Thursday, July 31, 2014

Up-close action photo of dwarf paratriathlete John Young, a Little Person who has run the Boston Marathon and New York Marathon, running at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier. (RunwithKen.com)
First-place paratriathlete John Young at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA (July 20, 2014)


At four feet four inches,  John Young is a Little Person.  A dwarf.

So sure: he's short.

But he's long on endurance, and big on Getting It Done.

He's run the Boston Marathon.
The New York Marathon.

And thirty triathlons--
including three Half-Ironman events.

So it's no surprise that he's running light and easy
here, at the final turn of the Triathlon at Lake Pearl,
(a scenic race put on by the Hockomock Area YMCA
in Wrentham, MA.)

This Sprint-distance Tri is just a tune-up for John!

He swam a quarter-mile in beautiful Lake Pearl...
bicycled 9 miles over scenic New England hills...
and ran 5K.

Now he's gliding to the finish line,
and a well-earned award as the 
First-Place Paratriathlete in this race.

Go-ooo, John!


Want to learn more about John and his
accomplishments as an endurance athlete?

Then you'll enjoy:

Big: The Story of Two Little People Running Boston (Runner's World article)

The Replacement Run  (HD Video of John finishing the Boston Marathon)

John Young beats dwarfism, age, weight to complete Toronto Triathlon


Early morning swim in a New England Lake (Open Water Swimming...in Slow Motion!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Up-close action photo of a triathlete open water swimming at Lake Singletary in Sutton, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)
At the MRA Multisport Swim in Sutton, MA (July 26, 2014)

Spinning your legs makes you faster 
when you run or ride a bike.

But spinning your arms doesn't
make you faster in the water!

A good swimmer looks almost lazy in the water.

Reaching long and low for the far shore.
Pulling back slowly...
...and then GLIDING through the still water.

It's a rhythm that some are born with,
 and some never master.

Long, slow, and eternal as the waves themselves.

Reach.  
Farther!  
Reach. 

Pull.
and glide.

This swimmer came alongside me 
as we swam in Lake Singletary in Sutton, MA.

  (Not a race: this was a noncompetitive swim
organized by the MRA Multisport Tri Club.)

I took his picture and we both continued our swim.

Reach.
Pull.
Glide.

See you in the open water!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Up-close action photo of triathletes, open water swimming atthe Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon. Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)
At the Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon in Duxbury, MA (July 27, 2014)

Surging forward, these open water swimmers
slice through the waves!

The water was cold (57 degrees)
but the competition was HOT!

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

After swimming 1/4 mile in the cold waters of the Atlantic,
these triathletes biked 11 miles of seaside roads
and then ran 3 miles on the beach.

Thanks, Streamline Events, for putting on
this scenic triathlon by the sea!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Dramatic action photo of a young runner FLYING down the road at the 4K on the 4th Trail Race, at NHTI in Concord, MA. Sports photography by Ken Skier aka
At the 4K on the 4th in Concord, NH (July 5, 2014)

Running is an egalitarian sport.

Runners who are very young will fly down the course--
contesting every inch with runners 
in their 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's.

I ran this flat, fast course 
and occasionally passed this young runner.

But not for long!
She always burst past me.

I took this photo as she tore up the road.

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

But I don't think it was a fair race.
She had wings!

for putting on this fine race!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Scenic photo of sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean, as seen from Duxbury Beach in Duxbury, MA. just before the start of the Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon--and discussion of the appeal of open water swimming. Photography by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)
Calm Atlantic waters just before the start of the Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon in Duxbury, MA (July 27, 2014)


Open water is magical.

Haunting.

It calls to us with an irresistible pull.

Ask any swimmer!

Swimming in the short narrow lanes of a pool 
is nothing like swimming in natural water,
under the great bowl of the sky.

Here is the the sight that greeted me at sunrise,
shortly before the start of the Marshfield-Duxbury Triathlon
in Duxbury, MA.

The Atlantic:

Wide.
Calm.
Beckoning.

Do you hear its call?



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Photo of a small powerboat, and discussion of how to stay safe while open water swimming.

If you love open water swimming
(as I have, all my life)
then you've heard your friends express their concerns.

The two big ones, of course:

     What if you drown?

and:

     What about SHARKS?

I swim in New England, and it is true that
Great White Sharks frequent the 
Atlantic waters off our coast.

But I never worry about sharks.

The real killer is not some creature from the Jurassic Age,
but one from our modern mechanized era:

Boats.

Power boats.

Boats with propellers.

If  you swim in the open water, please be SAFE!

Some lakes and ponds prohibit motorcraft.
Others allow them.

Know the rules for the waters where you swim.

