Monday, June 29, 2009

Rock'n Roll Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon

I am back from a whirlwind trip to Seattle. The alarm clock was set to 4:45 AM Saturday morning and we left the hotel near the airport around 5:30 AM for our post at the 6.2 mile marker. This was a beautiful location on the water and the subdivision was almost eerie quiet in the early morning hour. That of course was all about the change as we were expecting 25.000 marathon and half marathon runners to come our way any minute. Five photographers were stationed here. Three in a lift above the road and two of us on the side of the road. The objective was to capture as many racers as possible. And then they came. For well over two hours it didn't let up. It was great. I was shooting so many runners that it felt like my hand was frozen solid to the camera. I could hardly move it. I am exaggerating a bit but it was quite an experience to sit there for a what felt like a small eternity and see that the waves of people just kept coming. The sight of the photographers brought out the Wohoo's and victorious cheers in the runners.

We then regrouped and moved to the finishing line, which was located in the centre of Seattle right next to Safeco Field. A great atmosphere awaited us here. Thousands of people gathered up cheering for friends or family members.

I covered the finish line for the remainder of the day and it is truly inspiring to sit there and watch the runners come in, one by one, each with a different stride and story. Some run with a coach, some with their training partners, one guy with a T-shirt saying "I am doing this for my dad". One image will stay with me forever. A woman in her late forties crossed the finishing line and just broke down crying. Her knees were a bit shaky and you could tell it had been a tough journey. The finish line is of course the goal for many hours of training and often the culmination and end chapter of a personal story. I will have to admit that several times I was brought close to tears by the sheer outpouring of emotions in the finish area. It certainly has given my new inspiration to keep up the training program for my first half marathon, which I now have planned to enter on the Thanks Giving weekend in Victoria.

NB. Unfortunately I cannot show actions photos from this event in my blog as these go straight to ASI Action Sports International.

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