Friday, May 30, 2014

Dramatic photo of a bald eagle, and the story of sighting the eagle after open water swimming at the Mystic Lakes in Winchester, MA. New England. Bird
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia


I swam in the open water yesterday...
which always makes me feel close to the sky.

(I swim backstroke, so I watch the sky the whole time.
I feel as if I'm swimming through the clouds.)

When I emerged onto the beach, 
a couple of bird-watchers were pointing up
 and engaged in an animated discussion.

 I heard the words "bald eagle" and walked over.

"A bald eagle?" I asked.

I'd heard reports of a bald eagle...
or perhaps more than one...at this lake.  
But I'd never seen one.

The one with the binoculars pointed over the treeline.

"There it is.  I can't tell if it's a juvenile,
 but it's definitely a bald eagle."

The other fellow nodded, and pointed.

I turned and followed their fingers.

There!

A shadow, slicing through the sky.

Whirling and diving like a kid on a trampoline,
 just for the pure joy of it.

I watched the eagle dip and soar, 
as a brisk wind blew cold lake water
from my bare skin.


Copyright (c) 2014 by Ken Skier.  All rights reserved.
Up-close action photo of a trail runner at the XTERRA Trail Series MA #1--Wallum Lake--in Douglas, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, The Running Photographer, aka
At the XTERRA Trail Race (MA #1) in Douglas, MA.  May 17, 2014

Trail running can feel like
the inside of a kaleidoscope.

Dark shade.  Black mud...

...pierced by shafts of sunlight

...and brightly-colored runners
who shine like exotic birds!

This runner was just behind me on the trail.

(Yes, I was running as I took this photo.
Did not stop or slow my pace.
After all--I was in a race!)


Thanks, MRA MultiSport and XTERRAPlanet
for putting on this great race!

P.S.  There are more races in this series.
Come join the fun!





Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Up-close action photo of trail running at the XTERRA Trail Series MA #1--Wallum Lake--in Douglas, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, The Running Photographer, aka
At the XTERRA Trail Race--Wallum Lake in Douglas, MA (May 17, 2014)

Some road races feel like serious business.
You see runners wearing masks of grim determination.

But not a trail race!

There's nothing grim about a rail race.

Each one feels like recess:
as if we're romping outside of school 
in the fourth grade!

As you can see,
these runners radiate the Joy of Trail Running!

(I was having an equally good time,
running just ahead of them on the trail.

Yes, I was running as I took this photo.,
Did not stop or slow my pace.
After all--I was in a race!)


for putting on this great race!

P.S.  There are more races in this series.
Come join the fun!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cold waters of a New England lake, north of Boston, MA.  May 27, 2014


I took this photo as I was swimming.  
(No, I didn't stop--I took the photo as I was swimming.)  

The turbulence you see is from my stroke through the water.

If a photo of a shadow...
or one's reflection in a mirror...
is a self-portrait, 
then this roiled water is MY self-portrait.

(I took this photo as I was testing a new camera and
technique for photographing open-water swimmers
during Triathlons and Open Water Swim races.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dramatic up-close action photo of a cyclist bicycling at the Spring Sprint Duathlon in North Andover, MA. Photo by Ken Skier...the
At the Spring Sprint Duathlon in North Andover, MA (May 4, 2014)

Winter was long and brutal in New England this year.
But the snow is gone!

Like small green buds on the branches...
cyclists and runners emerge to fly down the road.

This cyclist chased me as I rode 

(A camera on my bike captured this photo
as he came up inexorably, and passed me.)

I didn't mind.

Let him fly!

I was flying, too.

It is Spring in New England!
Runners are running!
Cyclists are cycling!

Soon we'll be swimming
in the dark blue waters.

See you at the finish line!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Dramatic action photo of trail running: a runner flying to the finish line at the XTERRA Trail Series MA #1--Wallum Lake--in Douglas, MA.
At the XTERRA Trail Series MA #1--Wallum Lake in Douglas, MA (May 17, 2014)

I haven't run a trail race since last July.

(That race ended badly.

While running a precipitous rocky trail
up and down a mountain, 
I found I could barely see.

A massive blind spot from a migraine 
made the trail, and my feet, 
a flickering blur.

Neurologists call it a scintillating scotoma.

The world looks like a bad neon sign--
broken and fragmented.  Strobing.
Half of what you see is just an illusion.

I couldn't see where to step.

And any misstep would make me tumble!
All the way down the mountain.
Next stop: the ER.

So I quit.

There are three letters every runner hates:
 DNF.
I did not finish that race, last July.)

Haven't run a trail race since then.

But an invitation to run the XTERRA Trail Series MA #1--
at scenic Wallum Lake in Douglas, MA--
sounded mighty appealing.

So I went!

What a great race!

Leaping and romping up and down the rocky trails,
I felt like a porpoise: 
not swimming in the ocean blue, 
but gliding through the deep green forest!

As this photograph shows,
I flew toward the finish line
and my feet never touched the ground!

Thanks, MRA Multisport and XTERRA
for a great trail race!

(A camera I'd placed near the finish line
captured this photo.  So it's a self-portrait:
an action selfie!)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Rain couldn't dampen this runner's enthusiasm!  (At the Green Stride Mother's Day Indulgence 5K in Amesbury, MA.  5/12/2013)

(Scroll down to see up-close action photos of the runners!)


