For the start of the Fast Friends race I moved out into the road directly ahead of the runners and got this shot (at full zoom; I wasn't THAT close):
Nobody seemed to mind me being there, and I was able to scoot away well before the runners got near me. I had ample time to drive over near mile 3 or so and find a reasonable spot to shoot the runners once they'd spread out some. I parked near the small access road for Mt. Cresson (cool local conservation area; who knew??) and obsessively cleaned my camera filter glass until the runners arrived.
Eventually runners came by and I was able to photograph everyone, first to last (except for three walkers who were 13 minutes back; sorry, guys!). There were 147 finishers. Full race results at coolrunning.
Afterwards I went to the finish and caught up with three old friends from my Capital Multisport days (from when I lived in Concord, NH). There was also a very cool police dog demo going on, and the good people at Fast Friends let me go inside and meet one of the greyhound rescues (Enzo; I wanted to adopt her on the spot). All in all, it was an easy, stress-free photoshoot. Here's the complete photo gallery.
L: Enzo, the prettiest greyhound rescue; R: Deb Livernois, rockin' runner!
Then I drove down to Westfield. There was plenty of time and the drive was easy, but soon I realized this would be a very different shoot. For starters, it was a first-year 5K. And it was a run/walk (one that attracted both top regional talent and stroller-walkers alike). And there were 1114 finishers. Results at coolrunning.
And there was an official, downtown Westfield-based race photographer that the announcer kept promoting on the loudspeaker. There's no rule I'm aware of that says I can't shoot the same race, but I'd like very much to not step on anyone's toes. Anyway, I caught the first two finishers as they came across the line at Mach 1, then missed the next dozen or so top runners as I made my way back a quarter mile or so to the last turn in the road before the finish. Here, I took photos of runners and walkers non-stop for the next hour. My upper body was pretty kinked up and sore by the end! Full gallery here.
Congratulations to all the runners of these two races. I'm so impressed with how many New Englanders turned out for great causes and good exercise on a late March weekend.
L: whee! R: whee!