Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Race Photos People

A few weeks ago I did a general callout on Twitter and Facebook asking people for what I should blog about.  It was a pretty shameless ploy to come up with new material, sort of like CNN when they decided to layoff a bunch of their reporting staff and push their whole iReport initiative.  Basically offloading the work of actually coming up with story ideas, and delegating it off to the people who actually pay to watch the network in the first place.

Anyways, one of the ideas came from @BobHatcher2 and he actually asked what was my favourite race photo I'd ever had taken of me.  It was actually a really great question.  And while I can't really say I have a single favourite, I thought I'd bring up the topic for you all to think about this race season.

When you're in a well organized race, there's going to be photographers there to take your picture.  You'll have action shots, finish line shots, maybe some blooper shots, etc.  But right now, its important you ask yourself, what kind of race photo am I?  Here are your options;

Pippa Middleton, the Happy Racer
The Happy Racer- You're happy just to be finishing and racing today.  You've come a long way and you've Facebook'd, Tweet'd, Instagram'd, Blogged, and Tumblr'd every moment leading up to today's race.  When you see the camera you smile with a grin that would make Jack Nicholson's Joker jealous, you give the camera a hang loose with your pinky and thumb out even though you're not actually Hawaiian, and you do your best to click your heals or reach for the sky as you cross the finish line even if it means ruining someone else's photo.  Happy racer, your fellow racers both revile you and admire you because you look so happy doing something we're trying to make look so hard.

Inopportune- aka Me
The Angry Racer- You, the angry racer, you don't even look at the camera.  You're way too badass for that.  As a matter of fact, even a fleeting glance at the camera would be a brand destroying lapse in judgement because it would indicate that 100% of your focus wasn't on passing the next guy.  As you pass every other person on the road, you give them "the stare" and do your best to make them feel like Jan Ullrich being dropped.  Even before and after the race, when others are taking pictures, you still avoid looking directly at the camera because you know that the perfect profile shot has you looking 20 degrees to the right of the photographer, just like in the movies.  Angry racer, unless you're racing Ironman, try to look happy when you finish the race. (As an Ironman and Ironman finish line catcher, I can say fairly that Ironman triathletes are so exhausted by the end that they get a free pass on this one).

The Bomber- We all know you're out there photobomber.  You're the guy who for some reason needs that extra 5 seconds once you hit the finish chute, so you break into a sprint and then throw your arms out to ruin someone else's finish line photo.  I was even there that time you plowed over that kid who was running across to put the finish line back up.  Dude, you've got to back off, no one likes you.  Earn that extra 5 seconds at the beginning of the race, not the end, or better yet, realize that the 5 seconds don't matter because you're not in the Olympics.  You've ruined thousands of Happy Racer's photo's, and you've pissed off thousands more Angry Racers.  Next time you're coming down the chute, back off 5 seconds so the photographer can actually get a shot of you and the other person in the chute separately.

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy
The Inopportune- You tripped over the finish line as you crossed the line and the camera captured a picture of you flying forward into the pavement while the finish line catchers look on in shock and dismay.  Or perhaps your best race face was obstructed by someone dropping the hammer in a Carl Sagan out of the saddle effort.  Maybe every one of your finish photos is of you looking down and pushing "Stop" or "Lap" on your Garmin 910xt.  My friend, you have to be more careful and mindful of the camera.  When you see a photographer 100m away, zip up your jersey, wipe off your brow, fix your run stride, and smile for the camera.

Ridiculously Photogenic Guy- *Slow clap* You're kind of a happy racer, but your anonymity gives you a little more cache.  Your combination of good run form and a cheerful but not obnoxious in a Glee way makes you the runner we all want to be.  Ridiculously photogenic guy, we salute you.

What about you? What kind of racer photo person are you? Vote on the poll to the right!