Tuesday, May 6, 2014

2014 Seven Sisters Trail Race

Sunday was the annual Seven Sisters Trail Race here in western MA. Twelve grueling miles of rocky climbing and descending on an out-and-back course along the M-M Trail in the Holyoke Range. A record number of runners participated this year, and by the looks of it most of them had a blast. At least that's how it appeared to me taking photos just before the turnaround, as an extraordinary number of them mustered the energy and enthusiasm to leap and bound around like the maniacs they surely are.

I had a great time shooting, but prior to that my morning was kind of a disaster, and it's amazing I got to do it at all. About two hours earlier, I'd gone to the start of a local marathon, but after one picture my D600 crapped out on me. The mirror locked up completely and nothing I did would fix it. I had to forgo shooting a race I had promised the race director and others I would be a professional race photographer for. I can't express enough the embarrassment, shame, humiliation, helplessness, anger, and despair I felt.

After a frantic call home to my girlfriend, she brought me my spare camera (my old D300), because I was too stupid to have brought it with me. I told her what to grab (the camera and a spare battery) (neglected to ask for the charger or a spare memory card) and she saved my butt. I had no time to spare to make it over to Seven Sisters, and raced to the turnaround, parked, and hiked out on the trail.

Well, the battery in the camera only had half a charge, and the spare had NO charge. And the D600 batteries (of which I had three, each fully charged) don't work in the D300. So I had half a battery on an old DX camera (my good lenses are FX) with one pint-sized memory card to shoot a high-profile trail race with. Great.

I managed to make the most of it though, and got shots of the bulk of the racers before running out of both card space and battery juice (at the same time, coincidentally). See the full gallery here.

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