NCAA Track and Field Championship is on at Hayward Field, Eugene. Eugene is known as Tracktown USA. Internationally known track-star Steve Prefontaine has definitely made his fame here. Olympic Trial was held here so as many other track meet events. I am not an athlete and no sports fan, but I am sitting on the stadium and cheering for the contestants…
At elementary school, I was the second to the tallest one in the class. When you were tall, teacher seemed to think you are a natural athlete, I was recruited to play various sports in track meet events. I ran 100 meter and 200 relay. I tried Long Jump, High Jump and even Discus. I don’t recall if I was good at anything and I have never liked PE class. I was not created to use muscle. I am sure of that.
My husband and older daughter are buddies because they love sports. They can sit at football stadium for 3-4 hours sweating or freezing, but I would rather do something else at home comfort. I went with them every once a while when there was a spare ticket just to get a little taste of it. If you want me to buy a ticket for that, forget it, no way. But, I actually agreed for my husband to get a ticket for me to go to NCAA Track and Field race this time. He has successfully convinced me that there are photography opportunities.
Since the race started, the temperature has stayed above 80’s. I feel sorry for the long distance runners that they have to endure more than what they would normally do. I also adore their sportsmanship that they don’t let weather influence their performance. There have been many new record breakers since the race started.
This is the first time that I tried to take sports event pictures. I don’t have right kind of equipment nor do I have any experience. Besides, I don’t have any credential to get into the field and get close to the action. Our seating is pretty good, but it is still too far away to get some decent shots. We walked around the stadium looking for good sites, but it seemed to me that all the good entry has been listed as restricted area. Not a surprise.
Well, I am here for photography and I have to shoot something. As I began to look for my subjects, I was drawn to the facial expressions of the athletes and their physical appearance, the fitness level that they have accomplished and the beautiful gymnastic gesture they presented.
They are so fit and so in shape. They have built up their extra-ordinary body mass that they all look like iron man or iron woman to me. What kind of workout can help them to accomplish to such state? I believe there is tremendous amount of hard work, discipline and perseverance.
Track sports are extremely fast-paced and pressure-loaded. The athletes have very little time to figure out their move, so they have to be so well-trained as to react simultaneously without any hesitation. It is a national championship event. The competition is furious and athlete’s emotion is vividly shown on their faces.
For 100 meter, I saw discipline, speed, tension and at the finish line, big relieve. For long distance runners, I witnessed discipline, determination, endurance, persistence, and struggle. A long relieve or agony in the end.
After they have run 5000 or 10000 meters under scorching sun, they will embrace that ecstasy in the end if they win or let out their agony if they fail. There is triumph and the other is desperation.
|Keep up stable pace (long distance running)|
I have now understand why my husband said, he like the race because of the humanity that the athletes are displaying.
Another thing I noticed, the audience gives applause when the winner achieves the goal and they also applaud to the losers to lift up their spirit and help them to fulfill their sportsmanship, to the finish the race regardless.
Win or lose, it is just the name of the game. But when sports becomes a business, it is a competition. All the athletes have worked extremely hard and struggled in order to come to their skill level. They are all determined to win and that makes the event exciting.