Monday, November 9, 2009

My First Triathlon, Big Rock at Lake Perris

I covered my first Triathlon this past Saturday, Nov. 7th 2009. Location was Lake Perris in the Inland Empire, by March AFB off the 215. Photo above was taken before the race start at the swim leg. It was here on the lake shore I really wish I had a water housing but was happy to get a frame before my main priority.

I was contracted for this event and just happy to be shooting again. I have done quite a bit of editing during the MLB playoffs for Reuters here in Southern California and even a game at the Honda Center for a Ducks Hockey game. It was great to put a view finder back in my line of sight versus staring at the glow of a laptop.

Fellow Sportsshooter member Osamu Chiba hired me as an additional photographer for his company Opix that specialized with race coverage. Really cool character and hope to work with his one more.

Osamu's main site:

Osamu's Sportsshooter page:

Objective is simple, clean, sharp images of the racers. Shooting was a lot wider than I was accustomed, however the assignment was a great learning experience. Shooting was all in jpeg so no room for error when exposing. Shooting the swim end was a little tricky but was able to keep detail of the racers faces and not completely blow out the highlights in the back ground.

A few recommendations that I learned from the event. Bring knee pads. Shooting from the floor helps clean odd items like race officials, other racers, tents, and banners. The course landscape is not forgiving and for a few hours I stood up for blood flow to return to my legs. Even if you do not have to utilize the bathroom. Go ! The race is a solid 3-4 hours event and there is not really much of a window to venture of for a break. Pack light, and for the race I used my Mark body with the 70-200 at 2.8 the whole time. My photo back pack was with me the whole time but while running to my second location, I really wish I had brought my bike or simply packed lighter.

Be sure to also pack fluids; water, Gatorade of what suites your preference, it goes a long time out on the race and makes for comfort. It was an over cast morning for the most part however if you are shooting one of these in the middle of summer, prepare for the elements. My take from the race will be coming later and I look forward to share a few frames of the action at the triathlon and cover another one of these races. Really hope I can take advantage of the different aspects of a triathlon race next time I cover one of these races.

It was pretty impressive to see people willingly and happily wake up at 5 and 6 am to race a triathlon at 7am. To see a lady with just one leg race was simply amazing. Even more amazing to see her ahead of others. One of these days I may actually compete. My sister has a few running races under her belt however its the swimming and biking that I would appreciate the most. That last leg dealing with the unfortunately force of gravity does not help my chances of becoming a participating racer.

Cheers !

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