Note: We’re trying something new here. This is a guest post written by my wife, Tawny, a.k.a @FiveFeetofFuryVT on Instagram
This past weekend Ben and I headed down to Rutland Mass for the Spartan Sprint. I have been racing for years and all along the way Ben has been on the sidelines. I am so fortunate to not only have my biggest fan cheering me on, but he also takes amazing photos! I mean, could I be any luckier?
This past weekend was extra special though as I got to race with my brother, who is more competitive and races elite most of the time, and for the first time – my dad! Chris raced the elite heat first thing in the morning before joining my dad and I for more laid back open heat mid-day.
The initial forecasts called for rain most of the day with a chance of thunderstorms but we lucked out. The skies were gray but the rain held and we were left with perfect racing weather to go along with the great company. The trails were muddy and wet but that just adds to the fun.
My dad only did a small bit of training before the race so we worked as a team to get through some of the obstacles. Some he concurred like a champ while only needing a little assistance on others. He even successfully completed the 20′ rope climb. How many 60+-year-olds can say that?
Ben and I stopped by the store on the way home from the race to print up some of these beauties for Father’s Day. I am so proud of my dad and was honored to run by his side this past weekend and so thankful to have some beautiful photos for him to display at work.
2013 Stowe Derby photos are available online and indexed by bib number. Find yourself,order a print to relish the day. Or find a friend and order a print to mock their crash!
Another Stowe Derby is in the books. Congratulations to everyone involved! We were lucky enough to get some snow in the week prior to the race and conditions were nearly perfect. Warm weather on race day even made it a pleasure to stand on a mountain side for hours at a time!
My day starts with checking in and heading over to the short course start. This year, the scenery was beautiful as the first few hundred yards of the course came through the tree-lined Stowe Recreation Path. The fresh snow on the branches makes for an ideal backdrop.
While I’m shooting the start, Tawny gets settled near the end of the course. Some years, this vantage point provides a beautiful mountain backdrop, but this year we were socked in up on the hill. You can’t win them all!
After shooting the start of the short course, I head to the top of the mountain and get settled on turn one. The mountain was really quiet this year and I could clearly hear the “boop, boop, boop, boop, beep!” of the starting bell. Many of the first racers came flying around the first corner with apparent ease. You have my admiration.
Others had some trouble navigating the ice down the center, the powdery ruts along the outside, or the divots from prior competitors’ falls. You have my sympathy.
I think the photo below is my favorite position. I seem to capture one of these every year. This one scores a perfect 10.
As usual, spirits were high and most of the people that fell popped right back up with smiles on their faces. I especially liked the tutu troop’s costumes this year! A fun splash of color on a grey day.
In preparation for the classical start, I headed down the toll road a little ways to one of the more popular corners. When I arrived, it looked like many more people went over the edge than normal, but the patroller on scene said he felt it was about normal. Stowe Ski Patrol did a great job at padding the trees and saplings in the landing zone, though, and even coached skiers through extracting themselves from a difficult position. Props to them.
The classic skiers seemed to have it dialed through the corner.
Well… some did, but if you didn’t clean this corner don’t feel bad — you’re in good company.
This is Ray. He suffered some equipment issues… he broke the duckbill off of his boot while warming up at the start! Never the less, and with the assistance of a little electrical tape provided by a liftie, he started and finished the race. (Did I mention he’s skiing on his grandfather’s Bonna 1800 skis?)
Back in near the finish, skiers always round this corner and start looking for the finish. You’re almost there!
More equipment failures, apparently. This is dedication, though. He’s not walking to the finish, he was running when he passed Tawny and running when he arrived at the finish line about 1k later. How long did you run?
The nice part about being down here is that people will wander about and sometime stay to chat for a few minutes. Some people are just out to walk the dogs and others are in town on vacation, only learning of the Stowe Derby from their waitress at breakfast.
Hey wait – I recognize you!
When the action is over on the mountain, I head to the finish to catch some relieved looks as people round the last corner and cross the finish line. This guy had a mob of kids pushing him to the finish.
