Hell must have frozen over because I actually kinda like these race photos.

Race photos. We all have them and sometimes they are really unflattering.

Mine are unflattering MOST of the time. I have the tendency to block out absolutely everything around me and hence am never aware of the photographers lurking in the shadows waiting to capture that perfect moment when I’m drooling all over myself and looking like I’d rather be dead than running in a race.


Here I am running in a recent 5K. At least I’m smiling for this picture.

I always check out the photos online after the race because I like to have a good laugh at my own expense. There has only been about one photo that I look somewhat decent in and since it was my finish line photo from my first half, I pretty much had to buy it.

Recently some of my favorite bloggers have written some very entertaining posts – for example here, here, and here –  about their race pics. Every single one of these wonderful people have the ability to smile directly AT the photographers or at the very least look like they are having an okay time, and I’m jealous of their skills. Reading some of these posts also reminded me that there were probably some pictures floating around of me running Sole of the City the other week so I headed over to the Chessie Photo website to check it out.

I also prepared myself for the worst because the last time I ran an event where Chessie Photo was doing the photography the most horrifying photos ever taken in my life surfaced on the Internet. It was Zoo Zoom and in my defense it was freezing outside and I couldn’t feel my face so even if I had seen a photographer lurking, I likely wouldn’t have been able to produce a smile for the camera. I didn’t see any photographers though, leading me to believe that they were perhaps disguised as zoo animals.

DWP london zoo photo competition 260912

So I’m on the Chessie Photo site. I locate myself using the race code and my bib number.

And…huh. These aren’t SO terrible.

Here I am during mile 4.


I know it’s mile 4 due to the brick surface I’m running on, the harbor in the background, and because I realized the photographer was there literally 1 second after this photo was taken. I actually said “DAMMIT” out loud because I was sure it would be joining all my other race photos in the stupid-face collection. I still don’t love my face here, but at least I don’t look like I’m melting. I do like how strong I look. My arms are pretty diesel.

Then there were a bunch of pictures of me snapped at the finish line that are mostly very similar to one another. This is my favorite one:


FIST PUMP WHAT!? I was so jazzed because I already knew I had a PR and I might have been a little excited that I was just about to chick Mr. Bib#2219 right there at the end. My face looks a little doofy, but I think the whole victory aspect cancels that part out.

And then there’s this one:


The obligatory “Shutting Off the Garmin” pic. I was also trying to get a better idea of what my finish time was because I had started so far back in the pack. I like this photo because my face doesn’t suck and my legs look really long. I also just realized that Mr. Bib#2219 and I are shoe twinners! Fun! Pink shirt there on the left looks about one step away from a faceplant. I hope she’s okay.

In all these pictures you can see how Looking At The Camera Impaired I am, but at least they aren’t the worst that ever happened. I still probably won’t buy any of them because they are nothing spectacular, although I do like my victory fist pump. 🙂

Have you ever really loved any of your race photos? Did you love any enough to buy them? Do you have any pics doing a victory fist pump?



Photos courtesy of the Google Machine and Chessie Photo.

58 thoughts on “Hell must have frozen over because I actually kinda like these race photos.

  1. txa1265 says:

    I think those are great pics – and I love the combination of all three of you crossing the line (and hope pink shirt is OK).

    I have long since discovered that I possess some unnatural sense of when a camera is abou to go off and strike a pose. Race pics, Tower of Terror, rollercoasters, whatever … so we really enjoy when we find one of me where I am NOT posed-looking! 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      I like those pics too and I wish I knew who those people are!
      It’s really just during races when I have this problem. I’m usually pretty good at predicting where the camera will be on roller coasters but oh my goodness I should have purchased the photo from the first time I went on Tower of Terror. I had no idea what was going on and I looked like I was about to die of fright! (I LOVE TOWER OF TERROR!)

  2. SuzLyfe says:

    YOU LOOK AWESOME! And I love the Swirl gear sunny! My shirt of choice (once it warms up). And the fist pump HELL YES. I’ve had some good race photos, and I’ve bought a few, but mostly for my mom. Mostly my pictures are of me looking hella intense during the run and insane before and after 😀 Imagine that.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks, #suzlyfe! ❤ The sunny is my favorite shirt too and I'm just happy we had good enough weather that I could wear short sleeves. And I cannot imagine that at all. AT. ALL. 🙂

  3. Kristin says:

    Haha, I absolutely love this post and I love your photos!! You look really good!! Okay, I know exactly what you’re talking about!! When I’m running on the course, I seriously block out everything around me (like you said). Often times after a race (if I’ve run with my husband), he’ll say, did you see this person or that photographer and I’m like ummm… no! I’m so in the moment I guess!! Therefore I always dislike my pictures; however, during my last half marathon, I was pleasantly surprised that I liked some of my pictures and (surprise, surprise), I actually bought some!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Ahhh you get it! 🙂 That’s totally how I am too (except minus the husband running because mine doesn’t). I can’t imagine you ever taking a bad photo though! You’re always so photogenic!

