Looking Back from 15 Years of Half Marathon Race Photos

I’m at that point of half marathon training where I’m pretty much at my peak as far as distance and speed. Now I just have to hold onto what I’ve worked so hard for until the race next month. For whatever reason my mind recently started thinking back to some of my half marathons through the years.

Although I didn’t always have the goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states, I think the idea started to form in my mind sometime around when I ran the Philadelphia Distance Run in 2004. Pennsylvania was my third state and fifth half marathon. In 2005 I only ran one half marathon, two in 2006, three each in 2007 and 2008, four in 2009, and since then I’ve run three half marathons each year through 2018. What all that means is it’s been a LONG journey for me.

I saw the other day where someone I follow on Instagram just completed a half marathon in all 50 states in only 3 years. Yeah, that’s not me. I started this journey with my first half marathon in 2000 and I hope to finish my journey with my 50th state in 2020. I would’t have it any other way either.

Of course it’s been an incredible journey. Unfortunately I don’t have photos for some of the races, especially the earlier ones. Those were pre-digital camera and pre-cell phone camera days. I may have some photos from a couple of those early races saved on a CD somewhere but I’m not even sure I have that. In a society where our whole worlds are caught on our camera phones now, it may seem odd to not have a single photo from a race, but I’m almost 100% sure I don’t have a single photo from my first three half marathons. However, I do have photos from Philadelphia and later, so I’m going to take you down a little photo memory lane with some of my favorite race photos. In case you’re wondering, it’s not all 15 years’ worth, just some that were more noteworthy than others.

Where’s Donna? Can you find me waving from this massive crowd at the start of the Philadelphia Distance Run?
I’ve seen a lot of crazy things at races but this woman chasing a loose basketball at the finish line of the Newburyport All Women and One Lucky Guy Half Marathon was a first!
It’s hard to beat this giant King Neptune and a finish at the beach like at Virginia Beach, Virginia
This lap around the track at the Arbuckles to Ardmore Half Marathon finish was the longest of my life (at the time I was anemic) but it showed me I have grit because I finished.


The struggle is real at the finish line of the Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon (check out the woman in red wearing headphones)!
My one and only age-group first place finish at the Roller Coaster Half Marathon in Missouri
This race, the White River Half Marathon in Arkansas was the race that gave me hope that all of my speed isn’t gone (yet)!
Running through this canyon at the Famous Potato Half Marathon in Idaho was such a perfect backdrop for the race

I’ve seen some crazy things at races ranging from things spectators did to volunteer aid stations and the runners themselves. Sometimes I wish I was the type of runner who took photos during my races, but that hasn’t been the case so far and honestly I’m probably not going to start now. Pretty much all I have are the photos my husband took at the beginning and end of most of the races.

Do you ever look back at race photos from races you ran years ago? Do you take photos while running races?

Happy running!



Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

19 thoughts on “Looking Back from 15 Years of Half Marathon Race Photos”

  1. Wow you’re so much closer to your goal now:)
    I like when people share the photos from their runs, but I just can’t get myself to stop to take a photo, even in training runs! I think I’m afraid I’ll never start again or it could be my obsession with numbers🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Slowly but surely I’m getting there!
      The best I can do is snap a couple of quick shots when I’m on training runs. Usually the quality isn’t that great, but I do what I can! My phone isn’t the easiest to get into and out of its holder, so I could never take photos during a race with my current holder.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes my phone is always stuffed in a belt or my hydration pack so taking a photo is quite the process! I wonder what the people who take a ton of photos use?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My daughter has an armband for her phone that she can pretty quickly slip her phone in and out of. Maybe that’s what other people have that take a lot of photos on the run. My arm band is just too cumbersome for races.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the idea of having photos to look back at from races- and I do buy race photos sometimes and look back as those- but I don’t want to have to stop to take them myself. I take photos during easy training runs if I plan for a scenic route and bring my camera along (nope- don’t have a camera on my dumb phone 😉 ) And I took some photos during the Darss marathon last year, because I was purposefully taking it slow and it was an experience I wanted to share with my family.

    I wish I had more photos from my early years of running, though! It seems to just have picked up when I was in college.

    Nice run through memory lane, Donna 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Dorothea! My race photos usually aren’t worth buying. There have been quite a few races where there have only been one or two photos of me but they have other people in them and/or they’re awful pictures of me. Good thing I have my husband to take race photos now otherwise my race photos would be next to nothing!


  3. Thanks for sharing! Normally the only pics of me during races is those taken by professionals. I don’t bother buying the pics though. Otherwise there might be a pic or 2 taken post-race with my dad. I know my mom took one of me, dad and Armand before the Gettysburg half marathon and Armand and I had someone take one of us after we got our age group awards at the Hands on House half. I don’t run with a phone, but even if I did I doubt I’d want the distraction of taking photos while racing though I agree there are definitely some great shots out there! If I ever tackle the Disney marathon someday (this unofficial, think it’d be neat but don’t feel like paying the money or dealing with the super early start hassles goal of mine) I think I’d take pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your mention of The Philly Distance Run really jogged some memories. I did that race several times and loved it. I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it in 2004, though. Probably began around 2005 or 206. What a great race!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great race. In Bart Yasso’s book Run Everything, he mentioned running it (I don’t remember the year but I don’t think it was when I ran it) and said it was one of his favorites. It’s too bad they don’t have it any more.

      Liked by 1 person

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