RCR 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge
February 16 2016 // Lululemon — Whyte Ave, Edmonton, AB
River City Runners
I have to first thank the River City Runners for providing me the privilege of capturing the 24 hour treadmill challenge. Thank-you RCR for letting me be a part of something so important and valuable. For welcoming me into your family, your home, and allowing me to do my part in promoting your passion.
It takes hours of planning, effort, dedication, and support to put on a 24 hour treadmill challenge—not unlike running itself. To plan an event like this takes people that care about what they do, who they do it with, and who they do it for. RCR are amazing folks doing what they care about with each other in order to make kids lives better.
It is an honour to be a part of it with you.
Without the supporters, this would have been one boring all night treadmill challenge to shoot, and very little money would have been raised. It is because of the supporters that make events like this so worth while.
My photography style relies on variety. Multiple view points, quick movements, all kinds of angles. When faced with shooting in a confined small space for 24 hours—with a focus on two stationary treadmills—I’ll be honest, I was concerned, but up for the challenge.
As it turns out, shooting this event has been even more invigorating than anticipated.
Mentally it has been tough, but physically, the toll is mounting as well. Watching others around me continue pushing forward is inspiration enough to keep shooting, and finding new shots.
At every moment, every corner of the room, something fun is happening. Because of the those participating, supporting, encouraging, observing, etc. Shooting for 24 hours hasn’t been a chore. In fact, I left a lot of shots out here.
For anyone who has anything to do with the RCR 24 hour treadmill challenge, thank-you. You make my job easy, and for that, I am extremely grateful.
When people start asking us early on Saturday if we are going to stay all night. Trent confidently says yes. I do not.
Come 6pm when the store closes and mass exodus from the 24 hour treadmill challenge begins. Trent quickly ensures he is here all night. I do not.
At 1AM after the buzz from the yoga class completely wares off and people ask if we are staying up all night. Trent assuredly says yes and jumps on the treadmill for a 1 hour stint. I do not.
Between 3AM and 4AM Trent buckles down and powers through editing and exclaims that he’s found the one—the song for the video.
The video he is currently producing.
The video he is currently shooting, and still yet to shoot for another 5-6 hours.
Some of us have napped, some have come and gone with various levels of sleep in-between, some of us have all but ran out of gas and want to go nap in a change room. Trent does not.
This young man is something else. A source of inspiration when working alongside, a pleasure to hang out with, and I look forward to doing it again. I’ll stop gushing and let his work speak for itself:
24 Hours is a long time
During the day, and through the night, Lululemon will be our home. I joke when I say we live here, but not really. The staff is a treat and really going out of their way to make us all feel welcome, even while serving customers on a busy Saturday afternoon.
I want to send a huge thank-you to Andrea and all of the Lululemon staff’s generosity as teams from Kingsway and West Edmonton Mall took turns minding the store through the night. Our hats are off, and our hearts go out to all of you for supporting this effort.
As a photographer who shoots sports and events, time is always counting down—fast.
Seldom—never—do I find myself wishing time would clip past faster. And at times throughout this 24 treadmill challenge I find myself hoping time will seemingly skip, but when it’s all said and done, I’ll wish I utilized the time more wisely, and tried more shots.
I know, right?
Yup, even with 24 hours, I still feel like I’m leaving too much out there. Sitting here processing I wish I could go back and re-take a few. Time is funny like that. Even when you have too much, it still isn’t enough in the end. The immediate photos above are some shots I played with, but didn’t quite get what I wanted.
Of course photographs of folks sleeping has to make an appearance. It hasn’t happened all that often, but my lense has found the sleeping bodies when they’ve succumb to the heavy eye lids we are all experiencing through the dark of the night.
The 3-5AM hours are the worst, but Kendall Barber had the RCR 5AM shift on the treadmill, and with her, she brought life back into the Lululemon studio being the first person who slept to come back. The mood shifted immediately upon her entering, and our tired late-night loopyness leveled out to reveal functioning humans again.
Coffee may have had a part in this resurgence as well.
I am calling these treadmill moments because they are photos that sum up what it was like to focus on two treadmills for 24 hours straight—one frame at a time. They are moments that do, and could only, occur on one of two treadmills in the front window of Lululemon on Whyte Ave. for the RCR 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge.
You really had to be here, but I hope the photos are doing this 24 hours justice.
That moment when you catch someone in their happy place. I felt like I was stalking Lisa a little bit hiding out back here, but this is a comfortable spot for me. I am a long shooter by nature. I sit from a distance and observe as candidly as possible. When you look at enough frames you learn something about the person you are observing. I learned enough to know that Lisa is in a happy spot on the treadmill right now. It’s been fun to watch for the few minutes that I have.
What more do you want. Folks peekin, Owen bleedin, Andrea laughin, and Nick goofin. What every RCR 24 hour treadmill challenge should have I suppose.
And now, the sequence of the day. Stephana Cherak with treadmill karaoke.
First to guess the song she is jamming out to gets the series printed and signed from Steph herself. If she doesn’t kill me for posting this that is.
Below, Ryan—entertaining all day—doesn’t slow down while on the treadmill either.
Like everyone else taking part in a fundraising event, sponsors play a huge role. The RCR 24 hour treadmill challenge is grateful to all their sponsors and I’ve already mentioned a couple in Trent Schneider and Lululemon, but the list continues. YEG Cycle, Satvva Yoga, Blitz Conditioning, Tanner from 24th Street Entertainment, Ribstone Creek for the beer, Stonewire Optometry, and Flaman Fitness for the treadmills.
Yeah, I just Nascar’d this post…what?
Money makes things happen, and these folks did just that so they deserve to be mentioned. But the reality is that most put up more than money, time—a lot of it. Something I’ve already talked about. This is what makes this event special. It has built a small community that has rallied to make it happen, and be successful.
But let’s be honest. The best part of the sponsors is that they are wonderful. The photos don’t lie. No one is having a bad time. No. One.
Serious play pushing limits for positive results
I’ve started new friendships, and I’ve built upon just as many; I’ve been inspired by others, and hope to have inspired a few.
Typically you only get 2 to 3 hours shooting a fundraising event, but over the course of 24 hours you don’t just shoot the event. You become a part of what you are shooting. You have to in order to capture the level of emotion, energy, excitement, and dedication that those you are capturing put into it.
I’ve found yet another amazing group in Edmonton that plays on the edge. Exploring privilege, and what it means to do good with what we have. The RCR 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge is about helping kids experience the joy of fitness. This challenge isn’t a walk in the park, and is a grind unlike any other fundraiser I’ve been a part of. And that adds something to the event.
A certain level of physical, emotional, and mental toughness is required to put an event on, and take part in, like this, even with a good sized team. These same attributes are what make up dedication, and dedication is learned through fitness. Small regular inputs resulting in widespread dimensional returns. The RCR crew—and everyone taking part today understand the value of dedication. This group knows what fitness has done for them, and they want to pass all of those positive experiences on to kids most in need of a helping hand. In hopes that they have a chance to let fitness positively guide them in their lives.
One of my goals for this year is to spend as much time in serious play as I can. That creative zone where taking something so seriously results in unexpected insight, or brilliance. I found something I hadn’t seen before in this group, and I want to thank everyone I met this weekend. Because of you, I got to do what I love the most in the world—to support incredible people accomplishing amazing feats. All the while, pushing past a point I’d never passed before creatively, through serious play, and utter exhaustion—both physically and mentally.
From the bottom of my heart, thank-you.