Marathon

50th Annual Chuckanut Foot Race

I’ve been a bit busy with assignments and personal projects. I’ve a lot of blogs or maybe just a few big ones to write so I can play catch-up. First, I’ll post a few quickies from weekend shoots.

On Saturday July 9, 2016, I photographed the 50th annual Chuckanut Foot Race for The Bellingham Herald. It’s a 7 mile run that starts at Fairhaven Marine Park and ends at Larrabee State Park. The faster runners do it in about 35 minutes, while most average about an hour.

Synching Timers –

Dillon Quintana (291), left in orange, and other competitors start their personal timers at the beginning of the 50th annual Chuckanut Foot Race on Saturday morning July 9, 2016, in Fairhaven, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

Dillon Quintana (291), left in orange, and other competitors start their personal timers at the beginning of the 50th annual Chuckanut Foot Race on Saturday morning July 9, 2016, in Fairhaven, Wash. (© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald)

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Covering the Chuckanut 50K Ultramarathon

Saturday was fun. Got a nearly last-minute phone call to cover the Chuckanut 50K Ultramarathon for The Bellingham Herald. The 31.5 mile race was phenomenal to shoot, but a logistical nightmare.

Sandaled Feet:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Jason Loutitt, 40, of Vancouver, B.C.,  ran the entire 50 kilometers in socks and sandals during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Loutitt won 4th place overall with a time of 3:53:58. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Jason Loutitt, 40, of Vancouver, B.C., ran the entire 50 kilometers in socks and sandals during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Loutitt won 4th place overall with a time of 3:53:58.

The race started in Fairhaven, went onto the Interurban Trail where it paralleled Chuckanut Drive, then split into 4 different courses on Fragrance Lake Trail checkpoint, those then wound back to that same checkpoint with the final leg as the reverse of the first.

Around The Corner

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Competitors turn the first corner after leaving the 2015 Chuckanut 50K start at 6th and Harris in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Competitors turn the first corner after leaving the 2015 Chuckanut 50K start at 6th and Harris in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015.

The start was easy. Just waited for the runners to begin coming at me. I did plan on shooting wide while using a flash to light them as it was dark and gray. So I got on the ground and worked a few images.

Setting His Timer:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  David Laney (92) of Ashland Ore., yellow shirt center, sets his time as he leads the pack from the start line of the 2015 Chuckanut 50K at 6th and Harris streets in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won the race with a time of 3:40:27.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – David Laney (92) of Ashland Ore., yellow shirt center, sets his time as he leads the pack from the start line of the 2015 Chuckanut 50K at 6th and Harris streets in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won the race with a time of 3:40:27.

After shooting the start, I drove to Cleator Road and waited for the first group of runners so I can get some on one of the trails. While waiting, I tested out the exposure settings my Nikon SB-810 Speedlight mounted on the paper’s D3s. But I could not find the rear curtain sync. After about 10 minutes, I headed to the checkpoint.

Pretty in Pink:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Care Nelson of Victoria, B. C., runs along the Interurban Trail during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Care Nelson of Victoria, B. C., runs along the Interurban Trail during the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015.

At the checkpoint, a group of 100 supporters and spectators cheered each racer as they ran by. I liked the camaraderie so I stayed and shot the cheering.

“You Paid for This?”

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  Trudy Marino of Ferndale, left, cheers runner Benjamin Perri of Seattle as he nears the first checkpoint at the intersection of the Interurban and Fragrance Lake Trails during 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Marino says she was waiting for her friend Jesse Lenley as he was competing in the ultra marathon. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Trudy Marino of Ferndale, left, cheers runner Benjamin Perri of Seattle as he nears the first checkpoint at the intersection of the Interurban and Fragrance Lake Trails during 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Marino says she was waiting for her friend Jesse Lenley as he was competing in the ultra marathon.

After about half an hour, it was time to head back to the finish line. There was a good hour and a half wait until the first runner finished. His finish was not as fast as his other races.

Exhausted!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  First place winner David Laney of Ashland Ore., left, is comforted by his girlfriend Jana Suddock, right, as a medical technician asks questions about his condition after he completed the course with a time of 3 hours, 40 minutes and 21 seconds in the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21 and continues to hold the course record he set in 2013. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – First place winner David Laney of Ashland Ore., left, is comforted by his girlfriend Jana Suddock, right, as a medical technician asks questions about his condition after he completed the course with a time of 3 hours, 40 minutes and 21 seconds in the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21.

One this I make sure I get: reaction. Whether that reaction is good or bad, I try to get it. Plus, I look for congratulatory moments.

First & Second

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -  First place winner David Laney (92) of Ashford, Ore., left, is congratulated by second place winner Andrew Benford (410) of Flagstaff, Ariz., after the two completed the 2015 Chuckanut 50K  in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21 followed closely by Benford with a time of 3:40:34. Laney continues to hold the course record he set in 2013. © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - © Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald -

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – First place winner David Laney (92) of Ashford, Ore., left, is congratulated by second place winner Andrew Benford (410) of Flagstaff, Ariz., after the two completed the 2015 Chuckanut 50K in Fairhaven, Wash., on Saturday morning Mar. 21, 2015. Laney won with a time of 3:40:21 followed closely by Benford with a time of 3:40:34.

