This is always my favorite race of the season. The two day festival that takes place completely “off-grid” brings out a big crowd and is somehow one of the best organized events I go to each year. I missed going last year so I was not aware that Lake San Antonio was WAY DOWN for a second year in a row. I was shocked to show up at a “triathlon” and not see any water in sight. It turns out the lake was intentionally lowered as a result of the ongoing drought so the swim portion now takes place 2.2 miles from the bike transition. In order to keep all the final distances in line with the 70.3 half Ironman, the run leg is now split up with a 2.2 mile run, then 56 mile bike, then 11.9 mile run.
For the fourth year in a row I was covering the 70.3 Half Ironman California in Oceanside. Last year I was “assigned” to capture a location that was filled with road hazard cones but this year I was able to get back onto the old Pacific Highway adjacent to Camp Pendleton. The old road is getting a little more beat up as it is no longer maintained for civilian traffic – and unfortunately a lot of the age group competitors were a little less savvy about picking the smooth “trail” portion of the road and instead opted for the old pavement. The result was quite a few flat tires and in 3 cases it resulted in me doing the tire changes. Unfortunately on my last tire change of the day, the fellow’s CO2 canister blew up on me so I was not able to get any air in his tires, but I was happy to provide assistance to the other athletes who were having technical trouble.
I have a long history of covering Mountain Bike events… but I have not had a lot of opportunity to photograph road racing. So when I was offered the chance to cover The Tour L’Etape in Escondido this year I was thrilled. The route took the riders up Mt Palomar from Escondido so it was a formidable climb, but it was a beautiful day and the roads were surprisingly quiet.
I decided that since I was not offered an official support vehicle (motorcycle) this year – I really needed to maximize my opportunity to get some photos when I had the chance. I was able to set up in 2 locations during the race (I beat the racers to the top of the mountain after shooting my first location) so I decided to use 2 cameras simultaneously in both locations so I could get 4 completely unique set of images. At both locations I used a telephoto lens to catch the riders at a distance, and then I had a remotely triggered camera to catch a wide-angle shot as they came past me.
If you are looking to purchase photos of yourself from this race – please visit Scott Christopher Stolarz Photography
The Wildflower Triathlon is one of my favorite events to travel to each year. It is a 2-day festival on remote Lake San Antonio with camping onsite and thousands of participants competing in half Ironman (70.3), Mountain Bike Triathlon, and Olympic distance triathlon. This year had extreme contrasts in weather from Saturday to Sunday with temperatures in the 90’s on Saturday and the a sprinkling of rain with temperatures in the 60’s on Sunday.
Today I was out at Camp Pendleton for my third mud run of the season. The races are a ton of fun to spectate but they are a little rough on me and my gear. Take today for example… in that first picture it would not immediately come to mind – but every drop of dirt and sweat that might come off the athletes on this obstacle is going to land directly on me and my camera (yuck!!). At location #2 it might not be hard to imagine how I might end up a bit messy :). But in any case – when you are hard at work, you soon forget about the little things (like someone else’s sweat dripping on your face) and it is not hard at all to get caught up in the excitement of a fun event like this. For now… I have a while before I need to consider whether I want to subject myself to something like this again next year!!
We are proud to be the official photographers for the Spirit of the Flame gymnastics competition in San Jose.
Please visit our Gymnastics page to sign up early for your action photos
When GT Bikes brought Eric Carter onto their team everyone was stoked. As a multi-time world champ, world cup champion and national champion who wouldn’t be happy to get him signed. Add to that, that GT has just released an amazing new Carbon Fiber DH bike for him to get on, EC is definitely stoked.