Chicago Marathon

It’s less than a month for Chicago Marathon. While preparing some images for an editorial coming in the next few weeks I found some images to remind me how great to run this city.

Some numbers from 2013 race:

129 — Countries represented in 2013, 14 more than last year. Eighty-five countries have more participants than in 2012.

10,264 — Number of participants from outside the U.S., or about 23 percent of the field. That’s 40 percent more than the international contingent last year, highlighting the race’s growing global reputation.

6 — Number of U.S. states with more participants this year than last year (Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island), though all 50 states are represented.

69 — Number of wheelchair participants, more than double the number who entered last year.

77,760 — Gallons of water given out along the course during the race, or about 1.7 gallons per runner. That’s only about 10,000 gallons less than the amount of water in the Caribbean Reef exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium. There are 1.3 million cups used for water along the course and 1.1 million cups used for Gatorade.

1,500 — Number of “medical personnel” on hand during the race and, incidentally, the number of porta-potties along the course.

35.3 — Average age of female runners, who make up 44.9 percent of the field. The 25- to 29-year-old age range is the most popular (4,455 women). There are 211 women running who are age 19 or younger and one woman older than 74.

39.2 — Average age of male runners, who make up 55.1 percent of the field. The 30- to 34-year-old age range is the most popular (4,147 men). There are 194 men running who are age 19 or younger and six men running who are 80 or older.

1.7 million — Estimated number of spectators along the 26.2-mile course, which runs through 29 Chicago neighborhoods.

12,000 — Number of participants running for a charity (140 “teams”), or just more than a quarter of the field. Charity runners set an event record last year by raising $15.3 million, adding to the total raised from the Chicago Marathon since 2002 to about $100 million.


Chicago Half Marathon

Another busy weekend is over. Now back to editing images from Chicago Half Marathon.

Life Time Chicago Triathlon

I was commissioned by Life Time to shoot Chicago Triathlon. They wanted to use some new images for Chicago Triathlon promo. Chicago creates a perfect background for any type of outdoor event but there is a catch with this sort of work. You need to shoot live during the race which means anything can happen. A typical shot would be on Lakeshore drive over the bridge looking West with all the skyline under a perfect sun. Guess what? Murphy’s Law! It’s been raining for a week and every morning was almost foggy. The night before the race I drove the race course again. Goal was to capture something unique to Chicago. Something that stands out from the other triathlons. And I think I found it. This morning it started foggy and dark as usual. We had the pro athlete start at Chicago Triathlon early morning. In the past it was always noon start due to TV broadcasting and waiting for the course to clear. But this year for safety reasons they moved the professional race before the age group race. This was a huge challenge since its pitch dark at 6 AM. I could live without swim shots but given the length of the swim it would be roughly 6:20 when they start the bike and add the overcast stormy sky, not ideal! Oh and we had a brand new course this year. Instead of doing two laps on the scenic Lakeshore Drive, it is now one lap at Lakeshore Drive and head into the Batcave under Wacker Drive. Yes it is actually the same location where they filmed Batman chase scenes.


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Yes Cross is coming! We are almost in September and this is a sign that CX season is almost around the corner.

Ali Engin Photography Cyclocross


Powerbar promo shoot with Jacqui and Ryan Giuliano. Usually I do this behind a minivan or a motorcycle but today I didn’t have an assistant and this had to be done. I placed two 650 Watt strobes high at the back of an SUV, camera was attached at the level of the riders with Manfrotto Magic Arm, firing was done with Pocketwizard remotes. Run a lan cable from the camera to the laptop on passenger seat for tethered shooting.

We also had a very limited time. I wanted to do the shot at 7-8 AM but both of the athletes were coming from San Diego at 1 AM, had to do their  workout early morning and come to the shoot around 10:30. And they had to go to a wedding after the shoot.


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