Racing is awesome – but it’s even more awesome when you cross the finish line with epic race photographs to share with all your friends.  Race photography can be challenging; after all, your primary focus is running, biking, or swimming, not snapping pictures.   


I know mid-race photography isn’t for everyone, but it’s so fun to have detailed pictures to look back on and help you clearly remember the race.  After (mostly) self-photographing 40 races,  I’ve discovered a few tricks.


Photo Trick #1:  Bring your camera.


Sounds obvious, right?!  But you have to have your camera on-hand if you want to get good race photographs.  I really love my SpiBelt; it’s an excellent way to carry a camera mid-run.


Another option is investing in a CamelBak, which is a hydration backpack.  There’s a zipper in the front that you can put a camera in (or tape a DVD to, as shown below).  When I use my CamelBak to carry my camera, I always put it in a plastic bag!


Photo Trick #2:  Arrive early and shoot scenery.


I always, always get to a race a little early so I can take scenery pictures, like photographs of the lake or the finish line.  This method is really helpful if you are going to write a race recap on a blog.  Think of the “story” you want to tell and shoot photographs accordingly.  If my car is parked close to the start, I will even bring my nice camera out to the starting line and take pictures, and then swap out my SLR for my Point and Shoot for the race.


Photo Trick #3:  Ask others to take your picture.


Don’t be shy about asking people to take your picture – just ask!  In general, people at races are SUPER friendly and are always willing to snap a quick shot.  If you’re mid-race, you might not want to interrupt someone who is in “the flow,” but if you start chatting with someone else who is also taking a walk break, they might not mind!


Photo Trick #4:  Think beyond people.


We want pictures of ourselves, of course, but race photos are so  much more interesting when you take photographs of things, too.  I love to take photographs of the crowds, bib numbers, the registration table, water stations, mile markers, funny race signs, landscape, and the finish line.  Snap, snap away! These images really tell the story.




Photo Trick #5:  Pre-determine where your support crew will be able to spot (and photograph) you.


If you have friends or family coming to the race to support you (and photograph you), plan ahead where they will wait for you on the course.  Don’t just pick out a landmark – also decide what side of the street you’ll be running on.  For example, “Wait for me after the water station at Mile 6, I’ll be on the right side of the road.”


If it’s a really big race, provide your support crew with flags, a balloon, or matching t-shirts to it’s very easy to spot them.  Otherwise, you will NEVER find them!


Seriously, how cute is the Husband’s near-crying-of-pride face as he photographed my first marathon?


Photo Trick #6: Smile for the professionals!


Many larger races and most triathlons have professional photographs on-site.  After the race is over, you can search the photographs by bib number and locate your pictures!  You can usually buy hard copies, as well as digital copies.

2011-08-12_1047     2011-08-12_1039

I must say that I am a professional race photograph pro.  Heh.  The key?  Look for the photographer!  At a triathlon, there will always be a race photographer 1) when you exit the water; 2) when you are ending the bike ride; and 3) when you are finishing the run.  Look up and smile.  Keep smiling until you pass them, as they are probably waiting for you to hit a certain spot before they click.


Also – be silly for the professional photograph!  Kiss your guns or do a heel click.  They will love it, and so will you!




Photo Trick #7:  Fake the finish.


If you’re attending a race by yourself, it can be disappointing to not get a “crossing the finish line” photo.   I often attend races without spectator support, so how do I get so many great finish line pictures?  I wait until most people have crossed, and then I ask a race official if I can run back through the finish line!  If they say yes (and they always do!), I ask a volunteer to snap my picture.  Tada!  A perfect post-race finish photo.


Fun fact:  I ran through the IronGirl 15K finish line three times to get that picture!  No one minded.


How do you get the perfect race photographs?



  • Tropical Eats August 12, 2011, 1:54 pm

    haha awesome tips!

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul August 12, 2011, 1:56 pm

    haha I love that jump!! I can’t do it quite like you do 😉 OoOO that spi belt sounds cool, I saw it on Tina’s opensky i believe?

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? August 12, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I LOVE the idea to fake the finish line picture. Thats such a good idea.
    I actually noticed that you’re smiling in a lot of the professional race shots, so thats what I did last weekend the second I noticed the photographer. Im SO glad, it made for one of my new favorite pictures. 🙂

  • Natalie August 12, 2011, 1:57 pm

    Sweet! You look amazing. I always look like I am dying in the propics!

