So did you take part in yesterday’s Copenhagen Half Marathon, or know anyone who did? The streets were absolutely alive, especially for the first half of the race where optimism was high and the mood was positive.
There were no less than 23.786 runners taking part and as far as I’m aware, numbers like that have never been seen in Denmark before. Correct me if I’m wrong.
At 10:45 I was positioned outside Frederiksberg Råhus and ready to go. When the first runners came by at 11:38 you just knew it was going to be an epic race. With entertainment at the side of the road and a handful of cheering spectators, the response from the runners was that of enjoyment. One elite Japanese athlete even opened his arms to say hi as he went past (I was lying on the floor in the rain) and that’s really rare to see. Most of the elite just run and ignore the photographer, so his playful attitude really got me in to the mood as well.
But the clock was ticking and I knew where I wanted to be to get the best shot. So I grabbed my bike and left the scene, just as the masses were starting to gather. Racing down Frederiksberg Allé, the throng of runners was already growing and I had to act quickly. So when my friend Daniel arrived on the scene (who is very tall, by the way) I dragged him over to a bench and told him to brace himself.
He knew the drill, and suddenly I was up in the air and sitting on his shoulders. The view from just amazing, as thousands and thousands of people crammed in to the broad and lengthy boulevard. God knows how he did it, but somehow he was able to shuffle sideways in to the centre of the crowd with me weighing him down and both of my cameras smashing him repeatedly in the face.
Once in position we both snapped enthusiastically away and the crowd and runners loved it. Everyone who went by just waved, gave a peace sign or simply cheered with their arms held high. It was a euphoric feeling.
Once back on terra firma we received a round of applause from the brass band playing near by and I knew we’d just taken the best picture of the entire race. A bit big-headed, you might say, but when you know, you know.
Normally during big races like this I’m used to exploring the entire city with my bike and camera, but yesterday was a lot different. My job was to stick to Frederiksberg and Vesterbro, and it made things a little less stressful. The last thing you need when you are just getting the mood and lighting right is a reminder on your phone telling you it’s time to move on to the next hotspot, before you miss all the runners.
Back at the office it was time to find the very best images and edit them as quickly as possible. It’s always the hard part, but within a couple of hours I had them uploaded to the website and was out the door. Pretty efficient, I’d say.
You can see them all by visiting matthewjames.dk
So how was it for you? Were you there; did you take part or go down to support someone? Add your comments below…