Fodderstack 10K Road Race

The Fodderstack 10k, held every April, is both the most difficult and the most beautiful road race I know of. Back when I was running in the 90's and early 20's it was easily my favorite, the one race I never missed. It's difficult because of its generally hilly nature - but also because of the obscenely steep hill at the 4-mile mark. But what gives the race its character is the beautiful, rustic countryside it runs through. When you're running along hurting like hell and wondering why in the world you paid - PAID! - to do this, all you have to do is raise your eyes from the asphalt and gaze out across the bucolic landscape. Its beauty takes your breath away... if you have you any left. And suddenly it doesn't seem to hurt quite so bad.

My long commute doesn't allow me much time for running these days. But my wife Ginny remains a dedicated runner (she's far more serious about it than I ever was) and I still usually make it out there - usually on my motorcycle - to try and get a few pics.

A word about race photography... in a perfect world I would get a couple of nice, clean shots of each and every runner. Perfectly composed, tightly cropped, and with the runner in a full, classic race stride. Alas, that's a tall order. In the real world, there's a river of people flowing by. Grabbing a quick focus on each one is difficult, especially as runners obscure one another, all while everyone is moving. Then you add the fact that this race is hard, and people are struggling through it, exhibiting a variety of physical contortions, and you end up with a fast-moving human tapestry which is very challenging to photograph.

Said differently, many of the images here fail to meet normal photographic norms for composition. I provide them here because if you're a runner, all that photographer-shakes-his-head-at-the-person-cut-off-at-the-edge-of-the-frame stuff really isn't all that important.

My congratulations to all those who have run the Fodderstack!


2010 Fodderstack 10K

Another perfect day for this year's Fodderstack!


2009 Fodderstack 10K

A beautiful spring day greeted runners this year. Cool in the morning, but with brightly clear skies.