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Jeffrey Byrnes Photographer Fashion + Portraits + Travel

Commercial Photography: Boston Marathon

I have never run any sort of race, let a lone a marathon. When I was actively running a few short years ago I found myself enjoying the hell out of it. For years my asthma prevented me from doing so. The closest I ever came to running any kind of marathon distance was the day my friend Kris and I ran a portion of the Charles River in Boston. 

At the time Kris was living just south of Bean Town. I went out to visit him and we planned a swell run. We were going to do the entire Charles River loop, which totaled the sum of 17 miles. The day of the run we pounded an unhealthy lunch, something you wouldn't see a marathon runner doing. But, the commute we had from Canton Ma to Boston was enough to let our lunch set in and give us the energy we needed to tackle such a feat. We got off the train, walked from South Station to the Charles River as a warm up and began running the moment we set foot on the pavement that wrapped the river. It was one of the greatest days, one of the greatest moments, one of the greatest runs I've had. We were competing against ourselves. We were making our own marathon and running our own race. We set the pace and chased the ladies, flexed our muscles as we passed them, let the athletes pass us, watched as a cyclist made love to a fence when he didn't make the turn, as his handlebars caught the pole, we sweat, we ran, ran, and ran some more. We made a decisive turn, skipping the last leg. By that point we realized we would not be able to make the full loop. We would be shaving off about 6 miles and ending our run just over 11 miles. Why ruin a good run with over extended ourselves? Right? Welp, we ran a good race, had a blast, and it is a memory I will never forget. 

Over the last 4 years my running has declined. I have had major set backs with running and have become incredibly frustrated. I have been trying to work through it and am in the process of making incredible changes in my lifestyle. Said changes will be enabling me get back to a place of comfort and joy. Amongst the changes I have been making, I have found inspiration in a project I worked on. Below is a photograph of my sister-in-law Alison. Today she is one of over 14,000 women running in the Boston Marathon. I am proud of her for the training and strength that she has show me, us, her family. She has taken her training seriously, inspiring not just me, but my wife as well. 

Alison is a recent mother, as you will notice by the image below. Over the course of her pregnancy she came into the studio, discretely, not telling anyone but her husband. We were working towards the below image, a timeline of her pregnancy in a running pose. The idea, of course was born, PUN intended, because of the two pervious progression series I have composed. These kinds of shoots are so fun, so awesome to produce, and so enjoyable. I love the task of coming up with a concept for the series and will take them on in the blink of an eye. 

For all the thousands and thousands of athletes, runners, new, young, old, seasoned, best of luck to you. You have been training hard. Maybe you have worked your entire life for this moment, maybe you have been running the Boston Marathon for years and you still get that adrenaline spark that defines every step you put on the pavement. No matter where you place, whether first, second, third, 18 thousandth or dead last, you are still completing a marathon. There are a lot of people who can not and will not compete in a race for any number of reasons, but there you are, running, winning a race. Yes, winning a race. Even if you are not the first person across the finish line, you still beat the biggest competitor, yourself. You have beat the odds, beat the doubt, and won. Congratulations to all who have run and will run. Your accomplishment is your reward and an achievement, which no one can take away from you.