Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Black Hole That Swallows Road Race Pictures

Anyone who has every participated in a road race knows that there are dozens of photographers placed throughout the course.  At the major mile markers you are encouraged to pretend you're not in pain and smile for the cameras.  For runners like me who go into a bit of a trance when they run and are oblivious to other runners and people on the sideline this is especially important.  I have had too many sad/angry/pained looking faces memorialized forever in pictures.  

My husband on the other hand has hundreds of fantastic shots from races. He loves hamming it up for the camera and the camera definitely loves him.  He has even been known to upstage someone else's photo op because he started posing for his moment early and photobombed their shot.  Since I met my husband I have prided myself on paying attention to where the photographers are on the course and posing for pictures.

In the past, I would receive an e-mail encouraging me to check out my pictures on the race website and order my favorite shots.  Or a local running club or newspaper would post hundreds of pictures that anyone could download for free.  But lately I don't know where the pictures have gone.  There are still dozens of photographers along the course but I never see those pictures.  It's frustrating because I love creating scrapbooks of all of our races but without the photos there really isn't much to commemorate the day.  

I see people running with cameras and holding up the course taking pictures of themselves and their friends.  I don't want to be one of those people but it seems like I might have to if I want a memory from the day.  It would be different if I didn't see any photographers along the course but there seem to be more than ever now. My $20-100 registration fee per race should at least guarantee me access to photos of myself participating in the event.  I have e-mailed the local running club that sponsors the races and never received a response.  

Is this like the left socks that disappear into some black hole in the back of the dryer?  Is there some random cache of pictures of average runners just waiting to be discovered.  Should I stop and ask each photographer on the course where I can find their pictures after the race?  It may seem like a petty issue but when you get used to having pictures of yourself being an athlete, it's a disappointment to have those pictures taken away.  

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