4/12/22 "Is Only EPIC!"

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Look, I was born EPIC.  This past Saturday was epic for sure.  More epic than having a back to back racing weekend.  I have 3 races I needed to cover on Saturday alone, in NYC and NJ.  My 2nd and 3rd shooters did a good job for the NYC races.  For something "slightly" challenging and off road, I have to shoot it personally.  I shot the A.C. Daughtry Security H2H Race#2 JUNGLE MTB ESCAPE 4/9.  The race is a part of the H2H MTB race series in NJ and Ready Set Go Adventures has been hosting one of the races since last year.  AC Daughtry Security is the title sponsor for the series but the series rely on local promoters to run their own races and events. 

It was a new venue, Jungle Habitat,  and fortunately I scouted the course the week before.  Unlike with road races and race events being held on pavement, you can show up at the last minute and just shoot your way.  Hoping on a moto bike and feeling like you are a pro.  The trails don't lie and don't give a damn.  Scouting the course is mandatory when shooting these off road races and adventure sports.  No motos.  No cars.  Zero pretension.  Either you are a real deal or you aren't.  You can't fake it.  The trail knows.  What makes the Saturday race "slightly" challenging was that it was forecast to rain throughout the entire day.  It didn't say anything about snow and ice though.

It turned out not only it was raining throughout the entire day, there was snow and ice and hail, and followed by some heavy downpour in the middle of the race.  The temperate dropped significantly at one point.  This course was already challenging when dry especially in the upper north and west portion of the course.  Now with rain and wet rocks, deep mud, single track with only ONE LINE?  I was prepared but a small amount of wetness got inside my upper body.  Probably the sweat coupled with the cold.  I have my raincoat and snow pants on.  I am not a stranger shooting in these "slightly" challenging condition.  Cameras, lenses, and strobe equipment were protected.  I have my specialty lens to shoot in the woods because long lens doesn't work that well.  You just don't have the space.  There are always trees and bends and switchbacks in the way. 

Still, no matter how much I planned the shoot, is always something coming up at the race that threw me off slightly.  And making me to question if I should shot this spot or gone off to another spot.  In reality, once the race started, is extremely difficult to get to any particular unplanned spots.  You will be going against the race traffic.  Two, you are hauling 20lb+ camera equipment and you just don't mountain bike that well with it.  That means wasting time and effort to reach to an unplanned location resulting missing crucial shots.  I followed my original plan but to stay at a certain spot longer than usual.  If I have gone off, I would miss everything.  

Here are the shots I got on Saturday. 


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