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) August 12, 2011, 2:01 pm

    Ha ha… didn’t know you actually do a do-over of your finish shot. Mine always look like I’m about to puke!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday August 12, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I love your pro pics! They’re so good! You hide any race struggles well under your smile.

  • Erin @ Bishella August 12, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Oh Caitlin, bless this post & bless you! I feel like this post came at the perfect time! Thanks 🙂

  • Kristin @ STUFT Mama August 12, 2011, 2:06 pm

    Caitlin, really, your race photographs always impress me. When I see myself in the professional pics (that they charge a fortune for) I cringe. I always look like I’m in serious pain. ha! Thanks for the tips. Hopefully my race next wekeend I can get some good photos for a change! 🙂

  • Lisa Fine August 12, 2011, 2:18 pm

    Such fun tips, and you always look so happy.

    Random question…which way do you wear your Spibelt? I recently got one and usually leave my items against my back, but noticed yours was in the front. Thanks!

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 3:55 pm

      I switch it up! Either front of back. I think the key is putting it on REALLY REALLY tight.

  • Chelsea August 12, 2011, 2:20 pm

    Thanks so much for these tips! I hope I can start getting some great recaps like you on my blog.

  • Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers August 12, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I love that you finished the one three times to get “the shot” 🙂

  • Jenn's Adventures August 12, 2011, 2:35 pm

    WOW! You do have great race photos — thanks for the tips!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 12, 2011, 2:38 pm

    That heel click one is awesome! Great tips!

  • Freya August 12, 2011, 2:40 pm

    Ohmy, LOVE that heel click pic!!!! You have an icnredible talent for heel-clicking – I can’t even get an inch off the floor..what’s the secret? I think you should do a heel click tutorial at HLS, please 🙂

  • Laura August 12, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Wait!! I don’t know how I feel about the fake finish line picture! This is kind of upsetting to me! I feel like it’s so neat when the photo really captures you in the experience itself and how you were actually feeling. I remember my marathon photo and I looked (not great) super hardcore and I would NOT have wanted to fake that finish! It kind of feels like you’re undermining the actual race part when you get to have 3 re-dos.

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 2:43 pm

      Awww! I’m sorry! I like REAL race finish photos the most, of course, but it’s just not always possible to get them. Sometimes I try to look super ragged in my fake photos to make them more realistic 🙂

      • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 2:44 pm

        I feel like I just told you the tooth fairy isn’t real. Wahhh!

        • Laura August 12, 2011, 3:11 pm

          Haha!! I’m not really upset it just never crossed my mind to do that to get a good picture. I actually didn’t even know they LET people do that! All things aside, your photos ARE fantastic.

    • Katie August 12, 2011, 4:11 pm

      I’ll admit, I was a little disenchanted, too, when I saw you at a race one time re-doing finish pics. But, then, I don’t have a blog or anything, so I guess I just can’t relate.
      I definitely need to study up on those professional pic tips, because I always look horrendous! 🙂

  • Tracy @ Tracys Treats August 12, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I love the last pic! Great tips! It’s especially hard to get those self-taken pics!

  • emily August 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

    I loooove that gun kissing photo, you guys should have that framed!

    • emily August 12, 2011, 2:50 pm

      P.S. When I finish dead-last in the HLS 5k will you take a photo of me crossing the finish line? I need your winning touch to look bad ass.

      • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 2:52 pm

        If you’re dead last, I will be right behind you! I always end up walking the 5k at the Summit!!!

        • emily August 12, 2011, 4:31 pm

          You are so freaking nice, I am beyond excited to meet you next weekend!