      • Kristin says:

        Thank you, but OHHH, I have!! So funny, I was thinking the exact same thing about you (when I read this post)! What, Salt has bad photos? Haha, we do think alike! Thank you, though for the compliment! I think you always look great!! I’m so critical of myself- I think that’s part of the problem! You’re beautiful!! XOXO!!

  4. DarlinRae says:

    LOVE the fist pump pic! Victory! I haven’t yet been to a race large enough to have a photographer. I’m thinking Saturday might have one, since it’s a big community event? Hopefully I don’t look demented.

  5. Meg says:

    Ha. You ARE shoe twinners! You look great in your pictures. Looks like you are working really hard and that is always something to be proud of!!

  6. emmelineruns says:

    You have such long legs! It’s my legs that look awful in running photos, they always seem to catch me right as I plant my foot absorbing all the impact so never a pic of me looking all strong and antelope-like.

    • runsaltrun says:

      That’s the crazy thing…I don’t really think I do! That last camera angle just rocks though! I wish they looked that long all the time. That right there might be enough to buy the picture. (I wish they weren’t so damn expensive.)

  7. piratebobcat says:

    Love it! It’s so hard to get a good race photo. But I have learned over the years to keep my eye out for them so I can at least attempt to make a face that doesn’t look like I have diarrhea. Sometimes races will even have a map that lets you know where they’ll be on the course. Usually it’s a scenic spot.
    Ha, I also finally just figured out that they have photogs at the finish line – always. I noticed that all my finish photos seem to have me stopping my watch – I changed that my last race by not stopping it until after I passed the line and photog.
    BTW, you me and that dude are shoe triplets!
    I love the fist pump, it looks like me when I finished the Dopey Challenge – Fist pump twinsies!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Man I need to run more races that give you a photography map! I’ve never even heard of that! Of all the pics you’ve ever posted, you always look fine. Even in the ones where you don’t think you look fine. Whereas I have diarrhea face like 99% of the time.

      I guess that guy can join our cool shoe club. If he’s lucky.

      OMG DOPEY FINISH PIC!!! That is EPIC and I love how we are fist pump twins!!

  8. Sara says:

    You look like you are in the zone in Mile 4. Good pics! I liked my pics from the Color Run – the Frederick pics, I’m eh about – I look annoyed, I was hoping to look a little more badass. I’ll probably still buy one as a memento though. Zooma will be interesting as it will be my longest race to date – I hope I don’t look like I’m about to die or kill someone.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I LOVE your Color Run pics! And I would definitely get one from Frederick. Even if the one from the Baltimore Half hadn’t been awesome, I still would have purchased at least one of them as a keepsake. For Zooma just don’t be like me and try to take in everything around you. I’m sure you’ll look great!

  9. Corinne says:

    Those are really decent pictures!

    I’ve hated all the race pics of me I’ve ever seen. I’m still pissed that at my second half marathon in October, there are literally only two pictures of me and those were at mile 7 or 8. There are absolutely zero pics of me crossing the finish line. Hopefully I don’t have that issue this year!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks! Ugh that sucks about the pics from October! I feel like they should have extra photographers stationed at the finish line so they can capture everyone that crosses. Everybody wants those photos! (I know I’d prefer that than some crappy picture of me from the middle of the race!)

      • Corinne says:

        Oh there were photographers at the finish line! They were actually stationed up high on some platform type thing above the finish line, and I saw that they all had their cameras up when I crossed the finish line….but somehow no pics of me. I bet there are some in the 10,000+ pics that were never connected to bib numbers, but I’m not about to go searching through all of those for what’s most likely a really awful picture!

  10. ambertherunner says:

    Hah, that fist pump is classic! The photographer also caught you mid-stride which looks cool 🙂
    I love all 3 of you in the final pic are stopping your watches.
    I tend to look like I’m shuffling in most of my race pics- ugh. My expressions are pretty hilarious too. There were a couple pics I liked from the Baltimore Marathon, but I can’t justify spending so much $$ on a photo :/

    • runsaltrun says:

      Haha when I was looking at these I instantly thought of my post from the other day about watch dependency. We really are all like “OH SHUT OFF THE GARMIN!”

      I really wish that they weren’t so expensive. The digital DL of just that one from the Baltimore half was like $25. I didn’t mind paying it too much because obviously I’ll never run my first half again, but it was still obnoxious.

