This post is out of order in terms of my weekend, but these photos had to be edited sooner than later. We will get to Friday’s Rehearsal Dinner later this week.
Saturday Morning (yes, capitalized) started at 3:15 AM. Friday night ended at 2:15 A.M.
Woke up, got gear together, kissed sweetie on the forehead and off to meet up with Jake at his house in west Austin. He had a hot cup of green tea waiting for me, good man. We packed up the gear into his truck, and set sail for the trails of Bandera where we were to photograph the race for 12 hours or so.
The plan was for me to sleep on the ride out, yeah, that didn’t happen. Me and Jake were doing what photographers do when not actually shooting, we talked about gear.
Stopped in Bandera for some donut holes and kolaches. My brain was fuzzy upon entering the little shop but the conversation went like this:
Me: One kolache for 95 cents, Half Dozen for $5.95?
Me: Is my math wrong? or are they charging a bundling fee?
Jake: (something about arbitrage)
Me: arbitrage is a big word pre-dawn.
Jake: We can go outside and resell them, make up for it in Volume!
We laughed about this the rest of the day.
Ambled over to the start of the race. Took one step out of the car – Shiny it was cold
Can you see Jake’s frozen breath?
Apparently it was 8 degrees at the start. Ice was on the ground throughout the day in the shade. Brrr.
I got the gig to travel up the second hill climb, with strobes, food, water, and camera gear. In normal temperatures this wouldn’t be an issue for me, but I was dressed like Ralphie’s little brother in “A Christmas Story”, so my mobility was hindered all day. Made it to the a lechugilla cactus gauntlet where I shot for the first 3 hours of the morning.
My setup shot here at the lechugilla gauntlet
After the last of the runners passed through, I headed down the mountain to the finish area, then over to my spot in the woods. I found my trusty log from last years 50 miler and plopped my stuff down. Got the strobes setup again for the runners and whaddya know? Erik Stanley (StanFan) shows up to goof off.
For those that don’t know, Erik is part of Team Rogue Elite, and is a coach for Rogue Training Systems. He is also really fast, like sub 2:30 marathon fast. yowzahs. He is also a goof ball as here he is giving the victory sign to the imaginary crowd.
I stayed in the woods till about 3pm. Made some friends along the way, guys from Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico. All with the trail runners vibe. diggin it.
Headed back to the crowd, Rick had his new 300 f2.8 IS lens attached to a 1d3 body. Decided that would be fun to handhold for 5 minutes, so I walked around to hand hold it for as long as I could. Made it about 3 minutes, then handed off the 15 pound behemoth to Jake and shot finish lines photos for a bit.
In my lack of sleep delirium I figured it would be wise to ask the race director where some good sunset shots with runners would be. He pondered a bit, then pointed to a far reaching hill and said, “There”. I took off with all my gear in tow. Camera around Neck, Camera Backpack on both shoulders, Strobes and Stands on Right Shoulder, Food and Water on Left Shoulder. 2 mile hike out and up. 10 pictures with runners in them. 2 mile hike back and down in the dark and cold. Still, it was worth it. Why? Because one of the runners never saw me until the strobes fired, and she jumped, accusing me of being a mountain lion. She was delirious and sleep deprived too apparently.
Grabbed some Sonic in Bandera (who forgot my corn dogs), and headed home. Edited 1500 photos on Sunday and posted that PM. Long Weekend done.
The event photos are/will be at www.endurophoto.com
Jake is at Jake North Photography