Ah, race photos. We love them, we hate them. We pray that we will get at least one good one where our faces aren’t contorted and we don’t look like we are one step from death. A great race photo is in fact a rare thing. I have run many, many races in just a few shot years and only have a small handful of race photos I actually like. Below is my all time favorite, taken at the runDisney Princess half marathon in 2012. I’m smiling, and my body isn’t in a weird position. To be fair, I didn’t “race” this race which is why I look all fresh and happy….but still, it counts, and remains my all-time favorite.
I wanted to share some of my favorites with you, but first I thought it would be fun to share some not so great ones. To be honest, these aren’t terrible because well…I don’t keep the crappy ones, but the reasons why I dislike a lot of these has to do with the race itself and the memories the photo brings back. So I will share some of my least favorite that I still have, then some of my favorites (and why). here we go!
Run for Life half marathon October 2010. This was my 3rd half marathon, and it was in early October in Mississippi = HOT. It didn’t start until 9:00, so temps were already in the 80’s and sunny, with no shade. I was determined to PR, even though it was the first half I had run by myself and I was a bit nervous. I almost got hit by a car that didn’t stop when the police officer said to, and I was BORED to tears by this course. I thought I would die of a heat stroke, and it was my first experience with a big mental battle during a race. I still remember fighting back and forth in my mind about stopping and walking. I won the mental battle, and was rewarded with a 3 minute PR. But I hated that race if you can’t tell by the look on my face.
Gulf Coast Half Marathon 2011, Mandeville, LA. I ran with TNT and got a 4 minute PR. This race was fun but I was stupid and forgot to wear sunglasses. We ran the length of the lakefront directly into the sun and it blinded me, as you can see. I look a little goofy….
Women’s Half Marathon December 2012, Baton Rouge, LA. Ah, the heartbreaker. I was primed to PR, but it was when I was struggling with calf cramps. This was one of those races where I just didn’t “feel it” from the very beginning and knew it would be a long race. I missed my PR by less than a minute if I remember correctly, and was pretty unhappy as I crossed the finish line. Isn’t THAT a pretty face.
August 2011, Rock n Roll Providence Half Marathon. Oy. This was the inaugural race, and I was VERY out of shape. I worked the runnngskirts.com booth and was exhausted with tired legs, not to mention since it was August I was NOT in half marathon shape. Of course I had to run anyway even though I knew my time would suck on this hilly course. To make matters worse, I was going to barely make my plane, and the race STARTED LATE and then it monsooned, MONSOONED rain the ENTIRE 13.1 miles. It was so, so miserable. I was soaked to the bone for days it seemed. I just wanted this race to be over! You can tell in the puddles in the photo that it was raining and well, my shirt isn’t supposed to be that color. My skirt almost started to slide down it was so heavy with water!
Now that THAT ugly part is over, here are some of my favorites:
Princess marathon weekend Tangled 5k, 2011. Ran with some fellow bloggers and had SO much fun, which I think is pretty obvious.
This picture is from the Women’s half I spoke of earlier, but threw this one in because it’s actually a decent picture.
Ah, my first marathon, 2011 Disney marathon. We took it slow and had a blast.
Princess half marathon 2013. Love this because 1.) Running in a costume is awesome 2.) It was a SUPER fun race 3.) Where my current PR stands. I am waving like a princess running down main street. It was SO humid that morning, I was already drenched at this point.
Disney marathon 2013. Another fun race, the second leg of Goofy’s challenge, running through Animal Kingdom. I knew I was going to make it, and was enjoying myself!
Rock n Roll New Orleans 2012. This finish line photo shows me on the brink of exhaustion, but it means a lot to me because I pushed SO hard to PR in this race. I worked the expo again for running skirts, so was pretty tired. Bobby paced me because I wanted to PR so badly. I remember pushing so hard at the end and telling him I didn’t think I could do it, but I did somehow! We were blessed with great weather that day, too.
Disneyland half marathon 2012. You can just SEE how much fun I am having in this picture. I loved running in California, NO HUMIDITY! I was ecstatic, I didn’t know what to do with myself, Running was SO much easier. We weren’t even trying and I was just a few minutes off a PR just because I could breath. It was a very cool race.
Disney half marathon 2010. This one means a lot because it was my VERY FIRST half marathon. I knew nothing about running then and had JUST started to blog and read blogs. It was freezing that day, 23 degrees and sleeting. My pigtails had hardened and had ice on them. I have never been so cold. But we did it and it started an addiction to runDisney.
Again, not for the race but for the photo. This race was actually a disaster, the day after I got off a cruise and was land sick. I ran this race nauseated the whole time and ended up in urgent care after. Oh joy. But I like the picture! I look relatively normal.
Jazz half marathon 2012. I really enjoyed this race up until mile 9 when I had my first calf cramping episode ever. I was actually feeling great and smiling the whole time and just enjoying myself and the race, it was such a great feeling and makes me remember why I run in the first place.
So there you have it, some of the worst and some of the best of my race photo collection.
*You can find recaps to all these races and more on my races page under “running”.
QOTD: Do you ever buy race photos? Do you judge a race photo by just how it looks or also from the memories of the race it brings back? Would you be interested if I did a post on reader’s best and worst race photos?