A small outboard can kill you faster than any
shark from a scary movie.

Be safe, my friend.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Up-close action photo of an aero cyclist, tucked low while bicycling at the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier. (RunwithKen.com)
At the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford, MA (July 6, 2014)

If you had to pick one word for this photo,
 what would it be?

Speed!

SpeedSpeedSpeed!

Maybe.  But I think:

Joy!

Just look at her face!

This happy cyclist is slicing through the wind,
tucked low on the aerobars of her Tri bike.

Oh, she is loving this moment!

A camera on my bike took this picture.
She was just behind me.

But not for long!
She passed me a moment later,
and flew on down the road.

(I wasn't nearly as fast. I sat more upright...enjoying 
sweeping views of the water all along the course.)

for putting on this scenic triathlon!

Up-close action photo of a triathlete, open water swimming at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)
At the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA (July 20, 2014)

What is it about the open water that draws us
with such a powerful pull?

In a word:
the open water is alive!

It has texture...
temperature...
motion...
and moods!

It's nothing like a road!

We ride a bike on a road.

We run on a road.

But we swim IN the water.

It wraps around us...
embraces us...
and reaches up to connect us to the sky

I was swimming in the Triathlon at Lake Pearl 
in Wrentham, MA when I saw this swimmer.

Taken by the dazzling spray of water 
as it flew from her fingers,
I snapped this photo.

(Yes, I swim with a camera.
Don't want to miss a moment like this!)

Thanks, Hockomock Area YMCA
for putting on this great race!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Up-close action photo of Dave McGillivray, race director of the Boston Marathon, running at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier. (RunwithKen.com)
Dave McGillivray running at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl (Hockomock Triathlon)  in Wrentham, MA (July 20, 2014)

Every runner in the world knows the Boston Marathon.

(As do hundreds of millions of non-runners!)

"Boston" (as runners call it--no need to say "The Boston Marathon")
is such a focal point of the running community that it has
spawned its own acronym:

BQ

Runners around the world strive for a BQ--
a Boston Qualifying time!

--that will allow them to wear a bib number 
in Hopkinton, MA on Patriots Day,
and run 26.2 miles to Copley Square in Boston.

The race and its lore are larger than life.

How much larger?

The response of Boston-area runners
to the murderous Marathon bombings
spawned the phrase:

Boston Strong

(When you say it, say it with awe.
Respect.
And solidarity.)

Central to the smooth running of this amazing event
is its long-time race director, Dave McGillivray.

Beloved by tens of thousands of runners
who line up in Hopkinton each year.

We know he makes the Marathon work.
We know he keeps us, and many miles of spectators, safe.

But what does Dave do when he's not running the
oldest and most legendary running event in the world?

Yup.

He runs.
Swims.
And rides his bike.

On this day he swam a quarter-mile, 
biked 9 miles on the rolling New England countryside,
and ran 5K.

(This was at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl,
a scenic race put on by the Hockomock Area YMCA
in Wrentham, MA.)

I snapped this photo as he rounded the final
turn towards the finish line.

Go-ooo, Dave!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MRA Multisport Triathlete, open water swimming at Lake Singletary in Sutton, MA (July 19, 2014)

Look at him go!

Cleaving the blue water on a summer morning,
this open water swimmer sends spray
FLYING to the blue sky.

I was swimming as he came alongside.
(Yes, I swim with a camera.)

I snapped this photo and we both continued
swimming in this quiet New England lake.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Up-close action photo of triathletes LEAPING into the open water at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com) The Triathlon at Lake Pearl is produced by the Hockomock Area YMCA.  (hockymca.org)
At the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA (July 20, 2014)

An amazing moment!

Triathletes sprint down the beach and LEAP into the water!

I was in the water just a few yards ahead of these athletes
as they hurled themselves into the cool blue.

Up-close action photo of triathletes LEAPING into the open water at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com) The Triathlon at Lake Pearl is produced by the Hockomock Area YMCA.  (hockymca.org)


A moment later they were swimming
the quarter-mile course...

....then cycling 9 miles of hills
and running 5K to the finish line.

I just love this moment!

Up-close action photo of triathletes LEAPING into the open water at the Triathlon at Lake Pearl in Wrentham, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com) The Triathlon at Lake Pearl is produced by the Hockomock Area YMCA.  (hockymca.org)

...and it's clear that so do they!

for putting on this great race!

Friday, July 18, 2014

At the 4K on the 4th in Concord, NH (July 5, 2014)

All week long we wait for this moment.

Trail Race...  Road Race... Triathlon...
Doesn't matter!

Starter's pistol.  Air horn.  "3-2-1" countdown.
Doesn't matter!

