- Ron Hebert 8-Mile Road Race in Northampton, MA (photos)
- UMASS Dash and Dine 5K in Amherst, MA (photos)
- CSSR PTO 5K in Belchertown, MA (photos)
- Holyoke Lodge of Elks 5K XC (weekly series) in Holyoke, MA (photos)
The Rob Hebert 8-Miler was my favorite of the week. Run by my local running club, SMAC (Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club), it's one of the oldest road races in New England, and attracts a small but very fit group of runners. All of them seemed to be having a great time, and I have to admit I had a great time taking shots and even processing the photos afterwards.
The Belchertown 5K was very much a parents and kids affair, and all sorts of awesome because of it. While it was frustrating to find a good spot to shoot in town, the sight of all sorts of parents out there with there kids brought a big smile to my chilly cheeks. Special thanks to the race director for being so excellent about spreading the word on the photos!
The UMASS 5K started one hour after the Belchertown one, so it took a quick haul to get over there in time. Hundreds of runners threaded through campus, many of them students. I got a LOT of thumbs-ups and peace signs and big smiles at that one, there were a couple of spectacular costumes, and in general the mood was excellently positive; very fun.
The first Holyoke Elks Lodge race of the year got off to a late start (which I hear is not uncommon for that race), so by the time the runners got out to where I was by the reservoir (a very scenic spot in late afternoon light), it was 6:50PM and the sun had already sank behind the ridge just to the west so it was pretty dark. Adding to my irritability here was the fact that, although it had been a beautiful afternoon, the temperature had dropped fast and the wind was blowing about 15 miles an hour. I'd gone for a run around the reservoir beforehand and even though I was now wearing a bunch of extra layers and a hat I still got really cold standing around waiting. I ended up just giving up trying to take shots of the runners near the finish. I was up to 1600 ISO at f/4 and it was still too dark. Nevertheless, it's a cool race and I'll definitely go back later in the season.
I also managed to cram in 40 miles of running last week, about half of which were on trails. Psyched to run the short course at Traprock this Saturday (and hopefully take some shots of the 50K afterwards).
A highlight of any race is seeing parents out exercising with their kids. Seriously, it warms my heart, every time. I'm gonna do a whole blog post about this topic sometime soon.
Some favorite shots below
two from the Ron Hebert 8-Miler:
three from the UMASS 5K:
two from the 5K in Belchertown:
four from the first Holyoke Elks Lodge 5K of 2013: