Forget the PR

My girlfriend is an ultra marathoner.

What does that mean? Well, for the past year and a half, my girlfriend, Sam, has been running races that are longer than 26.2 miles. Any race that is longer than 26.2 is considered an ultra marathon, with common distances being 50k, 50 miles, 100k, and 100 miles (yikes). Sam’s finished every race that she’s started, which in the past year has been two 50ks and one 50 miler.

To kick off the season this year, Sam ran the “Forget the PR” 50k in Loudonville, Ohio, which was where she ran her very first ultra last year. This year, though, we brought along a few of our running buddies from November Project, Amina and Rosa.

Being familiar with the course, as well as her biggest fan, I spent my day darting between checkpoints to support her, delivering food, hydration, clothes, etc., and snapping a few photos along the way. Wanting to stay lightweight so I could run in to the woods unencumbered and go easy on my body — I was scheduled to run the Boston Marathon the week after — I decided to challenge myself by shooting with just a 50mm lens.

After 31 miles, 4,200 feet of elevation and 8 hours, 14 minutes and 33 seconds later for Sam, these are some of the photos I came back with.

4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

 (Kelvin Ma)

4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

I thought it would be a good idea to do some “before and after” portraits to show how much work these badass ladies would be putting their bodies through. I don’t know about you, but I think they looked even better after the race. Amazing!

Sam:
4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

Amina:
4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

Rosa:
4/11/15 — LOUDONVILLE, Ohio — Forget the PR 50k Ultramarathon (Kelvin Ma)

The Eagles Have Landed

It’s been awhile since I’ve had time to update the blog with fresh work, but now that Commencement season has come to a close, expect a stream of posts as I frantically try to catch up and improve my blogging workflow.

A few months ago, the athletics department at North Carolina Central University contacted me about covering their baseball team as they played an exhibition at Fenway Park. The game was the showcase event for the Fenway Park Open House, which also served as a college fair for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs. Their opponent was the Rattlers of Florida A&M, another HBCU member.

The team was a great group of guys that had a genuine treat soaking in all the history and quirks of Fenway Park. Having shot so many Red Sox games over the years, going to Fenway can sometimes feel like another day at the office, but being around folks who are walking in to the ballpark for the first time, and getting the thrill of actually playing on that field, was a nice reminder about how special this place really is, warts and all.

Here are some of the photos from the Eagles visit.

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

4/25/15 — BOSTON — North Carolina Central University plays Florida A&M University at Fenway Park on April 25, 2015. FAMU won, 9-4. (Kelvin Ma)

Off the Schneid!

09/20/2014 - Somerville, Mass. - Tufts OL Justin Roberts, A16, celebrates on the field as fans storm the field after Tufts' 24-17 win over Hamilton at Zimman Field on Sept. 20, 2014. The win snapped a 31-game losing streak. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

09/20/2014 – Somerville, Mass. – Tufts OL Justin Roberts, A16, celebrates on the field as fans storm the field after Tufts' 24-17 win over Hamilton at Zimman Field on Sept. 20, 2014. The win snapped a 31-game losing streak. (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University) (Kelvin Ma/Tufts University)

Losing is no fun. A losing streak is even worse.

A 31-game losing streak? Well, that’s another thing altogether. In the case of the Tufts University Jumbos, it was an embarrassing reminder of a mountain they needed to climb in order to gain the respect of their peers.

I had spent all of last season covering every game at home and on the road in the hopes that they would finally break the streak that had been haunting the program for so long. It was a long and frustrating season for everyone involved, myself included, but the team showed signs of improvement, keeping most of the games competitive. Of course, there’s no such thing as a moral victory in sports, especially with the longest active streak in college football on everyone’s mind.

This season, however, there was a buzz in the air as Tufts was set to open the season against Hamilton, a NESCAC rival that gave up the last Tufts win all the way back in September 2010. Thanks to the access granted to me by head coach Jay Civetti, I was able to spend a few days with the team as they prepared for the season opener.

As an institutional photographer, it’s my part of my job to highlight the program and to show off the hard work and dedication that these student-athletes put in to their sport that their classmates might not otherwise see or even be aware of. In this case, the pressure was apparent. Everyone knew what was at stake.

Building on the foundations and work ethic they had set the previous year, the Jumbos stormed out to an early lead and never let go. When the game clock ticked down to zero, it was like a champagne cork going off, as the pressure that had been building up over the past 4 years finally let out. An effort well earned, no doubt.

You can see a loose edit of my coverage below, and to see full team coverage, be sure to check out Tufts Athletics.

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