Saturday, July 27, 2013

Inside the Start of the Men's US Mountain Running National Championships

One of the things I love about photographing Mountain Running is the mix of elite athletes and weekend warriors.  Last weekend I photographed the Cranmore Hill Climb in North Conway, NH.  The race served not only as a citizen race in the New England Mountain Running Series, but also as the US Mountain Running National Championships and the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association Championships (NACAC).  I made these images about 150 yards from the start of the men's race and thought combining them into this video might be an interesting way to show you what I mean.

I was hunkered down on an inside corner and the race thundered past for about a minute just a foot from my lens.  At the front, you see some of the best runners in the country... former US Mountain Running Team members Glenn Randall, Tommy Manning, race winner Joe Gray and 2011 World Champion Max King. The top 6 men selected the team that will represent the United States at the World Championships in Poland in the fall.  You'll also see members of the national teams of Mexico and Canada competing for the NACAC title.  As the race streams by, sponsored runners, regional standouts, local heroes and the guy next door are all part of the field.  All athletes are competing on the same course towards their personal goals... whether that is to be national champion, make the US Team, grab NACAC honors, beat a rival, set a personal best or just plain finish.  Pure sport with no pretension.

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