Careful! Just a few more yards! (He stayed upright)
On Sunday, August 19th, 2012, the USA Triathlon Sprint Nationals came to Burlington, VT. I was busy for the Olympic distance race the previous day. Around 8am, I was able to open my front door and wander onto my porch with cup of tea to enjoy the bike leg. The wheels really hum when the riders are coming down the street at 25MPH! For about 2 hours, our road was a constant stream of cyclists on their out-and-back route. It was fun to cheer them on and see them pushing so hard. I couldn’t help but grab my camera and take a few photos.
I hadn’t seen these before. Looks like a great way to speed up transitions. How well do they pedal?
My favorite competitor, below. (No relation, however..)
You can find all photographs from the Stowe Derby right here. You can even search by bib number to order a print of yourself (or a friend!) Thanks for supporting your local photographers!
Our Stowe Derby day starts by swinging by registration to check in, pick up a lift ticket, and coordinate any last minute details. The early bib pickup system has made this process a lot easier; it used to be that there was a long line of people waiting to pick up their race packets, but now it’s a calm trickle of people.
From there, Tawny and I head to find scout a location with a view of the mountains. With the re-routed course this year, we took a few extra minutes to find a new spot. Once that’s settled upon, I rush back to the start of the short course to grab a few quick shots of the chaos that is a mass start.
While the racers are making their way back towards Tawny,
I head up to Stowe Mountain Resort to get set for the Freestyle start. The first skiers come through fast and gracefully.
It’s funny photographing on the Toll Road. I like to shoot around the first corner to get some interaction between racers (and, I’m not gonna lie, to get some great crashes.) The thing is, it’s a blind corner so I do a lot of listening to know when to shoot. Generally, the first sound you hear is skis snowplowing down the first pitch before the corner. Next, the less experienced racers will often let out a little (or sometimes big!) scream as they realize they have to turn more than 90 degrees and have no edges. From there many will fall, but nearly everyone gets up laughing.
Scrape, Scream, Fall, Laugh – the pattern continues for quite some time!
This year there were definitely some powder hounds who had to get fresh tracks where they could.
I’m not sure what it was this year, but skiers took this corner wide and a number of people came close to the wall.
A few even hit it!
Racers then continue through the bulk of the course before reaching Tawny’s spot with views of a freshly snow-covered Spruce mountain with blue skies. Hard to beat that!
So about two hours later it all begins again with the start of the Classical race. A little further down on the course this time, a crowd has gathered to watch the carnage.
This guy makes it look too easy.
When the last racers have come through, I pack up my gear and head to the finish. Tawny captures everyone in the field with the mountains or Smuggler’s Notch in the background and I get to watch racers smile as they realize they’re within a few hundred yards of the finish.
Nice work everyone! I look forward to doing it all again next year! (When, hopefully, I’ll remember the sunblock.)
You can find all photographs from the Stowe Derby right here. You can even search by bib number to order a print of yourself (or a friend.) Thanks for supporting your local photographers!
Run Vermont had a huge turnout for this year’s First Run! Maybe it had something to do with the temps in the 30’s and no weather to speak of. An estimated 900 runners of all ages showed up, many in costumes, all with smiles.
I know it was warm out… but running in bare feet in January? Brrrrrr!
When the final runners came through, the police trail car was playing music through the loudspeaker and people were dancing and skipping their way towards the finish line.
Nice job everyone! Thanks, Run Vermont, for hosting another great race. SkiPix.com will have all of the photos available in a few days.
This past Saturday, Race Vermont held their annual Spring Half Marathon. I’ve photographed a number of events for them and they’re always a good time; this one was no exception. The weather forecast threatened rain, but we only got the lightest of sprinkles during the event. The flooding in Vermont meant that Rayne had to reroute the course a little bit and, thankfully, Shelburne Farms was willing to accommodate him.
There was a good sized crowd at the start as last-minute race details were covered (including the standard no-iPod rule) and then they were off.
After the pack takes off, I relocated to Shelburne Farms’ South Gate and waited for the runners to arrive.
This guy was taking advantage of the change of scenery and cheering on the runners as they passed.
Congratulations to everyone that ran! I hope you enjoyed your morning as much as I did. All of these photos and more are available on SkiPix.com!