Picture Perfect

I’ve never had such delusions of grandeur to think myself a good-looking runner, and this past week’s top trending Internet meme (I sincerely apologize for using that godawful word) has only solidified that understanding.

You’ve all seen this, right? Men want to be him, women want to date him and sports photographers want to capture him in a glossy 3×5: the Ridiculously Photogenic Guy.


(Disclaimer: I don’t have distribution rights to this photo, but spreading joy to the masses in the form of handsome digital images can never be wrong. Right, lawyers?)

No one looks that good in race photos, particularly me. While RPG and his windblown locks were making history last week, the rest of us runners were struggling to put one foot in front of the other, let alone flash a killer smile toward the race photographer. If I’m lucky, I’ll finish a race with one sweat-drenched, muscle-fatigued photo like this one that I should be embarrassed to even be posting:

And that’s a good one. More often than not, my race photos make me look like a parched Fievel Mousekewitz passing mirage Tiger in the Wild West desert. (1991 feature-length cartoon reference? Yes, please.) In addition to confirming the Internet has great taste in men, RPG proves that the rest of us normal people have no place being photographed on the race course.

Or so I thought. I had a bit of a cheering squad near the finish line of this month’s Colon Cancer 15K, including my nice boyfriend, his sweet mama and his very talented photographer father. Turns out, all you need to capture a good race photo is a personal paparazzi! I’m not claiming to be the next RPG, but these stills sure beat my usual mugshots:

And now, watch me run away.


What’s your trick for post-worthy race photos?


5 thoughts on “Picture Perfect

  1. A friend with a good DSLR and quality lenses, an agreed upon spot on the course with a good backdrop where I wont have blown up yet, and a few choice words shouted from said photographer to evoke fierce facial expression. Get the pic early, looking like a melted candy bar never frames well. For wall hangers, stop just before the photo point and knock out a quick set of push ups/chin ups/squats. May seem cheesy now, but when you look back at age 50, remembering yourself as buff once is pretty nice.

  2. For post-worthy race photos? Stick to ‘before the run’ shots, and shots that are blurry and taken from a distance. Seriously, I look like ass. I would be stoked to look as good as you in action shots.

    1. I agree that the pre-race photos (or post-shower photos) are key. I also saw a woman racing in full night-at-the-club make-up last week. I would sweat off foundation in the first 0.1 mile, but to each her own!

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