We bunch up at the start line
and when we hear the bang or that magic word...

...we LEAP!

These runners were just behind me
as I burst from the start line at the 4K on the 4th.

(a rare 4K race in Concord, NH.)

This woman just behind me 
leaped halfway to the SKY!

Why do we run?
It is for moments like this!

for putting on this fine race!



Thursday, July 17, 2014


Don't sit too close to this screen!
You might get wet!

Come join me inside the pack

at the Dam Triathlon, in Amesbury MA.

The one-minute action film above starts as
the elite swimmers leap into the water!

I wait for them to pass...

...then I swim inside the pack
and shoot video and action photos
of the open water swimmers:


Up-close action photo of a triathlete, open water swimming at the Dam Triathlon in Amesbury, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)

(Yes, I was swimming as I took these photos.
Didn't stop or slow my stroke.
After all--I was in a race!)  

After the 1/2-mile open water swim in Lake Gardner,
these triathletes go on to bike 13 miles
and run 5K...all on scenic New England roads.

for putting on this great race!

-------------

P.S.  As an open water swimmer I took photos from "inside the pack"--
and plan to post the best of these up-close action photos.

(But I did not take photos of ALL the athletes!  However,
Global Click Photography did:  click here to see them!)

-------------

See you at the next race!

Up-close action photo of a triathlete, open water swimming at the Dam Triathlon in Amesbury, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)
Open water swimming at the Dam Triathlon in Amesbury, MA (July 12, 2014)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Up-close action photos of happy runners FLYING through the air at the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Running Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)
At the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford, MA.  (July 6, 2014)

Here's a happy runner!

How happy is she?
She is literally running on AIR:

with both feet off the ground!

I took this photo as we passed each other while running
at the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford, MA.

(Yes, I was running as I took this photo.
Didn't stop or slow my pace.  After all, I was in a race!)

There were lots of happy runners.

Here's another one, smiling as she, too, ran on air:

Up-close action photos of happy runners FLYING through the air at the Whaling City Triathlon in New Bedford, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Running Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)


Thanks, Sun Multisport Events,
for putting on this scenic triathlon by the sea!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Up-close action photo of triathletes as they are open water swimming at the Dam Triathlon in Amesbury, MA. Sports Photography from Inside the Pack by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer. (RunwithKen.com)
At the Dam Triathlon in Amesbury, MA (Jul;y 12, 2014)

What is more beautiful than an athlete...
open water swimming through the cool blue?

Two athletes!

These women were swimming alongside me
at the Dam Triathlon in Amesbury, MA.

"What a picture!" I thought,
as I snapped this photo.

(Yes, I was swimming as I took the photo.
Didn't stop or slow my stroke.
After all--I was in a race!)  

After the 1/2-mile open water swim in Lake Gardner,
these triathletes went on to bike 13 miles
and run 5K...all on scenic New England roads.

for putting on this great race!

-------------

P.S.  As an open water swimmer I took photos from "inside the pack"--
and plan to post the best of these up-close action photos.

But I did not take photos of ALL the athletes!  However,
Global Click Photography did:  you can see them here!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dramatic photo of SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) racer at the Paddle for Plummer, a SUP Race in Salem, MA. Sports Photography by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer (RunwithKen.com).
SUP Racer at the Paddle for Plummer in Salem, MA (July 13, 2014)

Crouching down for his power stroke,
this SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) racer
digs into the surging brine.

Moments later he flies to the finish line

(I took this photo while swimming near the
marked SUP course.

I wanted to be close to the racers...
but not too close!)

SUP racing is pretty new.

This race was produced by B&S Event Management
and drew a very large crowd.

Not surprising!

For centuries, Salem, MA has drawn
life and identity from these cold Atlantic waters.

Now the sea gives this great new England city
a dramatic new form of competition!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Up-close action photo of open water swimming at the Lost Sailor Swim in Lake Gardner in Amesbury, MA.  Photo by Ken Skier, the Swimming Photographer (RunwithKen.com).
At the One-Mile Lost Sailor Swim in Amesbury, MA (May 25, 2014)

Ah, open water swimming!
Watch the water leap into the sky!

I was swimming at the One Mile Lost Sailor Swim
 in Lake Gardner, in Amesbury, MA,
when this swimmer came up alongside me.

Never one to miss a picture,
I took this photo as we both reached forward.

(Yes, I was swimming as I took this photo.
Didn't stop or slow my stroke.  
After all--I was in a race!)

Why do I swim with a camera?

Because I love the feel of the water
 as I swim through it...

and with these photos, I can enjoy the
stunning beauty of those moments 
again, after I reach dry land!

Hope you enjoy them, too!

See you in the water!

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