London 2012: Men’s Triathlon

1/1250sec, f/5.6, ISO 800, 300mm

When I said last week that the road race time trials would be my last trip to an Olympic event, I hadn’t realised that the Triathlon event would be taking place out in the open as a non-ticketed event. The women’s event took place on Saturday, and the men’s yesterday.

Last Saturday was simply incredible. It was a bit weird for me, I was due to go down to a friend’s baby naming event, but I was absolutely exhausted to the point of not being able to comprehend anything, it was almost like I was sleepwalking. Having failed to get out, I stayed in with doughnuts and watched the Olympics on TV. What a day! Team GB won six gold medals, as well as a few of the loser medals. It was a truly amazing day of sport.

One of the events we failed to medal in was in the women’s triathlon, taking place in Hyde Park. If you’re not familiar with the triathlon, it’s basically intense. It is a race contested over three disciplines; first a swim of 1.5km, then straight on to a 43km bike ride, then a 10km run to the finish. That, to me, is a bit insane.

After watching the event I learnt that the men’s event would be taking place a few days later. So, I took the afternoon off work and headed down to take a look.

I decided to walk the three miles from work to Hyde Park (I might have reconsidered that had I known it was that far – I only just looked it up). When I arrived, the race was just starting, and the park was packed. I managed to find a spot to squeeze off a few shots of the swimming, but nothing like what I would have hoped.

1/640sec, f/5.6, ISO 100, 300mm

After the swimmers had gone out of sight, I moved around to get a spot next to the running route. Although on my way to Hyde Park I passed a few great spots for the cycle racing route, but having already photographed quite a few cycle events I decided to give it a miss in order to get a better spot for the run.

The spot I picked wasn’t bad; the crowd was still a few people deep when I arrived, with a tall Spanish guy occasionally leaning into my view of the approaching runners, but I managed to get quite a few really good closeups and full-body shots of the runners.

1/5000sec, f/5, ISO 640, 140mm
1/3200sec, f/5.6, ISO 640, 300mm

I also took a few goes to try the almost-clichéd motion-blurred background shot. I wasn’t sure it would work as well, as the movement of a runner is far less smooth than a cyclist so I wasn’t sure if I’d just get a mass of blur. But, it seemed to have worked:

1/125sec, f/13, ISO 100, 105mm

This might the last of the Olympic events that I will be attending. There is still the men’s and women’s 10km marathon swimming events taking place in Hyde Park later this week, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to get the time off work. I might give it a go. If not, it’s been great to be a part of the Games in some way, and I now truly regret not trying to get tickets for more events, especially seeing how non-restrictive the camera restrictions are. Still, I realised, walking back from yesterdays event, that I’ve been to five events of these Olympics – and Great Britain have medalled in three of them. I’m taking some credit for that one.

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