Photographer Placement – Find out where the photographers will be. For larger races, there is usually a booth where you can see a map of placement of the photographers along the course or will tell you to look for the gentlemen in the Bright jackets. If you don’t know, look for the signs (some ‘warn you to smile because the camera is ahead’). Knowing where they are located allows you time to prep and be ready (slow down (or speed up if you want to look faster) and adjust (wipe sweat, smile, thumbs up, pull down that shirt that keeps bunching up, or spread out the tutu and do whatever is needed).
Runner Placement – My friend Sandra Solfalvi reminded me to get to the sides. Photographers are usually on both sides of the road, or placed to catch you coming at them. Depends on the size of the race. For larger races- get to the sides! It is hard for them to take photos of those in the center, much less get a decent shot. Also- be aware of your surroundings. My virtual friend Melanie Wolff Miller told me “and if you are short like myself, make sure you leave a LOT of room in front of you…otherwise, the people in front of you hide you!”
Think happy thoughts- No really! I know it is hard to smile when you’re in pain, hot, tired (add your own angst here), but start thinking positive thoughts and working on that smile. Do something wacky like throw your hands in the air and open mouth wide if you think a smile is not happening. Sometimes that helps! Tell yourself a joke, or imagine your brother in a tutu, a man in a sparkle skirt, or think of a costume you saw earlier that made you laugh. Whatever works to lift your spirits, shoulders, and the edges of your mouth. Trust me it works.