Sunday, June 28, 2009

Race #4 in the USATF-NE Mountain/Trail Circuit  ("Mountain Goat" Series)

Cranmore is a very steep mountain, and the course follows a tricky, technical trail.  But what makes this race so challenging is that you have to run it twice.  Up to the summit (which is very hard!)...then down a steep rocky trail to the start of the race.  (Even harder!)  Then you have to do it AGAIN!  Even on the first ascent, you can see that no one is running here:



Cranmore is Race #4 in the six-race USATF-NE Mountain/Trail Circuit (the Mountain Goat Series.) If you finish all six races, you get to bypass the Mt. Washington Lottery next year. So it didn't matter what Cranmore had in store. I intend to run Washington next year, so I had to reach the finish line at Cranmore.

I ran with a camera, and took pictures as I ran. (Yes, I took photos as I ran. I didn't stop or slow down. After all, I was in a race!) If you click on the "Play" button below, you can view my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of the 2009 Cranmore Mountain Race in North Conway, NH:



Saturday, June 20, 2009




Here are photos I took while running the 2009 Mount Washington Road Race in Pinkham Notch, NH.

The course climbs 4800 feet over 7.6 miles: an average 12% grade.  Portions of it are much steeper...and, unlike most other mountains, Washington gives you no reprieve: there are no downhills.  No flat spots. No place with a relaxed grade.   Every single step is steep.   Every.  Single.  Step. is hard.



But it is an extraordinary experience...a journey that I find spiritual, even though it is, of course, relentlessly and brutally physical. I've run Washington twice now, and it is the high point of my running year. (No pun intended! :-)



I ran with a camera, and took pictures as I ran. (Yes, I took photos as I ran. I didn't stop or slow down. After all, I was in a race!) If you click on the “Play” button in the center of the photo below, you can view my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of the 2009 Mountain Washington Road Race:


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Race #3 in the USATF-NE Mountain/Trail Circuit  ("Mountain Goat" Series)




Northfield is the 3rd race in the USATF-NE Mountain/Trail Circuit (the “Mountain Goat” Series.) If you run all six races in the series, you get to bypass the Mt. Washington Lottery next year.

I ran with a camera, and took pictures as I ran. (Yes, I took photos as I ran. I didn't stop or slow down. After all, I was in a race!) If you click on the “Play” button in the center of the photo below, you can view my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of the 2009 Northfield Mountain Race in Northfield, MA:



Thursday, June 11, 2009

Here are photos I took as I ran the 2009 Joan's Jaunt in Woburn, MA.



The 5 mile course is flat and scenic, winding past Horn Pond on dirt and asphalt trails before finishing up on the road with (oops!) a 2-block-long hill that makes you climb to the finish line.

I ran with a camera, and took pictures as I ran. (Yes, I took photos as I ran. I didn't stop or slow down. After all, I was in a race!) If you click on the “Play” button in the center of the photo below, you can view my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of the 2009 Joan's Jaunt in Woburn, MA:



Sunday, June 7, 2009

Race #7 in the Locorunning “Will Run For Beer” Series)


Smuttynose is the final race in the "Will Run for Beer" race series. All are fun events, and this was no exception.



I ran with a camera, and took pictures as I ran. (Yes, I took photos as I ran. I didn't stop or slow down. After all, I was in a race!) If you click on the “Play” button in the center of the photo below, you can view my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of theview my slideshow, and get a first-person experience of the 2009 Smuttynose 5K in Newmarket, NH.



Friday, June 5, 2009

If you're a runner, you might know me. I'm the guy you see each week in a local 5K...or a near-vertical Mountain Race...or maybe running alongside you with a big smile in the Boston Marathon.



(That's me at mile 22. Boston, 2009.  I didn't take that photo, obviously. It was taken by my friend Kevin Eaton.)

I'm not the fastest guy in the race (not by a long shot!)...but people tend to notice me.

Maybe it's because I've got a camera in my hand.

Not a water bottle or a packet of GU. Not a little windbreaker rolled up into a ball in case the weather turns cold. (Which of course might happen any time of year, here in New England.)

Nope. I'm running with a camera in my hand.

And you've probably seen me reach out to take pictures of the road ahead...or you've seen me glance back and then snap pictures of whatever (and WHOever) is behind me--

Yeah. I'm THAT guy.

Runners love photographers. We might be running strong or we might be doing the Survival Shuffle, but when we see a photographer by the side of the road we all brighten up, run tall, and break into a little sprint. We want to Look Good! See? We're Running Strong! We flash the photographer a big smile or a "V" for Victory or throw both arms up in the air. Yeah! We're running! Take the picture! Take it NOW! While we're running strong.

After we pass the photographer we drop right back into whatever we were in before we noticed him. If it was the Survival Shuffle then we're back in the Survival Shuffle again. Gotta hang on till the finish line. But we hope he snapped a photo of us while we were Running Strong.

Runners love photographers because those photos capture moments from this wonderful experience we find ourselves immersed in.  But there's one problem:

A photographer by the side of the road can never capture the experience of being IN a race.

They're by the Side of the Road! Outside of the flow of our race experience. They're not sucking wind. Not flying past the scenery. They're outside. We're Inside. They're sitting down. We're RUNNING! We're kinetic. Here and gone. How can a rock see what a bird sees? How a camera in one place capture the flow of scenery and faces that we experience in any race?

So I've decided to become a new kind of photographer. Not a guy sitting by the side of the road with a Long-Lens SLR. I'm running right next to you. I'm wearing a race number and sweating and panting with you and every other runner in this race. Like you, I love to run. And like the photographers by the side of the road, I love to capture the beauty of this experience in pictures. But unlike those photographers, I snap my photos from INSIDE the stream.




























I capture a "Runners-eye" view.

You've probably seen me. One race or another. But even if you've never pinned on a race number, welcome to my blog. Now...without even lacing up your running shoes, you can Run With Ken.

Each week I'll bring you along as I run a race. We'll do seaside races where the wind blows off the ocean and you can taste the salt. We'll do mountain runs when you climb and climb until you gaze DOWN on the clouds. And we'll do fun little 5Ks where you run with a bunch of happy people and then line up for the post-race food and beer and we'll all pretend we didn't notice the time on the finish line clock.

(Yeah. Right. :-)

I love to run. And I want to thank you for running with me.

What will you find in this blog?  Great scenery.  Joyful runners.  Sweat.   Gravity.  Like this slideshow of a race I ran this past Sunday:


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