Confessions of a Reformed Marching Band Geek

The Love and Hate of Race Photos

on December 13, 2012
So over the past month I’ve run three races where they took pictures. I didn’t even look at the ones from the Run4Pie (mostly because I couldn’t find them on their site). The ones from the Turkey Trot and Santa Hustle made me shake my head in wonder.
Here’s the thing. Race pictures are either amazingly awesome or horrendously awful. For example, the pictures from the Turkey Trot make me look like I am the turkey. I look puffy and miserable. The Santa Hustle pictures make me look slim and athletic. They were only a week apart. I’d love to think I lost that much weight over that week, but it was really only about two pounds. I’d post them for you, but I’m too cheep to pay $40 for permission to share them with you. Sorry!
Here’s the psychology of runners like me. I joke that I have a runner’s mind and a couch potato’s thighs. I don’t have a running body (check out the Jump Around Turkeys post). My weight fluctuates like politician’s views of anything that can impact their chances for re-election. It’s hit or miss what I’m going to look like at any given race. I KNOW this, but while I’m running (on a good running day) I don’t FEEL like this.
On a great running day I feel like a super model. I am thin. I am amazing. I can conquer the world. I actually LOOK FORWARD to my race photos because I want to see what amazing looks like. Sadly, this is not what they capture. I usually look frumpy and like medics should be at least following me if not chasing me down with a stretcher. Sigh.
Honestly, you’d think that race photographers would keep this in mind while they are taking and sharing our pictures. A little photoshop to take out that little roll around the race bib-I’d probably pay for that. Some kind of digital trickery to make me look like I feel-I’d find a little extra money for that. Take a picture from an angle that doesn’t emphasize my weight and age-I’ll totally pay for that!

I have paid for some race pictures. I did from my first race (just for proof that I did it and survived. It’s on the fridge), from the first half marathon where I finished and didn’t think about ibuprofen, ice packs, and chopping my feet off at the ankles (I bought the entire package. The pictures were that good), and from another half where they did a great job of capturing the reason WHY I run (but I was too cheep for the digital prints. Someday I’ll get around to scanning and sharing them. Someday.) I’m not difficult (OK, maybe I’m asking for too much) I just want decent race photos. I’ll even share a good one to prove that I am not a complete race picture snob, but I WON’T be investing in Christmas ornaments with it on them. Just for the record. No matter how thin and awesome I look!

Chicago Half Marathon 9.11.11

Chicago Half Marathon 9.11.11


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