It's been a couple weeks since I've had a chance to post here, and there are several reasons for that, some of which I don't care to delve into. One of them, however, is the basis of today's post: The inaugural running of the Park2Park Relay in Hendricks County, a race I alluded to in recent previous posts when I did a sort of "recon" of the 64+ mile course, taking photographs along the way.
The June 25 race, whose photography coverage I coordinated on behalf of the Indy Meetup Photo Club, is now history. Race organizers were blessed with a beautiful day; it was sunny start to finish, and temperatures never inched past 80 degrees. We had 15 IMUPC photographers spread across the expansive course, over which teams of six runners each took turns running 3- to 5-mile segments of the course's 18 legs so that, by race's end, each runner had covered an average of about 10 miles. Each team was allowed to have one team vehicle on the course to pick up the runner finishing an exchange, drop off the next runner and transport the non-running members to the next exchange point.
The race started at 6:30 a.m. in McCloud Nature Park in northwest Hendricks County, just southwest of North Salem. It was not a smooth start (top picture); one runner tripped over the rubber matting at the start line, causing runners around him to dodge around him as he hit the ground. The course finished at the county system's newest jewell, Sodalis Nature Park, in the southeast part of the county, not far from Indianapolis International Airport. Two teams of cross-country and track athletes from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., finished first and second overall, less than 4 minutes apart. The first-place North Salem Bank team covered the course in 6 hours, 9 minutes and 57.4 seconds, the Wabash Redpack in 6:13:49.6. The last team crossed the line at around 5:40 p.m. with a time of 11:10:08.8.
Thirty-seven teams finished the course. I was among a handful of those 15 photographers who followed the race from start to finish, taking the pictures along the way. My shot total numbered in excess of 1,000 images. What you see here are a few selected highlights of my shoot.
Above: A common scene throughout the day was a smiling face on a photographed runner. Though this image was taken early in the race -- on the first leg in McCloud Nature Park -- smiles would appear throughout the day.
Above: Organizers started the two Wabash teams at 7:30 a.m., an hour AFTER the others, because they feared they wouldn't have volunteers at key early relay exchange stations in time for the faster Wabash runners if they started them at the same time as the others. Runners were being timed electronically with a chip, so times would still reflect accurate times on the course. This is a shot of a second start at McCloud of just the two Wabash team runners. The team of the runner on the right finished first; the other, second.
Above and next two below: The shot above is aimed primarily to capture the isolation and separation that evolved among runners not long into the race. The two runners in the back were an interesting story. Only the woman with the BIB (015) in red shorts (also in closeups below) was an entered participant; the other must have been an acquaintance who joined her friend from start to finish for the duration of the legs that her friend would run this day. I decided to approach this apparent kinship in a silhouette monochrome as well.