Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Trail Runner article

Psyched to note that I just had an article about the Grand Tree Trail Race Series published at Trail Runner Magazine's online site (link to the article here).

I used the Savoy Mountain Trail Race as a framing device, as that was a big favorite from last summer. For information about this year's series, check out the Western Massachusetts Athletic Club (WMAC)'s website here.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Snow and Nights

Now that winter has finally arrived PROPERLY (let's not have any more of those month-long spells of single digit temps with no snow to speak of, please), I've finally been able to get out and photograph some snowy winter races.

Yesterday, I hiked out onto the course of a small but well-organized snowshoe race put on by the North Medford Running Club in Baldwinville, MA (north of the Quabbin). Temps hovered around thirty and the sun was even out for a while. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits and enjoying the mid-day romp out in the woods and fields. Photo gallery here.

Then I zipped on down to the first race of the durtyfeets trail series at Douglas State Forest (southeast of Worcester). I got a nice jog in on the course before it started; the conditions were challenging but perfectly fair, considering. About a foot of fresh snow covered the trails, but snowmobiles had partially packed it down. Sometimes it felt like running in sand, but it wasn't too bad and I actually really enjoyed my run. The race began just after sunset, so I went back out to take shots of all the runners in what remained of the daylight about a quarter of a mile in. Then I set up my tripod and took long-exposure shots of the runners returning by headlamp light. Experimenting with having a flash go off at the end of the exposure, I came away with a couple of cool ghostly shots of runners trailed by the streaks of their own lights. Afterwards they put on an excellent festive barbeque down at the picnic area by the lake. Photo gallery here. A very fun day and night!

night run!

another one of those awesome father/daughter moments (just about the coolest thing ever)

road crossing at the snowshoe race

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Midwinter Ridge Run

This afternoon, I stuffed a backpack full of camera gear (DSLR, tripod, and a couple of lens choices), clothing (extra layers, hats, etc.), and some water, and set off for the summit of Mt. Tom. I started running at the Mountain Park gate on the Holyoke side and ran up the access road to the start of the B-17. The B-17 is a steep, straight, narrow paved utility road that angles right up to the towers at the summit of the mountain. It was mostly covered with about an inch of packed snow and ice, so I wore Yaktrax the whole way. I ran most of it, but walked one steep pitch just before the top (I blame it on the heavy backpack!).

Once at the top, I headed north along the ridge for some scenic winter ridge running, and stopped occasionally to set up the tripod for some self-portrait action shots. This was my first time using the ML-L3 remote shutter release, which I found a bit frustrating; it worked about half the time, but the shutter didn't fire all the other times, and that's not a very good success rate for photos. Here's a few shots I came away with:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Tom and Ron Boone 10K photos

Today I took photos at the Tom and Ron Boone Memorial 10K Road Race in Gardner, MA. Put on by the North Medford Running Club as part of their winter race series, it attracted a little over 40 determined runners and featured a staggeringly awesome table of prizes for such a small race. Not much more to say, except for that it started raining just before the start and kept on raining all the way through the race. Tough shooting conditions and a bit of a challenge for any runner not prepared for it, but I managed to come away with some pictures I'm proud of and most everyone seemed completely undaunted by the weather. Here's a preview gallery of photos (the full album should be up in a few days).

start of the 2014 Tom and Ron Boone Memorial 10K Road Race in Gardner, MA
start of the 2014 Tom and Ron Boone Memorial 10K Road Race in Gardner, MA

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Greenfield Winter Carnival 4-Miler photos

This morning, I took photos at mile 1 and mile 3 of the annual Greenfield Winter Carnival 4-Mile Run in Greenfield, MA. The weather was extremely nice for a race, especially after the round of wicked cold spells we've had around these parts recently. Here's a preview album of the race photos; I should have the full gallery up in a couple of days.

Afterwards, I headed out for a very satisfying 10-mile long run of my own down along the flats in Hatfield. On top of a hilly 5-mile tempo run yesterday, and capping off a 32-mile week, I feel pleasantly spent and appropriately back in the training groove!