Strike a Pose

Posted by Filed Under: Fun & Jokes

strikeapose2.jpgThe first rule of race pictures is that no one looks good in their race pictures. The second rule of race pictures is that no one looks good in their race pictures.

In the world of professionally taken pictures, race pictures fall under the category of “proof” pictures and not because the photography company often plasters that across the image. Race pictures serve as proof that you ran the race, much the same way that a mug shot serves as proof that you’ve been in the pokey and a driver’s license picture proves that you are moderately capable at operating motorized vehicles. As you can tell from the other members of the “proof pictures” genre these are not the types of pictures that you’ll be sending to the modeling agency as your next headshot.

However, knowing that our race pictures will most likely be unflattering doesn’t stop us from trying to pose for the camera when we see it. Listed below are the seven most common poses that we strike along with some sweeping generalizations about what each pose says about you as a person.

ebert_roeper.jpgThe Ebert & Roeper. These runners see the camera and they immediately give two thumbs up. They’re feeling good and the race is going well. The paper Gatorade cup is always half full for these runners who probably have smiling, bubbly personalities even when they’ve just woken up. They’re really annoying to grumpy runners like me.

hi-mom.jpgThe Hi Mom. A simple wave at the camera is enough for these runners, if they were professional athletes playing a team sport they’d be the ones mouthing “Hi Mom” to the camera. You guys know we can’t hear you right?

theignore.jpgThe Ignore. This is the most common race picture pose because it doesn’t even require you to notice the camera. Whenever these runners do spot the camera they simply ignore it as the name would imply. These runners are too focused on the pace of their race and the heat of the chase to be concerned with the contortions of their face. Or they’re just simply too tired to exert any extra effort.

vanityignore.jpgThe Vanity Ignore. Whenever possible, this is my particular pose of choice. These runners want you to think that they didn’t see the camera. They’re trying to pull off The Ignore, but it’s painfully obvious from the picture that they did in fact see the camera, and then puffed up their chest, lengthened their stride, relaxed their facial expression and tried to appear fast. They look like they’re trying too hard and everyone around them is wondering why this guy is suddenly sprinting at mile 8 of a half-marathon.

mardi_gras.jpgThe Mardi Gras. These runners pulled a shirt or jacket on over their bib and then realized that they wouldn’t find their race pictures without their bib number being visible. They flash the camera like an inebriated coed on Spring Break. These runners are poor planners and like to think of themselves as “spontaneous.” Maybe next time they’ll pin their bib to their shorts, but it’s doubtful.

tsunami.jpgThe Tsunami. These runners aren’t content to just give a small wave like the Hi Mom runners, no, these runners are big wavers. They are the most likely of any runners to be found wearing a costume and are probably fond of saying things like “go big or go home.” These runners are often spotted running in groups and having way too much fun. Don’t they realize they’re running?

muscle_beach.jpgThe Muscle Beach. These runners flex at the camera when they see it. This pose is usually performed by the jocks, and frequently it’s the ones who aren’t wearing a shirt that perform it. If these pictures had a soundtrack it would be a grunt. Truth be told, we all practice this pose in front of the bathroom mirror, but these runners are bold enough to put it into action in public.

I think we covered most of the different poses here, but let us know in the comments if we missed one. I’ll leave you with a deep thought to ponder; if we all fit into one of these categories of poses, does that make us all Pose runners?

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About Ian

Hello, my name is Ian and I'm a runner. After several years of promising to train for and run the Bolder Boulder 10K I finally signed up for it in 2005 with zero training under my belt. Shocked that I was slower than I thought I should be, I made it my goal to be faster the following year. I'm still not as fast as I should be, but I have been a runner ever since. I believe in quality miles over quantity of miles. I believe that you have to run faster in order to run faster, and I believe that I can. I believe in the Garmin. I believe in motion control and that I have an unhealthy addiction to running shoes. I believe in carb loading and tapering, even before a 5K. I believe I’ll never need to buy another t-shirt ever again. I live to run and I run for the post race spread, where the free food and drink flows like milk and honey, and sometimes even includes milk and honey.

  1. Duff on May 1st at 6:59 am

    Great Stuff. You forgot the actual candid shot. I was running the Marine Corps Marathon last year and did not realize that there were photographers on the lifts above the course till I was right under them. Too late for me. After the first on I saw the next few but still missed a couple. Pain does that some times.
    Another one you forgot is the agony shot. It is best captioned with “What was I thinking” My heart goes to those that have found themselves in this runners low.
    BTW, I always look good when photographed. That is why I gave a picture of myself for X-mas to my co-workers.