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} August 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

    Oh my goodness I love your professional photos that you posed for! Those are fantastic. You are hilarious. 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat August 12, 2011, 2:49 pm

    OMG these are GREAT tips Caitlin! I always end up disliking my race photos and wishing I had more. You’re right, you ARE a race photo taking pro! 🙂

  • rebecca lustig August 12, 2011, 2:51 pm

    Really hoping I finally get a chance to meet the woman behind my inspiration and motivation next week!

    p.s. you have the best race smile. looks SO genuine and passionate

    happy friday,

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 2:52 pm

      I am SOOOO excited to meet you next week Rebecca!! It is going to be great.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) August 12, 2011, 3:03 pm

    This is hilarious! I had NO IDEA you put so much thought into it! I always wondered how you got all those photos though. 🙂

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) August 12, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Epic photos! No matter how much I beg my parents, they insist on taking a video of me finishing a race. If I have to see one more video of me waddling across a finish line I’m going to lose it 🙂

  • sarah August 12, 2011, 3:46 pm

    Here’s my tip: if you want to look “bad ass,” ignore the camera (including your own) and run as fast as you can. Memorialize the race with photos once you finish. No one PR’ed by looking pretty or goofy. I have no problem with making a fool of myself in photographs, but races are for racing.

    • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write August 12, 2011, 3:50 pm

      That’s awesome you are so dedicated to racing! But, I think it’s cool too that Caitlin likes to have fun with the sport. It’s a sport, after all! Having fun is what it’s all about! 🙂

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 3:53 pm

      I actually have set PRs while being goofy… Must be my mad skillz.

  • Marie August 12, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Race photos are fun, but they’re not why we do it, right? (And I personally think the bad, candid photos are more fun, because they are genuine.)

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 3:56 pm

      Hahah yes, sometime the candid ones are the most epic. I agree!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 12, 2011, 3:50 pm

    “And to get those shots, you will need to ask strangers to photograph you. Don’t be shy about asking – just ask! “-

    That’s a great tip and yes, most people at races are so nice. In fact, most people if you ask them to take a pic, they are flattered and try extra hard to do a good job (with varying results…lol)

    I LOVE the re-crossing the finish line!!!! I AM DOING THAT!

    And smiling for the pros..I have forced some smiles on otherwise really hard races just b/c I knew I wanted to buy a pic with a smile,not a grimace, in 🙂

  • Erika @ The Teenage Taste August 12, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Great tips, Caitlin! My favorite is the last one! It makes sense, yet I never would have thought of it!
    If only I read this post two days ago – then I could have put your advice into practice! 😛

  • Alaina August 12, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I love these tips!! I’ve never been happy with my race photos; yours always look great! Now we know the secrets. 😉 I’m going to have to take these into consideration for the Tufts 10k in October. Thank you!

  • Lint Davidson August 12, 2011, 4:16 pm

    Well, I may be alone in this, but I have always considered race photos a very distant second (or third, or eighth) to trying to race to my potential. When I manage to do this, any accompanying photos are all the more meaningful no matter how sexy I do or don’t look (although I admit I usually look pretty yummy). I just can’t imagine carrying a camera in a race.

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 4:18 pm

      🙂 Naw you aren’t alone! I think lots of people agree with you. I prob have a different mentality as a blogger. Do you ever beat your hubby??

      • Lint Davidson August 12, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Only when he’s in a spicy mood…and you don’t want to see THOSE pics, trust me!

        • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 4:47 pm

          Haha oh but I do!

  • Katie August 12, 2011, 4:25 pm

    Check out my race photo portfolio, it’s a goal of mine to do something kooky in every race picture:

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 4:28 pm

      Hahh this is so awesome. I tweeted!

      • Katie August 12, 2011, 4:32 pm

        Thought you might like it 🙂 Thanks for the tweet!

  • Shannon August 12, 2011, 4:31 pm

    Awesome tips!!! What on earth is up with the ghetto DVD contraption? 🙂

    • Misty August 12, 2011, 4:41 pm

      That’s what I’m wondering, too!

      • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 4:44 pm

        I think I was returning a DVD to the store in a rainstorm, so I ran there and dropped it off. It was a long time ago – 2008!

  • Kelly August 12, 2011, 4:31 pm

    LOVED this!!! And that is a great idea about running through the finish line a few times to get your photo! Smart!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 12, 2011, 4:45 pm

    I LOVE those bottom shots of you from the race! Knowing my I’d fall flat on my face after trying to clap my heels. Guess that;d make for a funny photograph to share. 😉

    I don’t see how people always look so good in race photographs. I look HORRIBLE after a few miles!

  • Lauren August 12, 2011, 4:48 pm

    Running over the finishing mat twice sounds like a great way to get banned from a race and/or cause danger to other runners finishing. The perfect photo op is not the point of racing; also, if you rely on pictures to totally “tell the story” then maybe you’re not focusing on quality writing – which is really the point of blogging, yeah?

