Special Olympics State Track Meet

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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#1
This past weekend (5/30-31/15) was the Special Olympics state track meet at Ft. Lewis. The Army goes a fantastic job of running the track meet, which draws hundreds of athletes from throughout the state. This spring my son Daren turned out for track, the first time has done so in at least seven years. A side effect of the medicine he must take is weight gain, so I did not know if he could run like he used to do.

Daren's first event was the shot put, where he placed second and received a silver medal. It was his first season throwing the shot put and I didn't know how he would do. This was his best of three throws, which was 6.? meters. I think he can break 7 meters next year with more practice.

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Each event is divided into several heats based on age and scores/times achieved at the qualifying regional track meets. The winners and participants of each heat get medals and ribbons in a small awards ceremony. The events and awards ceremonies proceed like clockwork.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#2
Daren's next event was the 100 meter run. He started out slow and had to pass three other runners to win.
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Two down, one more to pass.
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I shot these with the 5DIII + 70-200L zoom. The 5DIII has a burst rate of 6 shots/sec. I wish I had used my 7D, which has a burst rate of 8 shots/sec. I needed the extra shots for the photo finish, which you see below.
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I thought Daren had lost by a fraction of a second. The timers, who are all volunteers using stop watches, gave him first place. He may have won, lost, or tied; the race was that close.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
Daren's last race was the 200 meter run, which is a staggered start from the other side of the track.

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Daren literally ran away with the race, which was not as close as the 100 meter run the day before.
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#4
Lessons learned:

The 70-200mm zoom was the perfect lens for photographing the races as it allowed me to zoom up on the starts and back off for the finishes. Due to its faster burst rate, I wish I could have used the 7D instead of the 5DIII, but the crop factor of the 7D did not have allow for a wide enough view of the finish line.

Photographing the finish line was difficult due to all the people crowding in to see their athletes finish. Next year I might try the 5DIII + 100-400L zoom for photographing the start of the race, then switching to the 7D + 24-105L zoom for photographing the finish line.
 
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Bill Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
#5
Extra shots.

Two helicopters were flying low to participate in the unveiling ceremony of a memorial honoring fallen members of the Ft. Lewis Stryker brigades.
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I couldn't resist attempting some flight shots of the barn swallows which were constantly swooping about the area. I suspect they have nests in the stadium.
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Daren exhibiting his three medals (one silver + two gold) before we left for home.
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squirl033

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
wow! impressive performance - congrats to Daren for his success! i was a sprinter in high-school, ran the 100 and 220... i know how strenuous those can be, especially the latter!
 


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