The 2003 Chicago Marathon - Mile by Mile
October 12, 2003
A Photographic journey

Page III of III

I wanted to visually capture as best as I could "what it's like" to run a large marathon.  The 2003 Chicago Marathon, with over 40,000 participants, ranks the highest in number of participants of any marathon in the World.  Because nothing but the best would suffice to you, the viewer, I carried a Nikon digital SLR with a wide angle 12-24mm lens.  I shot over 250 images, sometimes while running, sometimes while pausing on the side.  Below, in sequence is a photographic journal of the Chicago Marathon, which we can comfortably enjoy without having to run 26.2 miles!

(s = 35mm, d = Digital, m=6x7 Medium Format, l= 4x5 Large Format)

Can it be?  Can it be?  Yes! We are now approaching the finish line,
which can be seen marked by balloons up ahead.  (d)

 

 

Just a few more steps.  We are all pretty tired at this point, but know
that without a doubt, we are going to reach our goal. (d)

 

 

A runner celebrates as he crosses the finish line!   (d)

 

 

Immediately after finishing, runners enter a collection area that moves us efficiently through various stages: 
Space blanket, medal, liquids, and foods are provided as we move from one stage to the next. 
At this point, I recieve a finisher's medal. (d)

 

 

After recieving our medals, the chips from our shoes are removed. (d)

 

 

After 26.2 miles, water is offered in the finishers' recieving area. (d)

 

 

And as we continue in the runner's receiving area, other foods such as apples are provided. (d)

 

 

Water and apples are nice, but finally - The beer stand, where free beer, flowing like a river,
is provided to runners upon arrival! (d)

 

 

I enjoy my beer with relief and great satisfaction at completing the Chicago Marathon. (d)

 

 

Runners and spectators gather in the finish line area at Grant Park, the location where
we started several hours ealier in the day. While a bit hot perhaps, overall the weather was truly beautiful.  (d)

 

 

Myself (25816), wife, friends and family enjoying the moment. (d)

I hope you enjoyed this visual trip through The 2003 Chicago Marathon.  I can't say I would recommend carrying an SLR camera with a zoom lens for a 26.2 mile run, but am glad I did so, allowing me (and others) to re-live that experience visually. 

Photographer's Notes:  I carried a Nikon D100 with a Nikon 12-24 f4 AFS lens.  I set my ISO to 400, and since I was shooting while jogging (or walking), I tried to keep my exposures to less than 1/500 of a second (generally f5.6 to f8).  I inserted a 1 GB flash card and recorded all original images as high resolution jpg's that averaged 2.5MB each.  I chose Nikon's 12-24mm lens as I wanted wide angle views of the race.  The internal focusing system allowed the lens to zero in on subjects rapidly.  I placed the camera in a fanny pack attached to my waist.  The camera peformed flawlessly, despite being bumped along for 26.2 miles.

© 2006 John Miranda