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 4:51 pm

      I said in the post that I always ask the race officials if it’s okay.

      I hope you have a nice afternoon; sounds like you’re having a horrible day.

      • Lauren August 12, 2011, 4:53 pm

        How was I mean? I’m confused.

        • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 4:54 pm

          It sounded mean to me, perhaps I read your comment incorrectly.

        • Lauren August 12, 2011, 4:56 pm

          Whoa Caitlin, way to edit your comment after posting! She just told me to be a nicer person, before editing her own words. Two-faced.

        • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 4:59 pm

          My comment back to you was typed without really thinking so I changed it to be more polite. Not trying to be ‘two-faced.’

  • Danica August 12, 2011, 4:59 pm

    That picture of your husband at your first marathon is priceless!!

  • Mariel August 12, 2011, 4:59 pm

    Hi Caitlin!

    Thanks for writing this! 🙂 Great tips, I am totally going to take these with me as I enter into my first season of racing this upcoming fall/winter in Phoenix! I’ll keep you posted on how it all works out for me! 🙂

  • Hillary August 12, 2011, 5:05 pm

    One of my biggest regrets from my half marathon last fall was not looking out for the professional photographers. My pictures are hilarious (I look like I’m DYING) but not very good ; )

  • Nina August 12, 2011, 5:09 pm

    Thanks for the tips, they will definitely help me making my races more memorable. 😀

  • Jen August 12, 2011, 5:29 pm

    I think it’s awesome (and in pure, goodhearted fun) of you to run through the finish line again to get a good shot! Commenter #33 should take her negativity elsewhere. This was a positive post, and negative comments are totally unnecessary. I may not be a runner, therefore I don’t race, but if you’re not harming anyone (and if you ask permission), then I don’t see anything wrong with wanting a fun picture to remember a race by. I think you rock, Caitlin! And the husband’s face is that picture is too adorable. (I’m sure he loves being called adorable by random girls on the internet. Haha!)

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 5:31 pm

      Thanks, Jen. It was suppose to be a light hearted post… race photos are not a matter of life and death 🙂 And yes, the husband LOVES comment attention. He pretends like he doesn’t but I know he does!

  • Sophie @ threetimesf August 12, 2011, 6:01 pm

    Love the ‘don’t poop your pants’ sign! 🙂

  • Joanne August 12, 2011, 6:04 pm

    AHHH! I LOVE, LOVE x 100 that pic of you doing a heel kick. The photographer should put that one in his portfolio. Too good!
    As for the last pic and crossing the finish line over and over again to get the photo – that’s just too funny Caitlin. What a fun person you must be.
    When I finish a race I’m so glad to be over that line, I don’t want to see it again.

  • Mandy August 12, 2011, 6:17 pm

    I’m in love with your “silly race pics”! Great! You’re so genuine and happy, Caitlin. I just have to chuckle when people call you names.

  • Joyce @ Jranola Joyce August 12, 2011, 6:18 pm

    Love it! Thanks so much!

  • Robin August 12, 2011, 7:03 pm

    Running through a finish line multiple times for a race photo is just asinine. As is taking a photo of your morning oatmeal and mid-day apple and publishing it on the internet. I guess I just don’t understand bloggers.

    ( go ahead! tell me how bad of a mood i must be in today! cause i’m not 😀 )

    • Eliza August 13, 2011, 2:41 am

      I don’t really understand the need for you to comment then..

  • Megan (Running Foodie) August 12, 2011, 7:14 pm

    I am all for hamming it up for the professional photographers or for having your spectators take photos for you, but it does kind of bug me when people are taking pictures of themselves while they are racing. I’m sure many bloggers can focus on racing and photography at the same time, but to me it just seems like one of those things needs to take priority in that situation. In my case, running takes priority.

  • Molly @ RDexposed August 12, 2011, 7:15 pm

    I LOOVE that picture of the husband. Racing kind of is an emotional thing. You push youself to the limit, no one else is there forcing you to do it.

  • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas August 12, 2011, 7:20 pm

    Oooh, I love the idea of going back for a good finish pic! No matter how excited and happy I am to be finishing a race, I always end up staring at my feet because I saw a guy wipe out on the timing mat once. So smart Caitlin 🙂

    • Caitlin August 12, 2011, 7:21 pm

      Oh my goodness. I cannot believe that! How scary for him. I’m going to watch the mat now, too – I never thought about it being slippery but I guess it is from all the sweat and drinks!

