5/18/22 "Epic Enough Yet?"

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Whenever I have a back to back race weekend, I generally become a bit cautious because I know it would involve camping and off road courses.  And maybe rain too and maybe bears .  So, I shot the 5/14/22 Ready Set Go Adventures Way Over Yonder Trail Run Series #2, Running the Beast (Wawayanda State Park).  And on the 5/15/22, the next day, I was shooting, in the same park, the first USAT National Gravel Triathlon Series #1, Jersey Gravel Triathlon.  It wasn't just this race we have but also followed by 2 more RSGA own race series, the Off Road Tri and the Beast Gravel.  

Heading to the weekend, I checked the weather and I was only slightly optimistic because there was 50/50 chance it would rain.  See, I got some road rash 3 weeks ago after my NYC pothole crash.  My knee has been healing up but not completely healed up.  The injury didn't impede my movements but I have been very careful in keeping the wounds dry and clean.  Shooting the weekend races in the rain won't be fun. One great thing was that it didn't rain during the race for both days.  That was a relief. 

Obviously, I have to camp overnight in the Wawayanda State Park.  Many athletes were camping out.  It was raining hard and starting around 7pm, Saturday night.  It didn't stop until like 5 am in the morning.  I normally don't sleep well camping because is not something I am used to.  With the rain and a baby wasn't that bad.  It was the child's first night camping with the parents.  Since I was so worked up shooting the Saturday race and followed by a pre-ride of the gravel course , I did manage to get some sleep out of being tired out, surprisingly.  My budget tent held up pretty well in the rain too.  I was completely dry inside.  By the Sunday morning, I felt fresh.  It was a difficult race to shoot and to plan its logistic.

I won't get into the details and revealing my trade secrets but during the planning process I knew the challenge ahead.  It was a none stop morning with fields starting within an hour apart and racing across the ENTIRE Wawayanda State Park.  There are spots I would like to be but it would throw off my logistic into a complete disaster.  Missing fields and getting late to the spots.  In the end, I did my job and got the shots I needed.  It could have been slightly better....  Anyway, that's usually the case when comes to race photography logistic.  You don't always get every planning right because you are working with the Race Director and the race format.  Sometimes, the race schedules and the formats aren't always the way how you want to shoot the race. 

For the gravel course, yeah, the Wawayanda State Park's gravels are slightly bigger.  Everything else in Wawayanda State Park is bigger. 

Good things are that there was no rain.  I didn't crash.  I didn't injure myself.  Great weather and great crowd.  Great pizzas too.  Ate 4 slices.  Wish the drive back home to Brooklyn would be quicker.  Left the race around 4pm and didn't get back to Brooklyn until 7pm.  In the morning, it took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to get to the Wawayanda State Park. 

Oh, last weekend was just  a warm up for this coming weekend.  Another back to back race weekend.  On the 21st, shooting the Beach Channel ITT race for Alex's Verrazano Team racing.....a very small race event....very local.  The next one, shooting a 500+ riders Jersey Gravel Grinder being organized by Ready Set Go Adventures...covering over 90 miles of race distance.  The good thing is that I would be driving to my spots, instead of riding there.  My second photographer would be with me.  We are going to have a blast...I hope.  I haven't even drafted out my logistic yet!    

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