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.


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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

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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.


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