Racing Photogenically

Friday, I picked up my official DVD for the NYC Marathon. It was the first one I’ve ever bought and thought that it would be cool to see how I ran on video.
It was really well done. It covered the pros and saw Paula Radcliffe’s amazing acceleration at the finish, and the men’s finishes.
And then, there was me.
ACK! I ran like a dork! The great form I thought I had was an actual bouncing, half limp. When running, you strive to keep your head at the same level and reduce the up and down motion of your body. Obviously I did none of that. My head bounced up and down quite a bit. Also, I was reminded of my growing blister on my right foot and could see me limping slightly to favor it. It made my stride much stiffer and didn’t help the up and down motion of my body as I ran.
The first time I raced, I saw pictures taken of me at various stages. I thought I looked kind of lame and wanted my race pictures to show me looking like I was racing well. On the bike, I would be upright but I thought that didn’t look as good as being in aero position. So now, when I see a camera man, I go into aero position whenever possible, even if I’m going uphill to make myself look better in the picture. Sometimes I smile, but sometimes I try putting on a Lance Armstrong-esque grimace. On the run, I have a similar strategy. Generally, if you are running with the compact step that is typical of most of an Ironman marathon, you’ll look like you’re walking in pictures and not running. I discovered that if you just simply lift your heel a bit more as your foot goes back, almost like you’re going to kick your butt, the pictures look like what is the popular perception of running versus walking.
Also, there are finish line pictures where I do not raise my hands all the way up, but only partway. Ugh! That might be a great way to show your enthusiasm at the finish to do a bent arm fist pump with both hands, but it looks real dorky in a picture. Raising your hands all the way up looks much better! In fact, pausing under the finisher’s arch and raising your hands/fists all the way extended upward looks great and gives the photographers a chance to snap the shot!
It sounds silly, but I have learned to race not only to finish, but photogenically as I want my official pictures to look good. Sometimes they have great photographers to help take great pictures, but most of the time you have to do a bit of posing yourself.
Now, upon receipt of this NYC Marathon DVD, I have another thing to worry about and that is to race for video and not just still pictures. I need to figure out how to pose a bit to make sure I look great on video !
With video, I think there is also a method to the madness; after watching the DVD, I am now thinking that I should use video more often as a check on my form. This gives me ideas on bringing my video camera to the track and videotaping myself as I run my intervals.