Taking pictures of people running is hard!

Major props to those of you taking pictures of people running. I suck at it.

I was out at Pittsburgh’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis on Saturday morning looking for people in jeans. I couldn’t dare ask something of all of you and not do it myself, right? So I was out on a sunny but cold December day in Pittsburgh.

I was positioned at about the 1-mile mark with coffee in one hand and camera in the other. In total LOSER fashion, I missed getting pictures of the first two people  in jeans that ran by me.  Both times, I was so excited that I pressed the “power” button instead of the “take picture” button on my camera. So lame, I know. In my defense, I am not much of a picture-taking person. The extent of my photography experience is limited to fuzzy pictures of my old crap that I sell on eBay.

My only “good” shot of someone running in jeans isn’t all that good given that the guy isn’t centered at all and is almost completely obscured by the little girl running with him:

I then went to the 2-mile mark in hopes of catching the people that I losered-out on during my first attempt. No luck. But I did snap a pic of this kid in jeans. I know it is against the rules of this site, but I can do what I want. Pfft.

And then there were these two that, I SWEAR on my dead dogs’ graves, stopped running right in front of me. In your mind, picture them 5 seconds earlier making jogging motions.

I recognize that these pics may possibly comprise the worst race photo gallery EVER. Can you even imagine how bad they were before all the cropping and enhancing?  And who else needs big red arrows to point out the object of the photo? Loser Jill, that’s who.

Being on the sidelines of this race made me a bit sad. At the start of this year, I vowed to run every 10K or less race that touched the downtown/North Shore/Oakland area of Pittsburgh. I ran eight races. The Jingle Bell Run would have made nine. But, unfortunately, I have asthma symptoms that I can manage as long as I’m not sucking in frigid air. With the day’s sub-30 degree temperatures, I had to pass on the race. 😦

Fortunately, there were many things that brought me joy on the sidelines:

1. Holiday festiveness. There were lots of Santa and elf costumes, jingle bells on shoes, cute hats, candy cane striped socks, etc. The best, by far, was Santa WITH A SLED. He played the part by calling out to and encouraging his invisible reindeer. The runner up was a girl dressed as a present (no surprise that my picture of her is so bad that it is un-sharable).

2. Two guys in really ugly Christmas sweaters who screamed “take our picture” or something like that when they ran by me.

3. All the dogs running dressed in antlers and cute Christmas sweaters and outfits. Although this dog wasn’t dressed up, he was the only one with his own race number (his owner had her own number)! I’m going to check the results for a dog name and I’ll report back on his chip time. 🙂

4. And the number one thing that brought joy to me this day – this guy:

Even though he was in this photo, I didn’t notice him while I was stationed at my 1-mile post. But I did notice him at my 2-mile post. He is a big man. The picture above really doesn’t do justice to his size. When he RAN past me at the 2-mile post, I had to choke back tears. Why?

– Because runners less than half his size had stopped and were walking at this point.

– Because, running is hard. It is hard for those of us that aren’t carrying a couple extra hundred pounds. I know his joints had to be hurting from pounding the concrete for the past 20+ minutes, I know he was tired, and I’ll bet he wanted to stop and walk. Yet he was still running and giving it his all.

– Because, unlike so many other very overweight people, he has made a decision to do something for his health, for himself, for his family, and for those that love him.

And while I initially wasn’t going to write about him in this post, when I was looking at the pictures and saw that he was captured in one of my photos, I just had to give him a mention. To you, Mr. AwesomeRunnerInTheGreenTshirt, know that you have the biggest fan out there cheering you on in your continued quest to get healthy!!

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1 Comment

  1. Suzanne

     /  December 13, 2011

    Your dedication to the cause is commendable! Keep that camera snapping!


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