Doing What I Love | Watching Others Do what They Love | Sharp Top 25k and 50k
I’ve never had a bad day hanging out in the woods with my camera. On this occasion I was sitting out in the woods with a camera waiting for runners to pass by me along the trail which they were traversing. It was Sharp Top 25k and 50k day.
The Sharp Top 25k and 50k is run on the Old Loggers Path in part of the Loyalsock State forest. The Old Loggers Path is a 27 mile trails through the woods and up and over some good climbs. The 50k follows this trail in its entirety and the 25k splits off near the half way point.
The race is on a loop course for both he 25k and the 50k. The race starts and finishes in Masten, PA. Masten is essentially a ghost town. However, there is now camping available in this location.
If you like a race that is off the grid, this is a good one for you. Cell phone reception drops off well before you reach the start finish line of the event. If you need cell phone reception there is a little bit of reception in just the right place up at the events name sake location the Sharp Top Vista.
My goal for photographing this event was to capture at least one photo of every participant in the race at both distances. After doing some exploration on my own and consulting with the race directors it seemed like the ideal location for this would be at the Sharp Top Vista. All the runners pas through this point and there will be an aid station waiting for them to refuel and hydrate.
This really seemed like a great spot to work some photography. Trying to capture some images of runners moving along the top of the vista would be an interesting challenge. I really wanted to create some awesome memories for the runners and showcase the view that can be seen from this location on Sharp Top.
Although my main goal was to capture images featuring the view from sharp top I also wanted to capture images of the runners as they reached the top of the climb and emerged from the woods. This had me pivoting from left to right and right to left. I was capturing new runners reaching our location on one side as well as trying to capture all the runners leaving the aid station and heading back out on the trail along the vista on the other side.
I had a great time hanging out at Sharp Top Vista and talking with the amazing volunteers working the aid station there while capturing the race photos there. After the last runner passed through the aid station the volunteers packed up and we headed back down to the start finish line.
Hanging out at the start finish line for race photos was fun as well. I don’t usually take finish line photos because they aren’t usually the most visually appealing places to me as a photographer. But out here in the woods of Masten, PA there was a totally different vibe for finish line photos.
I missed out on a lot of the 25k runners finishing their races because I stayed up at Sharp Top for so long, but there are always choices that have to be made in photography and I really wanted to get a photo of each runner so that meant missing some runners finishing.
But I did get to the start finish line literally as the overall winner of the 50k was crossing the finish line. Then shortly after that the first female finisher came through the finish line and I was there to photograph her victory.
I tried photographing the runners finishing there races from a couple of different locations. And I also tried to mix in a few images of participants celebrating and socializing with the rest of the trail community. I eventually settled on a location where I could see the runners approaching through the trees and photograph them as they rounded the bend along the dirt road that lead to the finish line. And that is where I photographed most of the finish line photos from.
It ended up being quite a warm day for a race. I was melting just standing around holding my camera. My hat is off to everyone who ran this race in the heat.
You can follow this link to the full album of race photos which I uploaded to Facebook for easy viewing and shareability for everyone: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10166669654000061&type=3
Please feel free to comment and share the photos on your social media. I would just ask that you credit me as the photographer when you share them. If you like a photo and would like ot purchase either a full size digital image or a physical photo print please contact me on social media or by email at KRNaturalPhoto@Gmail.com and I will add the photo to my photography sales site so that you can order whatever you would like.
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