Walkers striding along the West Highland Way, through the middle of the Mamores mountain range on the first weekend of October 2012 probably weren’t expecting to be passed by 600 runners going in the opposite direction. They also probably weren’t expecting to be offered a buffet of chicken noodle soup, rolls, a cheese board selection or some chocolate by a well spoken gentleman from the back of a silver Unimog displaying the name WildFox Events.
David Fox-Pitt, WildFox Events director and guchi waterstop extraordinaire.
In October 2012 I was asked to photograph the inaugural Glencoe Marathon, set-up by WildFox Events hailing from the south shore of Loch Tay.Shooting a mountain marathon linked to my love of being in the hills photographing outdoor sports and the challenge of covering a good chunk of the route with my camera gear fired me up… game on.
Some weight on your back, some ground to cover, hills to climb and a time limit to do it in before you miss the shot. Four hours sleep and it’s all go. But what better way of spending your weekend than being surrounded by a mass of people who are all focused on an inspiring objective – taking on a challenge, pushing to new limits and using that fire to raise money for charity.
Over £25 Million raised since 1999 equates to an incredible effort (and an astronomical amount of calories burned!) by entrants to WildFox Events. It takes a huge amount of logistical effort to get so many people safely around such challenging courses, but doing so in a way that provides such triumph for participants, and success for supported charities, requires a gargantuan amount of inspiration.
Inspiration is tangible at these events, bouncing back and forth between participants, volunteers, the charity teams and the WildFox Team; it is the ultimate renewable energy source that powers these events. A tired body gives way to an energised mind… if you don’t believe that try sitting in a marquee with 700 buzzing people who have just completed a twelve hour adventure race but are keen to kick off the dancing!
Documenting all of this is a fantastic job to have, the physical challenge of photographing these events is a mandatory part of getting stuck into the spirit of the weekend. Photographing from the roadside wouldn’t cut it. I always feel that getting up the hill with participants – also having sore legs and lungs bursting for more oxygen – is the best way to get immersive pictures and do justice to everyone involved. To do otherwise would not fit the incredible example set by the people behind these events.
Up coming WildFox Events are The Push – 19/09/15, The Etape Royale – 27/09/15, and The Glencoe Marathon – 04/10/15. For more information visit: www.wildfoxevents.com