Photo Shoot: 2014 HRCA Splash Mash Dash Triathlon

This was my second triathlon shoot, and it proved to be every bit the challenge I remembered from the one prior. A lot of it has to do with it being a pool vs. open water swim event. There are only so many lanes, so a limited number of racers can be in the pool at any one time. The solution from a race perspective is the wave start, which is a great way to utilize the limited resource. This type of tri is primarily raced against the clock, with the placings sorted out after everyone has finished.

Photographically this means you are never really sure where the leader of the race is at any given time. People are still doing their turn in the pool, while others are halfway through the bike course. For a single photographer covering the event, a lot of compromises and on-the-fly decisions have to be made when it comes to figuring out where to be and what to shoot.

I used my mountain bike to cover a little more ground this time as my primary bike shooting spot was some distance from the pool and start/finish area. It was a fun event and a great time to practice techniques such as wide angle pool shots, and panning the bikes with slow shutter speeds to blur the backgrounds. Easier said than done.

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Full gallery here.

Photo Shoot: 2014 Chase the Moon 12 Hour Endurance Run

Chase the Moon is a brand new trail race/ultra in Highlands Ranch.   It was put on by my friends David and Ben, who are the same guys behind the very popular and highly-respected Bear Chase Trail Race in September.

CTM was run on a ~10 mile loop with 3 person relay teams and a solo division going from 7PM on Friday night to 7AM Saturday morning.  I believe they had over 100 solo runners and another 100+ in the relay.  It was a great turnout for a first-year race, and I’m sure once the word gets out, next year will be even bigger.

I got there around 5:00 and roamed around as a bunch of runners created a tent city on the Mountain Vista High School field.  Everyone was nervously watching the sky as a huge thunderstorm had just passed through, but conditions ended up being perfect for the race.

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A little before the start, I trotted a little over a mile up the course with my gear and got in position for the runners topping out on the first small climb.

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The course was fairly tight so I could bypass some sections to leapfrog ahead and get in a different position.  I did this several times throughout the evening and ended up running 5-6 miles and got in a good workout as a result.  When I do this it always reminds me of the biathlon event in the Olympics (skiing/rifle) because I have to sprint into position and then work very hard to control my breathing while I fire the shutter.

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The departing storm made for some nice evening light.

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Soon it was transitioning to darkness and time for me to finish up the shoot as the runners settled in for a long night ahead.

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This is one race where I was jealous of the runners going by me. They all seemed to be having such a great time! Lots of little groups were clumped together and seemed to be sticking together for the long haul, chatting and laughing as they cruised down the trail.

David and Ben put on a great event and I highly recommend this one. I think it will become a cornerstone race for runners training for a late summer or fall 100 miler (Leadville, RRR, Bear). Running through the night under a full moon in race conditions is a great training experience. It was great to see so many friends out running and supporting the race, I really had a good time!

More images can be viewed here.

Photo Shoot: 2014 Independence Day 5K

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!

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Lots more here.

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