The Spartan Blue Mountain Challenge is an impressive event.  I tried to find the actual # of participants, lets just say the race page results had 53 pages with 38 names on a page… I’ll let you do the math.   But I actually only came out to see just two, my son, and his friend, and first time Spartan, Chris.

But they weren’t the only ones taking on a challenge.  I find action photography to be a challenge because it is the least forgiving… let’s face it, blurry is blurry (unless that’s what you’re going for).  It is also here that knowing you’re camera really is everything. Because if you’re not ready, you are going to miss it.


Just like this Spartan race, I too had a few obstacles to overcome.   The two biggest: Having no idea what to expect and being a pretty fair distance from the action.  Trust me, you don’t want to get in the way of these guys and gals…  The gear in case you’re wondering:  Nikon D750 and a 70-300 lens.  It’s not to hard to figure out who my subject/son is but just in case, he’s the guy in the red shirt/compression pants and always looking pretty proud when he found me and the camera.

Back to the action.


Apparently the mucky water was still refreshing after 3 hours on the course.

Out of 20-something obstacles throughout the course, I only had access to a handful and I can’t believe that I almost missed this one, the water pit that was hidden on the other side of a dirt road.  Grateful my scout (and husband) went wandering.

Did I mention I was shooting hand-held.  Well, I was and the arms were getting tired.

First timer, Chris, assessing what’s in store for him.

…and this is what they have to carry all the way back up.










No stopping for the guy in red as he zips by a fellow competitor who has stopped to rest. Did I mention this was day 2 for him. He ran/climbed/pushed and pulled his way through the Super 8-10 miles, and 24+ obstacles just the day before.

No rest for the weary… again, talking about me 😉 .  Getting a better feel and a whole lot closer to the action, I was able to find perches (like my knees) to steady the camera.

Isn’t this what everyone wants to do right after they hauled a bucket of rocks up a hill?

I’ve heard a lot about the barbed wire obstacle and I wasn’t going to miss it.

Commando, roll, crawl seemed to be the techniques of choice.

Remember when I mentioned knowing your camera.  Well, I learned something about mine while processing these photos from the barbed wire obstacle.  My camera/lens was actually not focusing where I wanted it to.  I was perplexed and surprised when it looked like the guy in the back was in better focus than then my son.  Apparently it was back focusing.  I have since gotten a lesson in how to fix that problem:  Using a ruler and adjusting the AF Fine-Tune in my camera settings.

So this one takes my “Favorite” shot of the day. No, he’s not posing (at least I don’t think he is). It’s all about technique.

The Big Finish

And at the end of it all, you muster up everything you’ve got and jump as high as you can… because the official Spartan photographer (and me) are just waiting to take that final shot.

Spartans are a unique group of individuals that come from all walks, young and old, men and women, fit and not so fit, who come to face a challenge… for as many different reasons as there are Spartans.   And, my Spartan this day… action photography.

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