Each year, Fleet, the town in which we currently reside, has a 10k road race. Lots of people take part, some serious runners, some new to running, and some running for charity. This year I decided to go and photograph the event. I do very little in the way of sports photography, so this was an adventure as I had no idea whether I would manage to capture anything reasonable.
The day was beautifully sunny, and so, armed with my Fuji XT2 and the 50-140mm f2.8 zoom lens, I headed for the start line. At this point, I should add that I am not a runner myself. My running career came to an abrupt end some 10 years ago following an incident with a small dog, a tree root, and a broken ankle. That said, I admire anyone who has the willpower to go out and train in all weathers.
I quickly realised that standing in the right place is key to this. Too many people means a good shot, isolating a runner, is really hard, and too few people and you loose the atmosphere. Having picked completely the wrong place to stand, I changed locations and found a better place, at the top of a hill. This had the double benefit of giving me a good view of who was coming, and the fact that the runners slowed down a bit a the reached the crest of the hill*, giving me time to compose.
I had never really used the continuous focus on my XT2 either. Most of my subjects are static, so no need. I was surprised how good it was. As long as I composed properly, it nailed the focus most of the time. On the whole, as a first try I am quite happy with the shots, although I think I could do better with the composition. The Fleet Half Marathon is the next big run in the town, so I shall go and photograph that and have another try, and hopefully improve. For now, here are my favourites from the day.
*It’s a really steep hill!