    Duff’s last blog post..Race Report: Cleveland Premier Race-The Cleveland 10 Miler

  2. 21stCenturyMom on May 1st at 9:05 am

    There is a sub-varient on the ‘Hi Mom’ called ‘The Queen’ in which one does the Queen’s wave. You know – hand in air, fingers together, rotate hand subtely side to side. It’s more obvious than you might think.

    There’s also the “HELL YES’ in which the running points an index finger in the air as if to say ‘I’m number 1 in spite of all of those people ahead of me’.

  3. Geoffrey on May 1st at 10:07 am

    I have two more for you. The first is one that both my wife and I have done in races. I carry a cell phone with me whenever my child is at the drop in day care, including when I am running races. I don’t like to wear a pack or armband, so I just hold it in my hand….until I see a photographer. And so I get the “cell phone” pose!

    The other pose which I have only contemplated and not seen or performed is inspired by the chess photo from xkcd ( Nothing says I’m an intellectual runner like playing chess during a race.


  4. Blaine Moore (Run to Win) on May 1st at 10:46 am

    Of course, when you do your “HELL YES” pose, there’s always a good possibility that the photographer will not include any of the runners in front of you, in which case you can tell people that you were in front – or at least not tell them that you weren’t…heheh.

  5. P.O.M. on May 1st at 11:35 am

    That is GREAT! I’m a combination of those, but mostly leaning towards Tsunami. There isn’t much in my life that isn’t Tsunami-esque.

    Fantastic blog.

    P.O.M.’s last blog post..May Day & New Hair Products

  6. Unfinishedperson on May 2nd at 2:11 am

    I think I’ve done a few of these in the past. I just didn’t realize what they were called. Thanks for clarifying. 🙂

    Unfinishedperson’s last blog post..Mount Tom: A mountain that would make anyone believe in God

  7. Lybbe on May 2nd at 2:35 am

    How about the “I’m dead last and darned proud of it” keel over with exhaustion pose. Nothing beats having that captured for posterity.

  8. Ovens to Betsy on May 3rd at 9:21 am

    There’s another one my husband does — flash the devil horns behind one’s wife’s head.

    Ovens to Betsy’s last blog post..Can’t get no respect

  9. Linden/xgravity23 on May 3rd at 1:50 pm

    Oooh, so much to do for the upcoming marathon… break in new running shoes, figure out nutrition/hydration situation, figure out restroom solution, map out where fam cheer points, and figure out which pose to toss them and anyone else photographing me.

    I like Ebert & Ropert because it’s positive but not over the top (like The Tsunami). I know I’ll be able to pull it off between miles 0 and 13, but I guess I’d better start practicing throwing up the thumbs even when I’ve hit the wall… Thanks for the tip, Vanilla!

    Linden/xgravity23’s last blog post..The Running Season has Officially Started!

  10. katrina on May 4th at 10:12 am

    Don’t forget the point-at-the-camera-guy pose. This also usually involves some sort of facial distortion, such as sticking out the tongue. I believe these runners were fans of the “Where’s Waldo” series of books as children.

  11. Laura on May 4th at 10:47 am

    Topher hinted at this, but what about the “I’m about to die right now and I don’t care if there is a camera on me or people are watching” pose? That’s my standard when I see the finish line and try to sprint the last few yards. Unfortunately, that’s always where the cameras are. It’s something between a snarl and a a grimace.

    There’s also the one where you’re trying to smile but are too tired to move your facial muscles into the right expression while still having enough energy to run. We can call it the Botox, because not only are your facial muscles frozen, but you’re usually able to manage enough of a dopey half-grin that you look like you’re on drugs.

    Laura’s last blog post..HELL YEAH I DID!

  12. KFJ on May 5th at 9:13 am

    I never really thought about all of the different ways there are to pose while running!!! I ran in the Disney Minnie Marathon 15k yesterday and I was definitely a cross between the “HI Mom” and “The Tsunami”. There were many photo ops along the course and I was definitely NOT camera shy. I was not running in a group, though….so I guess I was a Tsunami soloist!!!!!

  13. RunColo on June 6th at 11:16 am

    I see the “Hang Loose” hand gesture qutie frequently.

  14. Tricia on October 8th at 10:39 am

    What does the Peace Sign for the camera say about you?