Your Mom is special.  (You know how special!)  
And if you're a Mom, you are special.

So celebrate this special day with a Mother's Day 5K!

If you live north of Boston, 
here are two terrific races I recommend.

(They're both great races, and my only regret
is that I can't run both of them.)

So pick one!

In chronological order, they are:






Each race has a special feel...a story.
I can tell you the story of each race in a single word:

Mother's Day Indulgence 5K:    Indulgence!

Patrick Downey 5K:    Family!


Mother's Day Indulgence 5K


This race lives up to its name!
Every pre-registered runner gets a bottle of Jewell Towne Vineyards wine, a box of chocolates and a great tech shirt.
Are you AND the mom in your life running together? Register for the Indulgence Package and receive: 
  • One Green Stride Mother’s Day silver necklace ($60 retail value)
  • One Mother’s Day tech shirt
  • Two bottles of Jewell Towne Vinyards Wine 
  • Two boxes of chocolates. 

Register online here...or at the race on Sunday, here.


(I ran the race last year, and loved it.  As I ran, I took dramatic action photos of the other runners.  Scroll down to see them flying on the course--and at the finish line!)

Patrick Downey 5K


This race is all about family.  And Chucks!
The Patrick Downey 5K is a road race that comes from a promise.  The promise was from a sister to a brother who was sick with esophageal cancer.  
I am the sister.  And I am also a runner.  When my older brother Patrick became sick with this awful disease I felt helpless and wanted to do anything to help.
Patrick's birthday often fell on Mother's Day, so we hold the race on Mother's Day for him...and for our Mom.  
In college he wore flannel shirts and Chuck Taylors.  If you run the Patrick Downey 5K, I encourage you to embrace his style and wear flannel.  A columnist for Runner's World magazine has written about running in Chuck Taylors so feel free to wear them if you want!  
------Race Director Shannon Downey 


Register online here...or at the race on Sunday, here.


And now...the best part of this post: action photos of the runners!



Mother's Day Indulgence 5K: Action photos!



These runners chased me for miles!  Somehow I stayed just a few feet ahead of them.


Close to the finish line...and they're snapping at my heels!  I took this photo without looking back or breaking stride!


FLOATING to the finish line!


A Mom and her daughter--running side by side!


Patrick Downey 5K: Action photos!




...and a photo from the past:


Patrick Downey and his younger sister, Shannon...some years ago.


Wishing you and your Mom a wonderful Mother's Day!

Hope to see you at one of these races!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Highest point in Lexington, MA (April 14, 2014)

I rise before dawn and run up trails 
to the highest point for miles around.

(I call it The Top of the World.)

At the summit, I greet the sun.

Is there any better way to start the day?


Friday, May 2, 2014

Up-close action photo of a runner--running at the Scituate Duathlon in Scituate, MA.  The race is produced by Streamline Events.  Photo by Ken Skier, the Running Photographer: Sports Photography from Inside the Pack.
Up-close action photo of runners--running at the Scituate Duathlon in Scituate, MA.  The race is produced by Streamline Events.  Photo by Ken Skier, the Running Photographer: Sports Photography from Inside the Pack.
Up-close action photo of a cyclist--riding her bike at the Scituate Duathlon in Scituate, MA.  The race is produced by Streamline Events.  Photo by Ken Skier, the Bicycling Photographer: Sports Photography from Inside the Pack.
Up-close action photo of a cyclist--riding his bike at the Scituate Duathlon in Scituate, MA.  The race is produced by Streamline Events.  Photo by Ken Skier, the Bicycling Photographer: Sports Photography from Inside the Pack. Maybe you're a runner.
You ride a bike sometimes for fun, or as cross-training.

Or perhaps you're a cyclist...but you run when you can't ride. 

You never entered a triathlon because swimming isn't your thing.
(Or the idea of mixing all three sports into one race just seems, well, nuts.)

So try a duathlon!

There's no swimming in a duathlon.

You run...
...then ride your bike...
..and then run again!

You might pass a friend on the run...
Then your friend might pass you on the bike...
...so when you get off your bike you'll run as fast as you can to reach the finish line first.

It's more fun than any single-sport event!

I took these photos as I ran and rode my bike in the Scituate Duathlon.  (I had a small camera in my hand as I was running.  A camera on my bike took photos of the other cyclists as I rode.)

The same race company (Streamline Events) that put on the Scituate Duathlon is putting on a new duathlon this Sunday, May 4, in North Andover. (30 minutes north of Boston; just south of the NH border.)

Make the Spring Sprint Duathlon your first multisport race!


     Where:  Smolak Farms, North Andover, MA

     When:  8:00 AM, Sunday, May 4, 2014

     Race Distances:
1st Run3.1 miles
Cycling leg13.3 miles, rolling terrain
2nd Run1.5 mile trail run
Click here for more info on the race.  

Hope to see you there!



Up-close action photo of a runner--running at the Scituate Duathlon in Scituate, MA.  The race is produced by Streamline Events.  Photo by Ken Skier, the Running Photographer: Sports Photography from Inside the Pack.



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