over the pain of  being dropped by Carlos Retegui and thereafter losing her place and had moved on . She declared herself  happy to continue to live and work in Holland where she feels settled , and where she has many friends and is regarded as one of the most celebrated  players in the  Hoofdklasse’s league.  I am sure that Marcello Garrafo’s  being open to the idea of her re-inclusion will excite many fans who were , like me, puzzled and saddened at her exclusion from the squad in Olympic year and longing to have her back in the team. 

*1 We can only speculate exactly what is meant by Carlos Retegui’s departure being described as  “wear in the team”  which suggests he recognised he had taken the role as far as he could but with a hint that greater harmony in the team needed to be restored with a new broom taking over the helm. Sad to see such an outstanding and very likeable coach retire but I am sure he will not only appreciate having more time to spend with his beloved  family but no doubt continue to work tirelessly in his own Salta Association’s grass roots clubs and for the good of the game nationally and I wish him every success in the future. It has certainly been a great privilege for me  to have been on the receiving end of his friendly kindness  and generosity of spirit. 

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