It had been 23 months since I had put on a bib number. I have always been a runner, but the year before, after I ran a 24 hour race and a 100 mile race both in a 4 week period, my body had had enough. Recovery from the long miles had been slow, but I had decided to run another race when I heard that a 48-hour run had been added to the offering of races at the Pickled Feet Runs at Eagle Island State Park. Eagle Island State Park is a great site for a timed event. The route is predictable: lots of running in circles, but a 2.5 mile loop means that runners get to visit the only aid station frequently.
My training hadn’t come along as well as I had hoped, but on race day, it was time to run. Many runners pack MP3 players into their runner’s bag. I packed a whole other bag: my camera bag. With 48 hours of time on my hands, I thought I might need a distraction. Little did I know that my need for a distraction would come earlier than expected.
I had been running little more than an hour when I felt a blister on the bottom of my foot. With so many hours left to run, I decided it was time to break out the camera. After treating the problem area with some moleskin, I set out on the 2.5 mile loop with camera in hand. This 48-hour run would be done while repeating the 2.5 mile loop over, and over again. The music coming from the aid station could be heard from a distance, and added to the regular encouragement from supporters as each loop came to an end.
The runners seemed to be having a great time. Smiles were everywhere, and the cool weekend that was predicted had the expected seemed to be It quickly became apparent that the runners were having a great time. It was a cool evening ; ideal for running, and even though the forecast called for rain throughout the 48 hours, everyone was in good spirits.
As each new wave of runners began their race, the faces began to change. Each arrived with a smile, and shared in conversation with other runners and supporters. This went on for hours; days, in fact. During these 2 days and 2 nights, there were periods of freezing rain, when it wasn’t freezing, it was still raining. Although I wasn’t a photographer during this event, I think it was a personal accomplishment to have produced some nice images for runners to look at and remember these cold days with warmth in their hearts.
Here are a few other faces from this race.
It was a great distraction to be able to photograph these great people and share some of their stories as we went round and round. By the time it was all over, I had even somehow wound up in front of the camera. Elsa Cervantes decided that I should also be photographed and snatched the camera away from me. It was all part of the fun that the weekend brought and created some great memories for me as well.
As I reflect on the final images, I admit this isn’t great race photography, but the images are part of a personal experience as well as that of each runner that put on their own bib number. My own accomplishment isn't in completing the 48 hours, even though that is an accomplishment in itself. My personal accomplishment is that I completed the 48 hours while carrying a camera in my hands.
To see more of the images from the Pickled Feet run go to: http://tempusphodesign.com/pickledfeetruns2014.