  • D August 12, 2011, 7:42 pm

    I think if you want to try and get good pics, good for you! I only race longer distances (marathon) rather than shorter, so I’m usually in too bad of a mood to even try. Getting my pic taken at mile 22 usually makes me want to punch the photogs face in.

    I read the early comments and while I don’t think it’s “two faced”, I do think it’s unethical as a blogger (who makes money from blogging) to edit their words. It would have been so much more meaningful if you added another comment saying “you know, that was maybe too harsh”. If a newspaper was suddenly able to retract or edit statements, that would be considered very poor journalism. Bloggers want to be taken seriously as a form of media so I believe they should hold themselves to higher standards than someone who is writing on their myspace or online diary. When a newspaper, magazine or journal prints something offensive, everyone expects them to acknowledge it. What if Marie Claire was able to just silently “delete” the nasty article they wrote from their magazines without saying anything? I’ve noticed a LOT of bloggers edit their posts and comments after they say something offensive or inflammatory (one in particular…), but I haven’t noticed you do that much. Sorry for the novel – it bugs me 🙂 And, I’m sure other readers would appreciate your honesty.

    • Lauren August 13, 2011, 8:49 am

      Thanks for saying this.

    • JessicaR August 13, 2011, 9:46 am

      Sadly, a lot of times online news stories *are* edited. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen one aspect of a story completely removed from reputable online news journals. I know this isn’t related to Caitlin, but I thought it was worth pointing out.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 12, 2011, 8:05 pm

    Thanks for all the tips! I’m going to have to remember these when I do my first race (hopefully this fall!). 😀

  • Brooke @ Tales of a Bride-To-Be August 12, 2011, 8:41 pm

    Great tips, and very entertaining photos! My fiance always tries to capture the moment of finish, but tends to forget to run up and give me a hug.

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith August 12, 2011, 8:46 pm

    Epic. You rock – thanks for the post! 🙂

  • Erin @ Big Girl Feats August 12, 2011, 8:48 pm

    When I ran my first ever 5K, I nearly hurled at the finish line. Cut to a few days later when I get the pictures in my email, there I am red faced, and holding my hand over my mouth with my eyes bulging out like “OH MY GOD, PLEASE don’t let me barf right now.” The best part is that I emailed them to my sister because they were so hilarious who sent them, unbeknownst to me, to my entire family. At Christmas time, my grandmother gave me a decoupaged box with an 8×11 sized copy of the photo on the underside of the cover. Best race photo ever.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB August 12, 2011, 9:46 pm

    I don’t. Mine all look like I’m in pain or pissed-off. I’m okay with that though, since it’s usually true!

  • Erin August 12, 2011, 10:37 pm

    ahhh you’re awesome Caitlin! Love the pics and tips!

  • Corrie Anne August 13, 2011, 12:30 am

    Oh what a SWEET post. I can TOTALLY appreciate this!!!! Yeahhh!

  • mi-an d. August 13, 2011, 1:45 am

    awesome post! i’ve never done a race before…(a lil bit scurred actually)… but i do run a lot and work out and do yoga and take pics sometimes when i can! lol
    p.s. i finally finally made mmmm sauce, wow dude! hella good! i actually added fresh cilantro bc i love that herby flavah of it…s*%t is the bomb!!! i finally made it over to mama pea’s site and commended her! 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP August 13, 2011, 10:30 am

      Awww You should do a race! I promise, it’s not scary. People who run races are generally SO supportive of one another and friendly. I bet you would have fun! Do a 5k!

  • Khushboo August 13, 2011, 2:25 am

    Haha love this post! That pic of you kissing the guns is the best!

  • Eliza August 13, 2011, 2:33 am

    Great post.

    Let the haters hate, there will always be people wanting be negative, especially when blogging is such a big part of your life- I think you handle everything really well!

    I LOVE that pic of the husband haha

    • marie August 13, 2011, 12:11 pm

      Why is it that anyone who disagrees is labeled “negative” or a “hater?” Last time I checked, this was a forum for honest discussion, not a guestbook.

    • marie August 13, 2011, 12:11 pm

      Why is it that anyone who disagrees is labeled “negative” or a “hater?” Last time I checked, this was a forum for honest discussion, not a guestbook.