  11. Andrea says:

    These are good…you look so strong! I keep waiting for the pictures that will actually be good enough to make me want to buy them. Hasn’t happened yet and I have a strong feeling it may never happen!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks! I felt really good that day although it doesn’t show to much in my Mile 4 picture. 🙂 That one that I bought was a total happy accident. I’m sure you’ll get an awesome picture at some point!

  12. MaybeMarathoner says:

    I look like a beached whale that’s been thrown upright in all my race pics, and in one recent race pic one side of my face was drooping in misery like I was having a stroke. I would just like to say that though you comment on your face in one pic, all I noticed was your hot muscular legs….so jelly right now! You are awesome!

    • runsaltrun says:

      You basically just described my face in every single one of those Zoo Zoom pics. It was like I had partial face paralysis. I wish they had had a photographer poised at the top of that mountain that I ran up for the 5K race the other weekend. I would have loved to see my face after that.

      And thank you for the lovely compliment! 🙂

  13. Kathryn @ Dancing to Running says:

    The only race photos I’ve ever bought were from Disney Marathon Weekend back in January. MarathonFoto snapped a bunch of great ones of both my husband and I running, and they offered a very reasonable Dopey Challenge package. If I knew that we wouldn’t have gotten a good bang for our buck then I wouldn’t have bought them.

    • runsaltrun says:

      It makes me SO happy to hear this! I was kind of wondering what I was going to do about Dopey because I know I’m going to want some of those no matter how horrible they are.

  14. Pandora Viltis says:

    I like your race photos. You look focused.

    I actually like my race photos, but generally despise getting my picture taken. I think my love for running come through. I still look at my pics and think I could lose some weight, though.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I LOVE your photos! You look so strong and happy to be there! I need to learn a lesson from you about how to make better faces. 🙂 (And I think you look all around fabulous in your pics!)

  15. Hailey says:

    Haha this is great. You look like a rockstar in all of them. The race photos I dislike definitely outnumber the ones I do like. I’ve only had a couple that I’ve bought, but they were a diamond in the rough of a bunch of awful ones. I’ve just accepted the fact that I have to look bad to race good for the most part haha. P.S. I love your calf sleeves! I have the same ones. I have serious issues taking forever to get the socks on haha. 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hahahaha I love that. Yeah I guess if I look really tragic and still finish well then it’s worth it. 🙂 Those sleeves are AWESOME and I love them. I also have socks that I wore a lot when my tendon was acting up, but they are definitely a bit of a PITA to get on and off.

  16. irishrunnerchick says:

    I love your photos – you look like a badass – a totally in-shape and speedy badass. I cannot take a good picture even when I’m not running. In my race photos I look miserable/constipated/bitchface-y. Maybe I should work on it during training – my practice race face run!

  17. irenejean says:

    I love the fist pump photo! That’s a nice way to finish. You look strong in all these photos! The only race photos that I’ve ever like of myself came from a race that gave them to us participants for free, that was awesome. 🙂

  18. kristenk says:

    Yay for good pictures! I love the first picture in this post, you look so fabulous running through the leaves 🙂 I am considering buying some of my Disney Princess Half pics if they ever go on sale (like 3 of them were acceptable, quite a few were terrifying), otherwise I can’t really afford them! So overpriced!

  19. Run Pilou Run! says:

    I have never EVER had a flattering photo taken at a race. I’m always scowling, looking down, and red in the face…I like your photos though, the fist pump is awesome!

  20. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    I’ve never bought a race photo. I’ve actually had a couple decent ones that were taken during Charm City races when they just post them on facebook (so I can just tag myself and not have to buy it or awkwardly take a screen shot and crop it). Your pics came out really good! I feel like as long as my form looks decent I am generally happy with a race picture. I can’t except to have pictures where I am smiling because I am usually in a lot of pain!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Oh lord I never thought to look at the Charm City Facebook. I wonder if I’m in any on there. If I am, I bet they are probably also terrible. I agree…I can definitely be happy with good form too!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thanks! Yeah there have even been some of me standing still that are still terrible because they are post race and I look like I’m about to barf. Really flattering. 🙂

  21. themilereport says:

    love the fist pump at the finish line! I’m not sure if I’ve had any good race photos yet, but I’ve had plenty of bad ones. My favorite might be one taken in the middle of the Flying Pig marathon a few years ago–an older man latched on and talked my ear off, so there is a picture of him smiling at the camera and me giving him a “go away” glare

  22. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I actually like a lot of my race photos. I’ve figured out the art to a good race photo 🙂 I actually have a post in the works about how to get your best race photo 🙂 Those are great ones you’ve got there!

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