Sunday, February 24, 2013

2013 Jones 10-Miler

Today I ran the DH Jones 10-mile road race here in Amherst. This is a New England Grand-Prix event and draws the top talent from all over the region, so it's a much bigger race (with a significantly faster field) than we normally get in western MA. I usually place somewhere around the top 2030% of the races I do, but in this one I barely slipped in below 50%. Anyway, this was my second time doing it, and I knew the course well, both from running it last year and from doing some hill repeats on it the past few weeks (it's only a couple miles up the road from me).  

I went into this a few pounds heavier (183 lbs.) and slightly less trained than last year, and… yup. Predictably, I ran about 30 seconds slower overall. Admittedly, the weather was also slightly worse this year. There was wet snow falling from about mile 2 to mile 7; my tech t-shirt was soaked by mile 4 and I got a bit cold as a result (however, since I tend to run warm, I have to regard that as a plus, or at least a wash). Also, my otherwise awesome lightweight DS-Racers let water and mud in through the little holes in the soles. Still, none of that was debilitating or even really very detrimental. This is New England, after all. Basically, I can't say that the conditions were an impediment. The reality is: I was a bit heavier, a bit older, and a bit slower this year. Good incentive to cut back on the IPA and ramp up the training...

There's a pretty great new race report of this course over at Rock n Runner's blog

full results here

that's me in green, dressed for summer 
(photo by KrissyK)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

sweet snowshoe hike

Jen and I went for an afternoon snowshoe hike in the Holyoke Range today. Conditions were amazing after the recent storm. Trail had been broken most of the way, but the snow was deep enough that it still felt like we were exploring out there for the first time.

We parked on Old Mountain Road at the far west side of the range. After a quick quarter mile or so on the M-M Trail, we went straight ahead at the junction and followed the Dry Brook Trail for a mile or so east. Then, at the junction with the Taylor Notch Trail, we took a left and headed up to the ridge. At Taylor Notch, a big drift buried the road in several feet of packed snow, and a single set of ski tracks curved appealingly away up around the corner. From there, we climbed a short but steep section of the M-M Trail to the summit, and then followed it all the way back down to the car (with a slight detour out to the open ledges on the Hang Glider trail). The views out over the Connecticut River valley were absolutely stunning. The sun set just as we were finishing, which made for some amazing warm highlights on the cold snowdrifts. 

L: Fellow travelers; R: Up through oaks.


a fire upon the deep


deep thoughts

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sleigh Bell Run 4-miler shoot

I photographed the Greenfield Winter Carnival "Sleigh Bell Run" 4-mile road race this morning, mostly just to get some more practice shooting sports. Mind you, I did it with a lens that not only is completely inappropriate for the camera (a DX lens on an FX camera) but also completely inappropriate for the event and conditions (Only an 18-55mm zoom to shoot a running race on an overcast winter day? Am I stupid?). But never mind that. I'm workin' on it...

Below are two of the better results. The first one is of Marc and his kid doing what parents and kids should ALWAYS do: get out there and have fun being silly and active together. The other is just a fun low-angle shot of a racer in full stride at mile 3.5 of a 4-mile race.

I've found that I often don't care for shots where two runners are side by side. I think it's because the framing ends up looking kind of weird (the subject is too wide for the vertical crop that way). But these two (below) made it work with their matching strides and all-around excellent smiles.