Off the Beaten Track Race 2012

This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to volunteer my services as a photographer for the 2012 Off the Beaten Track Race here in Grand Cayman. I know how eager I am to see race day photos of--ahem--myself after I've finished an event, so it felt great to return the favor for a change.

As the name suggests, this race follows a non-traditional route, covering 50 km of mostly off-road terrain in the West Bay/Seven Mile Beach/George Town/South Sound stretch. While certain brave souls do attempt to singlehandedly run the entire race, most people sign up as a 6-person team, as the course is broken into six distinct legs.

All the runners (and I) had an early start on Sunday, with the race officially beginning at 6:30 a.m. at Public Beach.

Runner Marius Acker took the lead on Leg 1 and never looked back.

Once the runners had left the gate, the trick for me and the other photographer was trying to get coverage of runners in the various legs. Fifty kilometers is a lot of ground to cover! I started out with Leg 1, planting myself on the beach near the Ritz.

I watched the eastern sky grow light while waiting for runner #1 to pass.
Fortunately, a runner did pass, confirming that I was indeed on the race path and not on some random patch of sand.

I've never taken race photos before, and so I'm sure I did a lot of things wrong. Like, I took a ton of pictures of each runner as they went by, instead of just one shot of each. But, in my defense, there weren't that many runners (9 individuals and 17 teams), and multiple shots meant a higher percentage of smiles.

Next I headed to Leg 2, which was already being covered by the other photographer, so I just set up for a couple minutes near Camana Bay to capture shots like this:

Then I was off to Leg 3, finding another great beach photo op at South Sound Community Beach. I was waiting quite a while at this leg, so I amused myself with snaps of the Sunday morning beach activities.

stand up paddleboarding

If there is anywhere to surf in Grand Cayman, this is the place.

Another SUP rider

A serene way to start Sunday morning

A lizard catching some rays while waiting for the runners.

A rock ledge near shore creates tiny waterfalls into a clear pool.
Finally, the runners started coming through, heading west past my vantage point, allowing me to practice using back lighting.

Soon enough, I was hopping in my car once again to pick up the end of Leg 4 behind the new National Gallery building along the bypass. With no runners in sight and almost nothing to photograph, it was here that I decided I definitely should have brought a book.

Just a titch bored...

By this point, the teams had started to spread out, but I still captured a few smiles.

Finally, I headed back to Public Beach to capture some finish line photos.

team 1

team 2

Just watching the event and all the interesting routes it took kinda made me want to participate next year. But I'm very glad I got to stay behind the lens for the 2012 event - far less perspiration involved! Congrats to all those who competed in the event - well done!

For official race results, click here. For all of my race photos, please check out my online Picasa album.


  1. Great job, Jenn! You were cracking me up with the boredom and the things you did to amuse yourself. :)

  2. Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you didn't take a book!! When I read that I just imagined you getting engrossed in it and the runners just passing you by without you noticing!!! hahaha! Great Photos!

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