      • Caitlin August 13, 2011, 12:13 pm

        I don’ think everyone who disagrees is a hater 🙂 Disagreements make life interesting! I think there’s nice ways to disagree though!

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION August 13, 2011, 7:23 am

    GREAT tips! I need to remember to smile for the professional photographer, as I always have this half mad/half tired look on my face. Which fits the moment, but still. It’d be nice to have a smily one. 😉

    And great idea about crossing through the finish line again to get another shot! 😀

  • Laura August 13, 2011, 9:08 am

    While the race directors might be okay with it, I can’t help but think it’s a bit rude to go back through a finish line multiple times. How would you feel if you were a 5:00 marathoner and someone who finished in 4:00 kept crossing the line when you were trying to finish, because they wanted the perfect picture? If you really want a good finish line photo, go the day before when they put up the finish line. I think it’s disrespectful to other runners to steal any of their thunder. That’s what the finisher photo area is for – where you hold up your medal and smile and pose for a picture.

    That said, your other tips are great – I’ve taken a few fun photos during marathons myself, when I wasn’t racing 🙂

    • Jazz August 13, 2011, 9:31 am

      I have a sneaky suspicion that she waits till the coast is clear…

      • D August 13, 2011, 9:37 am

        In the picture she posted, where she went through 3 times, you can clearly see 2 people directly behind. I’m all for fun posing DURING the race (and go through the finish as many times as you want when it’s 100% over), but I agree, if I were coming to the finish line and saw a girl ahead of me going back and forth and posing, I’d be pissed!

        • CaitlinHTP August 13, 2011, 10:32 am

          I really don’t make it this big ass deal. Do you guys really think that I, of all people, who is so supportive of other runners, would make it this obvious deal that I was re-running the finish line? I’m not like, chest thumping in front of other runners “I already finished, naynaynaybooboo!” LOL

        • Jazz August 13, 2011, 10:53 am

          Exactly! go for it Caitlin!

  • Shona August 13, 2011, 9:33 am

    Hate negativity, LOVE YOU. First ever “Healthy living blog” I came across and still my favourite! You’re an inspiration and your posts just keep getting better!

    • CaitlinHTP August 13, 2011, 10:33 am

      Thanks Shona 🙂 I appreciate it.

  • stephs August 13, 2011, 9:34 am

    just needed to comment that i tried yogurt with raw oats as my post workout snack this morning and omg so yummy!!! the oatmeal taste just like wheat germ, who knew?!

  • Meredith August 13, 2011, 10:33 am

    I love the idea of ‘faking the finish’. The finish photos for my first two races are horrible, and I like that they’re genuine, but they’re not exactly photos I’d get printed and display – it’s hard to get a good finish photo when there are other people around you, especially in a big race, and you might not even be the main subject of the photo. I know in my most recent finish photo, I’m actually in the background and another lady is in front of me – not exactly a photo worth paying to have printed!

    Thanks for the tips Caitlin, I can’t believe the uproar that this light hearted post seems to have caused!

  • Margot @ FasterBunny August 13, 2011, 10:44 am

    Hey Caitlin. I actually FOUND your blog just now because of the uproar of this post. It actually seems like a great blog, and you seem nice so don’t let my comment take away from that.
    I think what’s really irritating everyone (including me) is the emphasis on appearance and not athletic performance. I get that you’re a blogger and want to document, but surely things like wearing a camelback so you can have a camera during a race and hopping over a finish line are ridiculous.

    First and foremost, this is an athletic event, not a tourist event or a charity walk. And honestly, I have to worry about my appearance in every facet of my life as a woman, do I really need to extend that to races as well? I hope not, I just wanna run my guts out.

    • CaitlinHTP August 13, 2011, 11:17 am

      Hi Margot! Welcome to HTP 🙂 You should read my race recaps before you decide if this is all just for show… trust me, 40 races over 5 years is not just for show.

      • Margot @ FasterBunny August 13, 2011, 11:31 am

        Thanks and yeah definitely read through some of your races. Congrats on all the hard work – I am in no way meaning to take away from your many races :).

