I've seen the format done here on the web from time to time, but
for whatever reason I've never taken the opportunity to document
the "whole day" from start to finish. Then when I looked
over all of the events that took place on this one day, I decided
to go ahead and use this format.
Since it's a bit image intense, I may let the pictures do most
of the talking.
The stage for this particular Saturday was set earlier in the month
as my son's relay team got better and better. After taking second
place at their regional meet I was curious to see that all four
of them seemed rather bummed out.
One of the boys was cooling down near me and I offered my fist
in congratulations. After we bumped knuckles he said to me, "Yeah,
but we didn't qualify for states."
"How do you know?" I asked.
"Coach told us. His time isn't official, but we were off by
one tenth of a second to qualify."
As the other three gathered round to share their disappointment,
the announcer named off the winners and their time, and then the
second and third place teams, along with their times.
Frowns changed to smiles and high 5's as the "official"
time came in 1 tenth of a second faster.... and the boys were off
to the races.
For division 1 teams the state meet was held at a school track
a good two hour drive to the west. Earlier in the week the boy had
gone online and purchased a new pair of running shoes and had them
delivered to my office so that they would be sure to be in hand
when the bus left early Friday afternoon. Mrs suggested that we
head on over to that side of the state Friday as well, but I suggested
that since it was going to rain anyway, I'd just as soon sleep in
my own bed thank you very much.
Besides, since his race wasn't scheduled to start till 2:00, I
figured we could sleep in and have a leisurely drive to the event.
The forecast was for clearing, but with strong winds.
Camera in hand I yelled out "THE BUS IS LEAVING" but
was met by the sounds of slowness. Ok, so if that's the case, what's
a bored camera man to do?
I wandered around the yard, shot 10 or 12 different images and
came back into the house and yelled... "THIS TIME I MEAN IT,
THE BUS IS LEAVING."
"What's the rush, we've got plenty of time."
I pulled out of the driveway, and got about two houses down the
street and stopped the car. I backed all the way back into the driveway
and then jumped out and ran into the house.
"I know, I know," I said, as I threw the jackets and
helmets into the back of the car. "I changed my mind, we might
as well try it out since we are going to be all the way over there."
Mrs just shrugged and we were off.
On the way over we frequently encountered low bands of clouds,
drizzle, and a fierce wind. I commented several times that it would
be difficult to run in that wind.
Parking was a minor nightmare, but we found a spot right next to
the field. Although we were almost 2 hours early, I decided that
we couldn't run off on our other "errand" for fear of
having to park half a mile away from the field. Then it would be
our luck to miss the race we came to see.
Since most of the team was waiting on this side of the field we
sat down and joined them there. All of my race images were taken
from the grass on the left side of the field.
Fortunately for the runners, the stadium was quite sheltered, and
as the afternoon progressed, the temperature began to rise.
I saw the T-shirt and I liked the message.
While waiting I took a series of shots of the girl's pole vaulting.
Then it was almost time.
I put the telephoto converter on the camera and grabbed a series
of shots of two of the boys in their warm-ups. I have two observations
about that picture to make. First, that's one really enthusiastic
looking partner my son has there, and second, what a difference
3 years can make. That's the 8th grade lad on the right, and the
"eat you out of house and home" one on the left.
Speaking of which, he just came in and asked "Hey Dad. Guess
how many calories I'm eating a day. We just figured it out today."
I guessed 3500-4500.
"Yep, and I've lost weight during track."
I will say however, that when it was time, Brandon lost the headphones,
and got serious. Really Really serious.
Since he was so close, I took off the telephoto converter and got
Brandon out of the blocks.
As Brandon rounded the corner and raced to his hand-off with Zack,
I quickly changed lenses and camera settings so that I could get
as Zack hands off to Alan.
and Alan heads down the back straight to the next exchange where
Alan handed off to Danny and I was ready as Danny rounded the far
They all knew that they were not going to win the race, since their
team placed 27th out of 29 slots, but they wanted to win their heat,
and they wanted to improve their time.
And improve they did.
Old records die hard, it seems, and this was one they really really
I told my son they should call the story "Dusty record bites
You see, it's the oldest high school record that's on the board,
and it has been there for 35 years.
Not any more. Four new names go up on the board, Brandon and Zack
and Alan and Danny, and another great memory has been added to their
They knocked it off by three tenths of a second.....
And probably three thousand calories.