With over 1,000 people running, this race was a butt-kicker to cover with the camera. I try to take short cuts across the course whenever possible to set up in a new location. In this race there were several spots where I had to hop in with the runners and follow the course instead of cutting. I get some funny looks being mixed in with the runners at a mid-7 pace while carrying two DSLR cameras and wearing a waist pack with 3 lenses. I worked hard for these shots!
Lots more here.
I’ve been part of the ultrarunning game for over seven years now, and I’m reluctant to admit that I haven’t ever paced anyone. What’s up with that?!? I was finally going to get my chance at the North Fork 50 mile race this weekend.
My original plan was to get up at 04:00 and catch the start of the race. That didn’t work due to a sick kiddo, but I was able to make it up to Pine Valley Ranch around 9:00 and seeing that I had my camera riding shotgun on the drive up I decided at the very last minute to carry it with me (DSLR w/70-200).
I jogged up the course in reverse, and was able to take shots of the 50k and 50 mile runners as they approached. My goal was to get to the Meadows aid station around 2pm and wait to pick up my runner for the final 18 miles.
I had a great time seeing so many friends out there running, crewing, and volunteering. It really made me happy to get a solid dose of the ultra vibe that I’ve been missing for a while.
Unfortunately, my runner missed the cutoff at that aid station. Very bummed for him, but super happy that he gave it a shot. It was the push I needed to get up there and be a part of the race.
I left that aid station a little after 4pm and made my way another 12 miles (26 total) back down to my car, hanging out and chatting at the aid stations along the way.
I’m posting some sample photos, the full gallery with free downloads for the runners is here:
It was a great way to spend the day!
First time shooting a Tri, and it was a challenge!
Trying to get some sort of compelling images from an indoor pool setting was especially tough. Luckily there was a bit of sunlight streaming in from the windows that I was able to make use of.
The hardest part was not knowing where I should be at any given moment due to the wave start of the race. Swimmers were still starting their races 90 minutes after the first ones began (since only a handful of people could be swimming at any given time) and the earlier racers were well into the bike leg at that point. With a normal race, you can concentrate on getting high impact shots of the leaders, then more environmental/documentary images of the mid-pack, and finally the happy goof-off crowd bringing up the rear. This time the fast racers were mixed in with the slowest ones and there was no telling what was coming next.
When it was time for the run portion, I finally felt like I was back in my element again. Ahhh.
It was a fun way to spend the morning, and I got quite a good workout as well chasing everyone around the course.