So a big tip for everyone out there: Learn your camera settings and what buttons to push. I’ve never used flash on the D3 so I was in the dark as to where to set the rear curtain synch. If I had cell service, I would’ve googled it.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance photographer living in Bellingham, Whatcom County, Wash., north of Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

The 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon

First, sorry for the delay in blog postings. I broke my laptop screen early last week and it is now at TD Curran in Bellingham getting new life.

On Sunday morning September 28, 2014, I shot the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon for The Bellingham Herald. It is an epic race that goes from the Lummi Nation School at Gooseberry Point to downtown Bellingham, Wash.

And it started at 7:30 a.m. so I had to get up before dawn and drive the 20 miles to the school.

Leading the Pack:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Steve DeKoker, center (1), of Seattle begins the 26.2 mile run of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon run from Lummi Nation School to downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the men’s division with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Steve DeKoker, center (1), of Seattle begins the 26.2 mile run of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon run from Lummi Nation School to downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the men’s division with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins.

The night before, I studied the map and planned my shoot. It was fairly simple, but I also had to negotiate around the various roadblocks while leaving myself some time to get downtown to shoot the winners as they crossed the finish line.

My plan was simple. Photograph three things to have somewhat complete coverage:

  • The Start
  • A water station
  • The Finish

Emergence:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - The first female runner approaches the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – The first female runner approaches the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014.

I wanted to photograph the start so I could get the runners compressed together and show how many there were. To do this, I arrived about an hour early t check out all the different angles. It wasn’t that spectacular, but you work with what you’re given.

Big Sky Country:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Runners push past fog envoloped fields along Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Steve DeKoker of Seattle won the men’s category with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins. Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., won the woman’s with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Runners push past fog enveloped fields along Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Steve DeKoker of Seattle won the men’s category with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 mins. Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., won the woman’s with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

As I wanted somewhat good coverage, I then headed to one of the 3 or 4 watering stations to photograph the volunteers as they gave runners water and snacks. I picked one about 1/2 through the marathon as I wanted to leave myself some time to negotiate the road closures downtown. The station I picked was at mile 10 in the race along Red River Road. It was hosted by volunteers from the Whatcom Football Club Rangers, a local soccer club that has a lot of teams from ages 12 up.

Supply & Demand:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - (l to r) Dylan McCoy, 10; Grace Meyer, 11;  Grace Holzer, 11, and Melissa Meyer hand water and cheer on a runner at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon  on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – (l to r) Dylan McCoy, 10; Grace Meyer, 11; Grace Holzer, 11, and Melissa Meyer hand water and cheer on a runner at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

The fog was particularly heavy here as it sat next to a stream. So I wanted to work with that and try to capture runners as they emerged from the fog. Within 15 minutes of me arriving, the first runner, Steve DeKoker of Seattle, came through being followed by a Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputy on motorcycle. Had it not been for the flashing lights of the officer, I would have not seen him come out of the fog.

Watering Hole:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Tommy Meyer, 9, grabs more water cups while volunteering at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon  on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Tommy Meyer, 9, grabs more water cups while volunteering at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

For me to feel that I worked the watering station properly, I shot from above, below, and worked various angles and places. Shot wide, medium, tight and then stretched. Here’s a quick tutorial of how I work a situation: Wide, Medium, Tight – Then Stretch.

Getting Low:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Volunteers from the Whatcom FC Rangers  hand water and cheer on runners at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon  on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Volunteers from the Whatcom FC Rangers hand water and cheer on runners at the 10 mile marker on Red River Road in Whatcom County during the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Group leader Melissa Meyers says the volunteer group is with the Whatcom Football Club Ranger soccer team.

When I dropped down, I got up close to one of the kids as they were holding a cup and worked it so you could see her hand holding the cup with runners as they passed. I was hoping for someone to pick her cup as I wanted a runner’s hand getting it with the layers of others in the background. I got something, but it’s one of the “Almost” photos.

Celebration:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Women's winner Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., celebrates her victory at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Hatachi won the women's category with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Women’s winner Rika Hatachi of Coquitlan, B.C., celebrates her victory at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. Hatachi won the women’s category with a time of 3 hrs., 2.24 mins.

After the first 50 or so runners went through, I decided to make my way to the finish line. Along the way, I stopped to photograph the runners as they passed freshly harvested fields. The Sun was peeking through the thick fog and made for some nice photos.

Exhausted:

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Men's winner Steve DeKoker pauses for a rest at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the event with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 minutes.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Men’s winner Steve DeKoker pauses for a rest at the finish line of the 2014 Bellingham Bay Marathon at Depot Market Square in downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning September 28, 2014. DeKoker won the event with a time of 2 hrs., 30.51 minutes.

Overall, I feel that I did a pretty decent job. I got some nice creative shots as well as what I like to call “Cover Your Butt” photos. The basic ones you should really make sure you get.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

Follow me on these various Social Networks:

  1. Follow Me on Google+
  2. “Like” my Page on Facebook
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  4. Follow me on Pinterest

Paul is a Seattle-based photojournalist specializing in news, sports, travel, and portraiture. He also photographs weddings and portraits in Bellingham, Whatcom County, and Skagit County.

He is available for assignments in the Pacific Northwest. Contact him at paulconradphotography@gmail.com or (206) 450-8632 for availability.