Gutbuster Ladysmith 2014

July 07, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

On Saturday I woke up bright and early to get myself down to Ladysmith in order to get some pics at the Gutbuster Transfer Beach Trail Running Race.  The race course starts you off with a wicked climb up Methuen St, then heads up into the woods along Holland Creek. Then more uphill to Heart Lake, and finally a cruise-y downhill to the finish.

You with me?Racers are greeted with an uphill battle at Methuen St. to kick off the race.

Although the day was overcast and light levels were low at the best of times, Mother Nature was kind enough to hold off on the rain - for the most part.  Sadly at one point a deluge came down and I scrambled to get my non-weathersealed gear under cover, just as a large pack of runners came through. *sigh*  

One of my objectives was to see if I could make use of my largest lens to get some compression-oriented shots, throwing the background out of focus and really highlighting the runners.  Previously I had only used normal and wide focal length lenses at events like this (some mountain biking and trail running races) and I was curious to see if using the longer focal lengths would work.  The experiment was a moderate success: in many cases I was able to achieve the look I was going for, but I was hampered by the lack of light, and the fast shutter speed required to keep the blur due to camera shake down to a minimum meant that I was pushing the ISO higher than I wanted to - in the realm of 800 or so. 

At the turnoff to Heart Lake

Another objective was to get some off-camera flash going, hoping to light trail runners the way I had lit racers in the forest at the 12 Hours of Cumberland Mountain Bike Race. Again, this met with limited success due to the inclement weather since my speedlights are *not* weathersealed, and my decision to change locations a bunch of times would have meant setting up and tearing down the lights repeatedly, but I did manage to get a single light off-camera in a situation where, strictly speaking, the light wasn't necessary, but having it allowed me to freeze the action and add just a bit more clarity.

Still flying!Crossing the Holland Creek Bridge and heading into the home stretch.

All in all it was a great event on some fun trails with lots of friendly and enthusiastic volunteers. 

Holland Creek Bridge Course MarshalI think his name is Hugo

Check out the rest of the photos at the Gutbuster Transfer Beach 2014 gallery!

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