Over the last several months, I've heard a recurring theme from friends in the running community that they've lost their love of running and are trying to reclaim it. It seems that the pressures of continuous training cycles, Strava statistics, and injury (or threats thereof!) have taken a toll on many of us. And often, efforts to combat these pressures, including adjustments to training plans and race schedules, tend to only reduce our sense of control.
Each summer, Take the Bridge puts on a night race series—an unsanctioned, loose course event where your time matters less than the fact that you were there. It is raw racing at its finest. While photographing the first Take the Bridge race of the summer on July 20 covering both Brooklyn and Manhattan bridge, I had the opportunity to speak with many participants about one major theme in running: control.
In one conversation, two female participants retold the evening's race through the lens of strategy with few distractions. Focusing solely on the race and being in mental control of how you deal with yourself as well as those directly in front and behind you. I was struck by the passion that both of these women shared for this feeling and couldn't help but wonder if Take the Bridge—by stripping away some of the conventional rigidity of a race—is the perfect antidote to the feeling of lost control.
What I loved most about these chats was the affirmation that after the race is done and everyone crosses the finish line, everyone goes back from being competitors to being friends. Everyone runs hard and parties harder. And even from the sidelines, it was a treat to be a part of it all.
Feel free to use any of the photos you see here. I only ask that kindly tag @baklinerunning. And ya know, give us a follow if you haven't already!
(Note: The ~108 photos may take a few seconds to load. Here is a direct link to Flickr album in case you're having trouble.)flickr embed.