Alice Springs Photographer Blog

Runner's World Magazine & The Indigenous Marathon Project

Ever get one of those emails that just doesn’t make sense until you've read it 4 or 5 times. That’s what it was like when Runner's World Magazine contacted me at midnight last Friday.

As far as I remember I didn't see this email yesterday, I thought to myself, if I had I would have replied answering their questions. You see I'm one of those iPhone people that is constantly checking for new emails and Facebook messages, trying to remain on top of my digital correspondence. So waking up as the sun peaked over the horizon and reaching for my trusty device to find that an international magazine had emailed me did confuse me a little and it did take a few reads for the penny to drop.

As soon as it did however I was on the phone to the editor in New York and a short conversation later I was assigned to cover a story for the magazine later that day. I was to document the Indigenous Marathon Project camp and 30km marathon in Alice Springs. The camp and marathon was set to prepare 12 young Aboriginal people for the prestigious New York Marathon later in the year and give them the opportunity of a lifetime.

Among the stars were several individuals that stood out both for their athletic abilities but also their character and personality. Huge smiles and a natural camera presence helped me to make some fantastic images that I am very proud of as they should be too. After all its not everyday that your whisked away from your home towns and thrust into the spotlight by an international magazine.

The shoot itself was behind the 8 ball from the start with the marathon already mostly over by the time I read the email at 7:20am. A start to an assignment that will surly go down as a great campfire story, with a happy ending I'm pleased to add. The runners had started at 5:30am to avoid the heat of the day which was set to peak at 38 degrees. What a shame to have missed that early morning light but as a professional photographer you do have to have all the tricks up your sleeve to deliver the best results possible. So after a few hectic phone calls to the reporter who was with the runners we decided to go for the late afternoon light.

5pm rolled around and we all made out way to a location just outside of Alice Springs where I thought everyone could be satisfied. The exhausted runners wouldn't have to drive for too long, I'd get a classic desert background and the magazine editor would get what she wanted too. The only slight issue was the heat that was now pushing 42 degrees due to a unusually hot peak in the late September weather. Time was critical, these guys were athletes who had already run 30km this day and who I'm sure would rather be back at their hotel in the air-conditioning, I needed to act fast.

Within 2 hours from meeting at the hotel we arrived back at the same hotel post shoot having achieved one of the best shoots possible, going far beyond everybody’s expectations. Posted here are a few shots from the afternoon giving you a great example of team work under pressure of time, fatigue and weather.