The following is a short review on some of the known athletes currently registered for Saturday Night’s race. These athletes are listed because they have had strong performances at previous Midnight Halves and/or impressed us with their overall strength and ability through out the last year. It is very possible (if not likely) that this year’s top finishers may not be listed.
The idea was to jump out in front of a moving car on East Broadway..timed so the silhouette of the runner was engulfed by the glow emitted from the reflection of the car’s headlights bouncing off of the pavement. Feels like it was a lifetime ago. Dave and I, running around Chinatown, trying to figure out a shot that would communicate the feel of the race..the soul of what we were trying to create.
Dave set up on the Manhattan Bridge pointing the camera West on East Broadway, keeping City Hall in the frame, shrinking the scale of the runner in the foreground to the size of an ant. He had a vision for the poster, I was just playing the role of the unknown runner.
There are many reasons to love this shot from my point of view, most of them would be considered narcissistic, but ultimately I love this image because it is the closest visual representation of how distance running at night in this city makes me feel. The fact that its me in the shot, the fact that it was the poster to the first race I ever co-organized, are just details and coincidences. The lone distance runner, surrounded by a living city and in plain sight..yet invisible to the pedestrians on the sidewalk walking home, the taxi cab drivers waiting for the light to change..the people looking out of their apt windows at nothing.
Tonight (5/6) we shot this years image for the poster. It features last year’s overall winner Mac Schneider (1:16:00). I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mac after the race last year but we got a chance to chat tonight. It was awesome to hear him recount his experiences from last year. Amazing how he prepared by studying the route weeks ahead of time, refining his approach, shaving off distance whenever he could, scaling fences and running through playgrounds. He was smart and he did the homework, even though he wasn’t the fastest in the field (he is insanely fast) he walked away with the victory. It takes so much more than speed to win this thing. Thats why I love it so much, the underdog has a fighting chance..and upsets are so much more entertaining. I cannot wait for this years race to happen, the field is already getting interesting. Most importantly Mac is back to defend his title, this is a first for the overall winner. Leigh Gerson successfully defended her title of 2013 Womens Leader with a win and a course record for females (1:26:49) last year. She is not running this year to my knowledge. Rumor has it Jerry Faulkner is coming back to give it another go. Dirk Muench is considering taking a crack at it, Dirks brother Jan Muench was the winner of the OSR 30mi Perimeter Race (3:12:18) so the gene pool has some real strength. Dirk runs marathons somewhere around the 2:30 mark. Jan is running too, so the brother vs. brother rivalry is on. Neil Grosscup, overall winner of the 2013 Midnight Half (1:18:01) is slated to run as well. What would make it interesting is if Knox Robinson, the course record holder and the overall winner of the Inaugural Midnight Half in 2012 (1:15:54), signs up this year.
One of the most rewarding buy-products of this race is the documentation. Last year we were lucky to have our friends Brian Vernor and Bob Geile shoot a short film about the race titled “Midnight Half“. Photographer Parker Feierbach caught some amazing shots at the Dumbo Archway checkpoint showcasing the chase for first place. These images are featured on the OSR homepage. This year I urge anyone interested in shooting the event to reach out to me via email: email@example.com
In 2015 the route will be tougher, the competitors will be faster and the victory will be sweeter. I hope that if you are not racing you are either planning to volunteer or planning on attending the event to cheer and support the athletes. We are organizing another amazing event, we are putting everything we have into providing the level of detail and attention that has become this race’s trademark.
If you would like to register: 2015 Midnight Half
This year’s route will be much more difficult to navigate and will utilize as many physical obstacles as possible to create a more technical course. We are very excited to be introducing electronic chip scoring by PR Timing, an improvement we have been hoping to implement for the last couple of years. I am looking forward to the night of May 30th, I am looking forward to seeing what surprises come from this years race. Maybe some unknown runner is going to come from out of no where and crush the field like Mac did last year, or maybe Knox shows up and reclaims the title of the fastest at the Midnight Half…we will see.