Ft. Yargo Mud Bath 2009

Categories: Photography   race   trail

Saturday, February 28, 2009 brought the running of the third annual Thrill in the Hills half marathon, at Ft. Yargo park in Winder.

Although I had no intention of running the race this year, some friends were going, so I figured I’d head over to take some pictures and get a couple miles in.  Being that it had been raining for the past day, and the forecast called for severe rain and thunderstorms, the promise of a cup of coffee drug me out of the house. Boy, am I ever glad I went out!

The parking lot was a mad house. People were all over the place, getting stuck and sliding every everywhere. I heard at least one group of guys saying “we got our shirts, do we need to stay?” as they walked to their car.  After searching for a spot, then finally deciding to just park behind someone (since I was only going to be there for the start), I made my way to the starting area and ran into some friends.

Here are some of the GUTS members who showed up.guts-group

And David (also in GUTS), Dustin and Keith david-dustin-and-keith

After the race started, I headed out toward around Mile 4. (I drove to the main entrance, parked, and ran about 1/2 mile up the trail.) I parked there for a while and took a number of pictures. (Check back here for updates once I upload them) Hanging out there for about an hour was fun, but nothing special, so after the last guy passed by, back to my car and the finish. I headed opposite direction down the trail and caught some of the leaders.

This guy was in the lead when I saw him around mile 12.

Cool, everyone was looking a bit wet, and having a good time.  Here’s Joe, cruising along and managing to not get lost.

joe-mile-12

As I wandered down the path a bit, someone eventually passed me and said there was a knee-deep puddle around the corner. Cool, I stopped at the next puddle and watched a few people go though. Yeah, it was deep, but not that deep.

So, I continued around the the next corner. Woah! Now that’s a puddle. Actually, I think it qualifies as a water crossing. Yeah, it was that deep. 

I parked myself there and got comfortable. Unfortunately, because of the rain, I was having some focusing problems all morning. So I missed a few shots of people.  I also had my camera set to the lowest resolution, since I left the other memory cards in the car. (Oops, along with the spare batteries.)  So, I’m trying to say, the pictures are good, but not nearly as good as I would have liked. (There was also a lot of backlight.)

For the next hour or so, I proceeded to have absolutely wonderful time not running. Watching people cross was absolutely crazy. This is one of those crazy crossings where it’s better to go straight through. Of course, people didn’t know that, so many tried going around and had a harder time of it than if they went straight across. I heard a lot of mumbling, but in general people were in really good spirits. After this, how could you not be.

So, without further ado, here is the official picture of the day.

Girl goes face first into mud puddle

(Yes, she went all the way down. She actually came over afterwards and gave the thumbs up approval for the picture. I think she would have been pissed had I missed the shot.)

(And since someone asked me, these are free. Help yourself. If you feel like you should pay for photos, feel free to donate a couple bucks to your favorite charity, and let me know. I cut down the resolution on the website to save bandwidth. If you want the higher quality image, let me know. Give me the filename found when you hover of the picture.)

Written on March 1, 2009