Photographers and Selfies

pexels3

This is a time in the world that people want to remember events, and extreme events are specially exciting.

I will tell you that no one looks great while they’re performing strenuous acts. So if you’re going to be taking a lot of photographs on the trail, give people a heads up so they can smile and not look like they’re feeling as awful as they probably are.

I also see a lot of photographers come to events to get endurance imagery. What I will  do for those photographers is let them know the check points that I will be at, give them any tools or tips on the trail that they will want such as lighting and time, and give them my schedule.

If that photographer is going to have many points on the course I will actually send them with a walkie-talkie. That way they can communicate back to the main Trail Driver any information that they are finding out on the trail. They may spot an athlete in trouble, a road that has trouble, or an area that may have been flooded. Giving the photographer permission to be another helpful set of eyes on the trail can be very helpful.

I do remind photographers that they must keep their equipment and themselves out of the way of athletes. I can’t have them interrupting the pattern of an athlete, the course of an athlete, or having an athlete trip to try to get out of their way. I will frequently look them in the eye and remind them that it is dangerous for them on that road, and their safety is also important.

If you’ve ever had a bicyclist going very fast crash into you it’s pretty awful. And it’s definitely going to ruin the mood of the day.

What is a huge win for everyone is that in today’s world photographers are able to get their images back to the athlete as close to real time as possible, and the photographer is able to get the images that they’re looking for. A Trail Driver can not only help the photographer, but can utilize the photographer as another tool on the trail. The Trail Driver will always want to know who is on the trail, why they are there and when they’re going to be there. Frequently photographers are going out ahead of the team so they will actually see details of the trail even before the trail runner does.

And be sure to snap a picture with the photographer – they rarely have pictures of themselves!

Trail well.

“Groupcheck” Checkpoint

unsplash44

“Groupcheck!”

No I am not yelling at you in a foreign language. I am telling you to check yourself off on the roster.

Nobody wants to be forgotten on the trail.

If you are trail driving for a large group it is nearly impossible to remember who you have seen and when was the last time you saw them. That is why we create a “groupcheck” point. If you are moving with a new team, remind them the night before that they will need to check in for their own safety. As they are running, and you will literally be yelling at them and pointing towards the clipboard “groupcheck,” I often remind people it’s spelled as one word because every ONE needs to do it in the group.

There are no exceptions – everyone in the group has to check in on a tally board before they sit down. This is usually a pre-made roster on a clipboard that also has the check point number on it. If I have 10 checkpoints I will make 10 rosters.

I will frequently set a watch or some other time mechanism so they can see the time that they passed on that checkpoint. If you have a specifically spirited crew it will also let them know how far ahead or behind they are of another team member.  At the end of the day that team will want to look at their checkpoint times because it is also a fairly rudimentary way to track their time. And we all know athletes have a specifically intimate relationship with time.

If you have teams that are large you will also need a Lag Driver that works the rear of the athletes to make sure that no one is left behind.

If you are lucky enough to be able to have your team all together, you will get to have more time on the trail, and less time searching and managing the trail.

By the way “groupcheck” is best yelled, and even better when it’s yelled in a foreign dialect.

Trail well.