Jordan running nice and easy at the start of the race.
Remember Jordan, my friend Donna’s son? Last time we saw him . . . we hardly saw him.
Four high school cross-country meets ago at the start of the fall season, I thought I had taken a great photo of Jordan running. But what I got, you may recall, was a shot of two bodies and six legs. Neither body, unfortunately, was his. Yep, nothing much there to see of Donna’s long-legged, freshman boy.
Fortunately, Jordan’s school is in the same district as that of the #2 son, which meant odds were we’d see his team again. That chance for photographic redemption happened last Friday. I spotted Jordan at the start of the varsity boys’ three-mile race and made sure to snag a pic right away. Then I waited for him at the finish.
Chris grimaces along.
I had been at the finish area shooting photos of the junior varsity boys and varsity girls, and I noticed something of interest: When the finish line banner appears, the runners suddenly turn on their jets, kick it into fifth gear, and try to pass as many competitors as they can. What made this area a haven for dramatic photography were the looks on their faces . . . only on the boys, though . . . as they sprinted for home. It almost was as if those torturous, twisted features shaved several seconds off their times.
Mark's face shows the torture of sprinting towards the finish line.
It seemed like 90 percent of the runners’ energy that was expended along the course was spent on these last, grassy 25 yards. I must admit it was rather entertaining—for the spectators!
John looks ready to finish!
So I got to wondering what kind of faces Jordan would make as he approached the finish line. I didn’t have to wait long to find out.
Jordan rounds the bend, focused on the finish.
Once Jordan came around a little bend and spied the big, digital clock steadily ticking off the seconds and then minutes, the look on his face totally changed.
"Get out of my way!"
Jordan was no longer cool, calm, and collected. Nope, he wanted that finish line to be under his feet as quickly as possible. Every runner knows that feeling; it’s just that some accomplish the feat much sooner than others.
"Strain" is the name of the game.
It didn’t take long before Jordan neared the promised land and a great finishing time (6:37 pace).
Jordan's teammates cheer him on.
All in all, I think I redeemed myself for that earlier photographic faux pas. Not only did I capture plenty of photos of Jordan, I documented his experience at the race. Of course, I also took lots of pics of our high school team in action.
The gorgeous eyes of the #2 son post-meet
And one final photo of one of the faces—tortured and twisted or otherwise—I love the best!