Each picture is worth a thousand words (haven’t you counted them?), and functions as an insight/passageway that opens up several thousand more stories and histories: grand/meta/micro/banal etc. #r3fest can act as a platform for us to share a few of these narratives – and we are grateful to you for letting us know a little more about you (as a runner) via your pictures and stories.
The beautiful images by runner-artist Ann Grove White remind me of Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. For the cult novelist, running seems to function as a conduit for him to contemplate about mortality. Says Ann, who is doing her MA Documentary Photography at University of South Wales / Newport: ‘The focus of my video, Sensing The Body, is around the embodiment of ageing. In particular it is about the experience of running as an activity in and for itself, as well as serving as a metaphor for life.’ Like.
Carol Williams shares 4 images from from her community of ultra runners (50 km-100 milers). The word ‘phenomenal’ doesn’t begin to describe what they do (and we have not started to talk about Dr William’s work as a scholar). Carol cannot join us physically. ‘I wish I could participate in your running conference but am actually running the canyon during that time. This year we return to run rim to rim to rim of Arizona’s grand canyon for the third time. The elevation loss and gain is substantial as we start at nearly 9000feet and go down to 3300 feet and then back up to 9000 then down again and back up to finish all in a single day with all our water and food needed for the entire day on our backs. We run here year round from hot weather (40 degrees C in summer to minus 23 C and colder in winter).’
Live Marianne Noven‘s picture draws out how running is not necessarily just an activity that is solitary or ‘lonely’ (perhaps best mythologised by the book and film The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner). She shares a picture of her ‘friend that I ran with this week (March). She’s such a lovely person and means a lot to me. She came all the way from Norway to hike + make food + run for four days. Today they left and I am editing the video of her run’.
Veronique Chance shares two photographic documentations from her Great Orbital Run (2012). ‘This was a solitary run and performance artwork that took place in March 2012 over nine consecutive days around the inside of the M25 London Orbital. Conceived as ‘point- to-point’ run from and to 10 different motel stops along the route, this journey did not follow preconceived ‘paths’ but was about negotiating a route round come what may. The first pair of images shows the original route map of the M25 adapted from an AA routemap, with written annotations of proposed motel stops (above), and a still from the projected work showing a still from the moving image work with relayed image and GPS route (below). The second pair of images show the clothes I wore and equipment used. These are relics and bear the marks of the run.’
Simon Cook‘s image is that of a race he ran in 2009 called The Suicide Six. ‘It sums up why I run. Yes, I have been brought up and remain a competitive runner, yet runner is so much more than that to me. It is an experience, a chance to reconnect with myself, with the surfaces, textures and materialities of the world and to have fun!’
Yow Siew Kah shares another picture of a friend/co-runner, taken in 2009 at the Singapore Safra Half Marathon. Siew Kah is seen here with a sweaty and unintellectual person (whom he inspired back in 2008 when they wondered over a coffee why intellectuals avoided sweating and running. 5 years, a thesis and a new degree later, this sweaty person says, ‘thank you Siew Kah!’