Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘lifeguard’

The New York City Triathlon

As a freelancer, I’m always waiting for the phone to ring because a ringing phone usually means work’s calling. It’s always nice to hear the familiar voice of a photo editor on the other end asking my availability. The only thing that spoils it is when they pre-empt the assignment pitch with “So you’re an early riser, right?” delivered in a tone closely associated with a mischievous grin . I answered with “Oh boy…what’s the assignment and how early?…”

As it turned out, the next morning was the NYC Triathlon and the New York Times wanted one nice photo of the event for the paper. Given triathlons consist of swimming, biking, and running; we figured swimming would be the most visual portion to photograph…especially since it took place in the Hudson River!

So I found out I needed to be to my assignment by 5:50AM as that’s when the swimming portion for the pros was scheduled to begin. Unfortunately when I woke up at 5AM, the weather was rainy, hot, and humidity was at 99% according to the forecast. Yuck. With an oversized umbrella and rain-jacket, I made my way to Riverside Park along the Hudson on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, down to the dock where all the triathletes would soon be exiting the water, and waited. The race had been delayed about 30 minutes. Hurry up and wait. In the rain.

After passing the time under my umbrella, I could finally see the flapping arms and faces of swimmers popping up, down, in, and out of the water. Moments later the pros and elite athletes first approached and stormed out of the choppy, brown Hudson River gasping for air and pulling themselves out or the water, some with the help of lifeguards. Up the ramp and down the dock barefoot they clambered down the bike path where they jumped on their bikes and headed north along the West Side Highway continuing about 24 miles before ending in Central Park with a near 6 mile run. Woah.

It was my first time shooting or even witnessing a triathlon and I was truly amazed at the determination and strength of its competitors. It’s even inspired me to work towards a goal of someday competing in a race like that myself…though we’ll see if that ever happens….

Big congrats to my triathlete/photographer pal Jason DeCrow for completing the course!

8 Aug 2011