Half marathon runner Emily Dalton of Chicago, Ill., warms up with jumping jacks prior to the first annual Dawn of the Dunes Marathon held at Marquette Park in Gary, Ind., Sunday, October 27, 2013. The marathon, the first in the city’s history, began at Marquette Park Pavilion and took runners through the park and surrounding Miller neighborhood.
In an era of steadily declining freelance news photography work, it’s nice to end up with an assignment that covers something of a historic nature – history that matters to a community. This Sunday, I covered the first marathon to be hosted in the city of Gary, Indiana, in its 107 year history.
The Dawn of the Dunes Marathon was held at Gary’s Marquette Park on Lake Michigan, which offered a lush setting in which to compose the runners against backdrops of nature as well as historic architecture. Those elements are the last things most outsiders think of when they hear the name “Gary, Indiana,” so I’m always happy when I can showcase what a picturesque place Gary actually is through my work.
Full and half marathon runners leave the starting line during the first annual Dawn of the Dunes Marathon held at Marquette Park in Gary. This image was shot with my Canon 6D mounted atop a microphone boom, and triggered via wifi with the EOS Remote iPhone app. The police car on the left arrived about 45 seconds before the marathon began, cluttering up what was otherwise a very clean frame.
While photographing the marathon, I took a lot of inspiration from the runners who showed great physical strength and endurance. I find that great photographs always seem to come when I’m dealing with a subject who has a very high skill level at whatever it is they do. Whether it’s an aerobatic pilot flying complex maneuvers, or a hot-shot high school basketball player leaping for a rebound, photos of skilled humans always seem to make themselves in some ways.
I’m not sure I could run more than two blocks without requiring an oxygen bottle and a gurney, so to see someone running 26 miles in 40 degree temperatures at 7:30am (that last part is the real deal breaker for me), well, let’s just say impressive is the least of adjectives I could use for the competitors.
5K runners leave the starting line area during the first annual Dawn of the Dunes Marathon.
5K runners advance down the course.
Full marathon runner Jay Marshall of Richmond, Ill., near the start of his second lap around the course during the first annual Dawn of the Dunes Marathon. I took advantage of the historic architecture on the nearby Aquatorium building to use as a foreground element.
The fall color also provided a great visual element to compose along with the runners.
Full marathon runner Fiona Eichten of Chicago, Ill., during her second lap around the course at the first annual Dawn of the Dunes Marathon.
Full marathon runner Jeff Mescal of Lowell, Ind., crosses the finish line in first place with a time just under 2 hours and 50 minutes during the first annual Dawn of the Dunes Marathon held at Marquette Park in Gary, Ind., Sunday, October 27, 2013. This was Mescal’s 50th marathon, and his fourth in as many weeks.