Hull Marathon Supplemental – A giant clusterf@#k over the photos

It all went so well and I had happily recommended the Hull Marathon to my readership on the basis the race was good, well organised, on a fun route, and was amply supported and marshaled. There were good and unique features that I liked: the Humber Bridge, the running track with the 100m timed sprint at mile 24.

Race tee in the laundry bin and medal on the rack, blog posted and being read, the only thing needed for closure would be the Obligatory Race Photos. This is a traditional post. And, for a marathon that, may or may not, have been someone’s first marathon, getting the race photos are important to some. You want that photo of you crossing the line, or of you holding your medal with friends in front of the race sign/banner.

But for Hull Marathon, after prior years when they used the superb services of personal favourite Sussex Sport Photography, this year it was done on the cheap, probably to lower the race entry fee (which is fine). Volunteer photographers were asked to take the photos and the whole thing has turned from a cost cutting exercise into a clusterfuck of the highest proportion.

Firstly there was no actual word about the photos from the race organisers. The use of Sussex Sport Photography was in the Race Guide last year, and links on the website. This year? Nothing. Emails and tweets were not responded to,  not for a great while. It was then that we were told volunteers photographed the race.

It has since become clear that somehow collecting all the photographs, putting into a single location, and then tagging them so you don’t have to literally look at every one to see if you are in them seems to be a job too far.

Developments so far…. 6 days after the race

  • I also found one photo in Ellie Birch’s set.
Ellie’s photo

This is annoying. The communication since the race has been poor from the organisers and this volunteer photographer idea, which could have worked brilliantly and been a great idea if planned in advance, has gone completely off-piste and slammed face first into a fir tree. The RD could have told all the photographers to upload them to a Flickr or FB page and NOT their own, given them a login to a web page, anything. But now we have a dozen pages with some photos on, the photos of the finish inc the medal photos are nowhere to be found, copyrighted photos cannot be uncopyrighted as there is nowhere to donate as that has also not been communicated. It is bad for a large UK marathon to do this and when I advise people on their marathon choices I will say run it, but will add the caveat that this episode has left as very very bad taste in my mouth. Sort of the equivalent of a day old kebab, extra chili sauce and that really long, skinny pepper thing.

Now, I wrote this on Friday. The race was Sunday. All professional race photographers would have sorted it by midweek, even the total arse clowns at Marathon-Photo with their £££ price tag.

Marathon-Photo CEO describes the company mission statement

I was going to give them until Sunday before I post this with any addendum needed and I was hoping that they pull their arses out of the fire, however, an email just arrived. It states.


Many of you have been asking where they are!!  The team of photographers on route were all volunteers and we are getting the images uploaded into a dedicated Facebook page: RB Hull Marathon 2017 Photo’s.  You can then copy these as you wish and they will go into folders with a name of the section of the route. You can also see the KCOM Ultrasfast 100 pictures at: 

These photo’s are all free and we can send original larger files if you send us the details of the image. 

Those taken after the finish within the stadium will be available after the weekend. 

However, no mention of those photos that have copyright on them, no response on that question either, or the way to donate to get them, or any of the other photos that are listed in the above horror show. We shall see what happens next week, after the weekend. I am very disappointed that, after such a good race, this happened, it is very amateurish, hell my Parkrun publishes photos within a couple of days.  But, although am impatiently waiting, I think I am most disappointed for them not even replying to emails, so am marking the race down. And even when the photos arrive, are they all of them, and if they are just stuck on a Facebook page (note that not everyone uses Facebook), you are going to have to go through ALL the thousands of photos as there is no search facility to look for your number. Disaster.

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