“You run really steadily with a camera,” my husband told me over the weekend. “That’s a talent.”
But really, I was worried if I could pull it off, shooting video footage with a camera strapped to my noggin. If I was all over the place, it would make all our viewers green…but certainly NOT with envy.
As some of you may already know, I ran the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge in Rochester last week with a GoPro camera on my head.
I really wasn’t sure how it would go – and it very nearly didn’t since I managed to drain the battery just before the big race. Fortunately, I caught it in time, recharged and was ready to roll when the 3.5-mile road race started Thursday evening.
— Victoria Freile (@vfreile) May 29, 2014
I tweeted the above picture out moments before I headed to the start line.
I’ve tackled the race, Rochester’s largest office party more than a half-dozen times in recent years. Held annually at the Rochester Institute of Technology campus, it’s a lot of fun.
Laughing my butt off with Jessica before the 2013 race.
I’ve run in 95 degrees and begged for water at both of the course’s water stops. I’ve raced it. I’ve paced other runners. I’ve run injured.
Oh yeah, and I ran in a monsoon. Looking at you, 2009.
With former colleagues Steph and John in 2009. You really can’t tell in this pic, but we are all completely drenched. And as a side bonus, my car battery died on the way home from this waterlogged race.
I know the course well, so was prepared and excited to take the Democrat and Chronicle’s readers on a tour. This year, the weather was perfect. It was in the 6os or so, with a light breeze and only a few clouds in the sky. I was ready to run.
I headed over to the start line just minutes before the 7 p.m. and shot some footage of some of the 10,900 waiting runners. (It was way more packed than the below pic, which I snapped about 2 hours before the race started.)
I lined up with my friend Traci, knowing full well that I’d lose her in the first quarter-mile. Even if she wasn’t listening to a word I said, I felt better chatting up a storm with a friend nearby rather the talking-to-myself tactic I adopted partway through the course.
The second wave started and were were off. I repeatedly reminded myself not to dodge other runners and weave through the crowd as I’d regret spending that energy later. And really, it doesn’t get you any further ahead in the crowd, it only serves as an aggravation. Trust me!
Last year was the first year the race offered wave starts, a huge improvement from previous years when about 10,000 people started at all once. It was always frustrating, as people would line up inappropriately and you’d be dodging people left and right for the first full mile. The improvement was much appreciated.
I quickly conquered the lone hill on the course and chatted with a few strangers as I coasted downhill. I pulled to the side to film runners rounding a curve. I paused at the water stop – and as a result scared the stuffing out of one lovely volunteer, sorry buddy! But I got some great footage.
I talked to myself as I ran. I cheered for a few strangers. I chatted with (and scared off) several more runners.
I pulled the camera off my head repeatedly. I shot my own moving feet. I shot the people next to me as we ran side by side. I shot over my shoulder. I shot upside down. I repeatedly checked that the camera was operating properly. (it was, sorry Tina.)
I ran off the course repeatedly and filmed runners coming straight towards me. I shoved the camera back on my head and huffed and puffed to pass people as I ran toward the finish.
After crossing, I zipped to the side, behind one of the D&C’s photographers, and shot more images of finishers. Success!
The final video was produced by my talented colleague Tina MacIntyre-Yee. She did an amazing job, as she always does.
Have you ever run with a GoPro? Would you? Have you ever run the Corporate Challenge… in the sun, wind or rain? Tell me about your experiences in the comments!