True Grit 2017

True Grit 2017

A couple of weekend ago I went and covered perhaps the toughest race that I have covered to date, True Grit. True Grit is a military inspired obstacle race held over a 10km or so track. What makes it so tough though is that there is also a smaller True Grit run in conjunction which is a punishing 24hr obstacle race and is also the Australian Titles. It was the 24hr part that I came to cover.

Heavy rain preceded the event and was forecast to continue over the weekend. I got out onto course just after the main race from day 1 finished up. I started out with the closest obstacles, a rope crossing and a 10ft wall climb. On the wall climb team work or help from strangers went a long way to getting up and over. A last gasp from the weather and the rain hammered down for an hour or so. Thankfully the Canon gear is pretty well waterproof throw on an OP Tech rain sleeve and an umbrella in between competitors goes along way to keeping the gear dry. 

One section was called the muddy mile but due to the rain was more like a mile walking through a river. The muddy mile finished with having to duck under some barbed wire however around 3 in the morning the wire duck had to be closed off due to the river rising and covering the barbed wire.

I got so wrapped up in shooting that my night went way longer than expected. I grabbed an hour and a half sleep but think that I shot for around 20 out of the 24hr race. Its events like this that I love. Night shooting always adds an extra dimension and there is just so much variety in things going on to shoot

If you think this is up your alley you can check out all the details and get involved with the event when it next comes around over at the True Grit website here. They also run the standard True Grit in other cities around Australia.

Posted by Richard in Adventure Racing, Events
Jetblack 24hr: James Estate

Jetblack 24hr: James Estate

Torrential rain and howling winds were what preceded the Jetblack 24hr this year. For me it occurred as I was driving to James Estate winery, the location of this year’s race, for those who had arrived earlier and had already set camp it meant destruction of tents and marquees as gale force winds tore through the camp.

With this in mind it was great to see morning dawn crisp and cool. All signs of the afternoon before had been cleaned and the campsite was filling quickly with racers and supporters alike. The got off on schedule with a great field full of familiar faces. Gil, my colleague at Outerimage, set off in one direction and covered the first half of the track while I went and covered the second half. I had shot through this half quite a bit but I had ideas of different angles and shots that I hoped to improve upon. As the sun rose so did the temperature and humidity.

I stayed out for a while after the sun had dipped below the surrounding hills. I found myself back at an old favourite spot which is a classic view of riders, vineyards and the setting sun trying to capture the lights of the riders bikes. After a quick dinner back at camp I went back out though I stayed close to the camp. Since the camp was well lit and, although I chose a dark corner, I hoped my flashes wouldn’t have to much of a detrimental effect on the riders night vision. I covered my flashes with with some coloured gels and played around with different lighting.

After a short sleep I headed back out for the early morning light. Gil and I swapped track halves and I found dead myself in a section of vineyard that was new to me. I’m always amazed at the stamina of the 24hr solo racers and although there was definite signs of fatigue creeping in on many there was also determination showing as well. After only a couple of hours sleep fatigue was starting to sink it’s claws into me too. I drifted around finding some great spots and getting stuck in others where I couldn’t find a good angle. By my last location I was really struggling to keep awake.

Despite the lack of sleep I really enjoy the 24hr races. I love the fact that we get to shoot in all types of light, from the soft early morning to the harsh midday to the black of night. It offers the full spectrum to play around in.

Posted by Richard in Bikes, Events