Thursday, May 14, 2015

2015 Wapack and Back Trail Races

Last year an "equipment issue" (euphemism for My Nikon Crapped Out On Me) kept me from returning to the Wapack and Back Trail Races. Since running the other Wapack Race (from Windblown to Watatic and back) in 2013, I've been wanting to take shots of runners up on the semi-open ridge portion of New Ipswich Mountain, and this year I got the chance.

Ideally the skies would be deep blue with nice puffy white clouds, but it was not to be, sadly. I got a couple of shots like that early on, where, with a little post-processing push, there was nice blue and good cloud contrast. But soon afterwards the weather really changed and it got hazy and muggy. I was definitely not the only one to notice; many runners really began to suffer late in the day. I saw seasoned ultra runners get knocked down pretty hard by the heat (to their credit, many of them got back up and kept going). The other issue of the day was voracious blackflies, which were out in force. I cloned a lot of little fuzzy black dots out of these shots, and they weren't dust or oil spots.

Special cheers to Chris Agbay for being a wicked good volunteer and impromptu first-aid / heat exhaustion helper at the Binney Pond aid station, and to Jesse Veinotte for very successfully pulling off his first race directing gig. Anyway, here's the full photo gallery, and here's a sampling of some of the shots:

Men's 21.5-Mile Trail Race winner Ryan Welts on New Ipswich Mtn. in the Wapack Range

Women's 21.5-Mile Trail Race winner Kristina Folcick-Welts on New Ipswich Mtn. in the Wapack Range

Jeremy Merritt on New Ipswich Mtn. in the Wapack Range

A 50-mile ultra trail racer on New Ipswich Mtn. in the Wapack Range

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