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Bernie Boettcher Wednesday, 28 December 2011 07:48 TWEET COMMENTS 2

Picture This! - Page 2

Now that I carry a digital camera, however, I can capture photographic evidence of anyone who tries to roll me up in a carpet, cut off my breathing or otherwise try to do me in. I live out in the country where the rednecks and their house pets roam. I've been hounded well over 50 times (I stopped counting after that) by everything from Chihuahuas to Great Danes to rednecks in pickup trucks. Some critters out there just don't seem to like runners.


My digital camera has proven to be more effective than pepper spray in stopping most offenders. Its been my experience that most bad dogs will not try to draw blood until the third encounter. This gives you two opportunities to take their picture before all bets are off. (If you encounter a pack of bad dogs, expect to be bleeding soon.)

Nothing says "a lawsuit I can't win" like a 10-megapixel, electronically generated photograph or video of a dog (or a redneck) trying to put the bite on your butt. Granted, you might not get the photo of the animal actually biting you since focusing becomes difficult while trying to protect vital organs.

But when an owner has almost convinced even you that his or her dog has never been in the street or threatened anyone, there is a certain satisfaction in the moment you present pictures of it doing just that.

Every trail runner I've ever met has some kind of story about the bear, the lion, the bobcat, the elk, the deer, the fox, the bighorn, the eagle, the scenery, the sunset, the couple having sex or some amazing encounter that occurred on a trail run. Since I started carrying my camera, I've gotten pictures of all of those, and much more.

Last but certainly not least, I've carried my Canon during almost every race I've run for the past year. We trail runners race in some pretty amazing places, and I treasure some of the shots I've gotten out there even in the heat of a race. Though most of my downhill shots are a blur, it's quite easy to get good pictures on uphill switchbacks without even stopping.

It's also kind of fun to wait at the finish line and take the picture of the guys who finish right behind you. Though I often capture an expression of pain almost as if I just shocked their earlobes, they're still some of my favorites.

I just never encourage anyone who finishes ahead of me to carry a camera.

Paparazzi have never outrun Bernie.


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