        • CaitlinHTP August 13, 2011, 11:34 am

          Thanks girl 🙂 Racing is fun. When I start to take it too seriously, I lose my love for it! I’m off to check out your blog now, too!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) August 13, 2011, 11:12 am

    This is bookmarked and printed. I often race alone because I travel up to an hour for a 5k (small town girl here). Nice reminder to ask others for pictures and I love the finish line tip.

  • CaitlinHTP August 13, 2011, 11:22 am

    Well, normally I can predict what posts are going to cause an uproar but I didn’t see this one coming! I just wanted to comment and respond to a few issues:

    1) This post is not “how to be a fast runner” but “how to get good race photographs.” There’s lots of posts on hardcore racing on my Top Posts page: This post is supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek funny way to look at getting race photos. I have actually had multiple people email about this topic in the past few days, which is why I did a post!

    2) Obviously, running through the finish line twice without permission or if you’re cutting in front of others is not cool. But, as stated, I always ask race officials.

    3) Life is way too short to take so seriously. It’s just race photographs. Have fun. Laugh hard. Kiss your guns in race photos. 🙂

  • Amber K August 13, 2011, 2:11 pm

    I had NO idea by reading this that there would be such a commotion in the comments. There are just some things in life that don’t need to be taken so seriously!

    You’re still one of my favorite bloggers Caitlin! Especially since yours is the first blog I ever read. Coming here never disappoints in teaching me things and expanding my mind.

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner August 13, 2011, 9:12 pm

    I must say, Caitlin, you have some of the BEST professional race photos ever! Seriously, no one ever looks good in race photos, but somehow you are able to pull it off. I’ve done the smile at the camera thing before and I still look ridiculous! I might have to flash my guns a little bit more! ;o)

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 13, 2011, 10:28 pm

    Haha great tips! I’ll try and use some in my 5K tomorrow with my Dad!

  • GodHatesTools August 13, 2011, 10:34 pm

    You are a colossal asshat.

    • Randall says August 14, 2011, 2:42 am

      i definitely think the bigger asshat is the bitter loser from Letsrun who has nothing better to do than to start a flame war online with some chick.

  • LRRDER August 13, 2011, 11:41 pm

    So post #69 is from the real “Tool” who decided to go running to a piece od trash website call letsrun dot com to trash the host blogger. Seems GHT really can’t come up with anything constructive to say so he/she asked the readers of that website to come on here to shit on this parade. You’re blog hits will go up..but he/she is the real tool here!! Enjoyed your Blog!!

  • Sam August 14, 2011, 12:41 am

    If the whole point is a goofy picture why don’t you just stay home and have a friend take a goofy picture. If you want a race you should train harder, so that way you can finish a race without taking a walking break.
    Are you people really so vain that you need your finish line photo faked to make it look “perfect.” Also, what the hell is with the 3 hour 43 minute at 13 miles. You actually have people come cheer you on as you slog a 7+ hour marathon that you clearly did not put any effort into.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 8:37 am

      Hi Sam!

      I was actually injured for that half marathon but didn’t want to totally bail on the race since I was traveling to NYC for it. So I walked it with another injured friend. My half PR is 1:58 but walking a half was a totally different and very fun experience. I got to talk to lots of cool people, including a 70 year old woman who had ran over 50 marathons. It’s not how fast you cross… it’s how much fun you have.

      Maybe you should ask before you assume?

  • Randall says August 14, 2011, 2:25 am

    some insecure tool bag from the Letsrun forum tried to get the whole community to come over to here and bash you. i don’t think it’s working that well though, since most people just think he’s a dick. i’m sure it’s improving your blog hits as well, as i took the time to look at your blog. cool stuff.

    keep on doing your thing girl.

    • Caitlin August 14, 2011, 8:36 am

      Thanks Randall.

  • Rob August 14, 2011, 2:53 am

    I saw this on Letsrun too. I really have no opinion on your blog, and hope you enjoy running as much as I do. But as a meet director, track coach, cross country coach, and life-long runner, I would hate to see people begin going through the finish line multiple times, as you recommend. I know you logically can understand how much time and energy is spent keeping these areas clear so people can safely finish their races, but did you take a nanosecond to debate the concept in your head before posting your tips? Please don’t add to the duties of the race management staff, who are typically very positive volunteers, by now have to wrangle a bunch of photo-hounds out of the finishing chute because they read your blog. They deserve a hearty thank you, not added aggravation.

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