Marathon Sunday, New York

I am coordinating today’s post with my other blogs and will talk about helicopters there also. (see the sidebar Blogroll for locations.)

Unfortunately, we did not fly the marathon route this past Sunday. The Bell 47 helicopter was down for annual maintenance. This is a combination of two previous shoots that Charlie and I did a few years ago. The iconic image in my imagination has been described to me as taken by a Sports Illustrated photographer. They were positioned over the center span looking straight over the bridge. The shot is when the first runners come over the rise and the rest of the bridge in front of them is still empty. I didn’t quite get that shot. Maybe someday…

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The first year was foggy. So I played with the changing lighting conditions as the fog began to lift in the morning sun. It’s hard to be ethereal at 500 hundred feet in a moving 3D platform and no means to deploy a tripod. The second time was a bright crisp crystal clear November Sunday. Each opportunity was special.

There are some limitations in flying over the race route and the Verrazano Bridge. You are not alone. There are other commercial helicopters, TV and media, as well as police helicopters. Charlie knows all the rules and knows most of the pilots, so we navigated safely around the area.

After the bridge, the runners continue onto 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. It is a long straight diagonal pointing straight at Manhattan. Fireboats greet the runners as they cross. Both upper and lower decks and all the ramps are in use. More than 40,000 runners finish. Logistically, it requires a lot of planning.

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