Ready to Run

If you're going to shoot cross country, you better be read to run.

I shot cross country for the first time on Saturday during the MSHSAA State Cross Country Championships at Oak Hills Golf Center in Jefferson City. The day featured races for Class 4 and Class 3 schools.

I didn't realize when I got there, but apparently it's not only the competitors that do the running during a cross country event — the crowd has to run too, to watch them.

The first race was brutal. I had no idea where I was going. Also, I was freelancing for The Sun News who I worked for this summer, so I was responsible for capturing four high schools, boys and girls.

Once I figured out what I was doing and had mapped out my course for where I was going to shoot during the race, it wasn't too bad. I was pretty winded during the entire competition, but no more than I would've been during a football game. I think the only issue was that I didn't really know where I was going at first, but once I figured out my "hot spots" it wasn't hard.

As usual with sports, though, I found my stride with shooting feature. My "money" shots were right after the race, when all the racers were catching their breath, stretching or drinking water. I found a lot of really great moments there and am glad I fought my way through the crowd to get those images.

One problem I did have, though, was shooting really painful or intimate moments. Sami Berry, the girl whose photo is shown first in this blog post. was cramping up quite awfully after the race. She was yelling and crying, and although everyone around her was quite calm, I felt awkward standing above her, taking her picture. If I was yelling and crying, I definitely wouldn't want someone photographing me.

I don't think I would've been uncomfortable shooting a moment like this in Columbia, though. I feel like the citizens of Columbia have kind of gotten used to us photographers, with three newspapers in town and multiple broadcast news outlets. I think it's expected that if you're doing something crazy, someone's going to get a picture of it. But the kids I was photographing weren't used to that media mentality and I didn't want to make them uncomfortable.

Photographs copyright © Katie Currid 2010. All rights reserved.