I just got back from photographing the 2011 Competitor.com San Diego Marathon. It was a beautiful weekend and I met a bunch of great people along the way. I was able to capture some great images as well. While scouting out my route for where I would capture my images I stopped a San Diego Police Officer and asked him my best route. It turned out he was an avid photographer and had some great suggestions for my route and some locations to stop at that I was unaware of. I also stopped into a great shop in downtown San Diego and met Jason at 5&A Dime, this is a cool shop that sells hats, shirts and other fashions. Jason posed for a few photos and I was on my way. My wife and I walked all over downtown, stopping along the way for food and drinks when needed. The evening approached and my Police friend recommended a place in Balboa park called The Prado. It was very nice and not too expensive, the service was exceptional. Then I walked out to my truck and grabbed my gear, walked about 1 block to the reflection pond and captured a couple of great sunset images. After returning to our hotel we were surprised to find a very loud wedding reception. I called the front desk and hoped they might respect a 10pm guest noise ordinance, but unfortunately it would continue past midnight. With my wife running and me photographing the event I had to be up at 4am. It was tough rolling out of bed at 4am with less than 4 hours of sleep.
Race day, holly cow traffic was a disaster! Thank goodness I have a very good internal compass. My GPS kept trying to take me in the wrong direction, and I wound up on a back street that lead me almost directly to the designated area I needed to be at. If we had gotten on the freeway I would have never made it, the traffic was backed up for miles. I had to arrive much earlier to get a parking space and setup my equipment. Once the race drew closer I decided to stand in a very crazy spot, the center of the race course. The road was divided and had a large stand of balloons that I stood against. This way I was out of sight from the cameras behind me and the racers went by on both sides. It was crazy as the racers sped by, many of them brushed my shoulders just missing a collision with me. After about half of the racers had started I moved positions and walked to several different locations trying to find anything that would make for a great image. After most of the racers passed by I decided it was time to head to the finish line and pick up my wife. For her it was a great race, very beautiful race course and also a new personal record.
I have a great time photographing these events, I always meet great new friends and the excitement of getting a great shot and arriving on time always gets me pumped up.
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