Spartan Sufferfest

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That guy in the lower left hand corner of the frame pretty much sums up how many of us felt this past Saturday.

To kick off my vacation/staycation week, I did another obstacle course race (OCR), this time a Spartan Super at the Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Palmerton, PA.

I’ve written about Spartan Races before. Since I was out there racing the 8 mile course, I wasn’t shooting any photos. No GoPro’s for me.

Basically, I was running…or walking…and sweating…and carrying heavy things..and sipping pickle juice to keep from having muscle cramps. It was a long, hot day.

But, I did it. Placed about 31st in my 45-49 age group (not sure how many overall there were, but quite a bit) with a time of 3 hours and 31 minutes.

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The one thing that struck me, again, about this race is how pleasant everyone is during it. We’re all in it, suffering, together. But we signed up for this, we brought it on ourselves.

Still, though, everyone is pleasant, polite, helpful. If I took a knee to catch my breath, many racers tapped me on the shoulder and said “You OK, bro?” with actual concern. I offered water, pickle juice (from one of my hydration bottles) or salt packs to racers myself. Like I said, we’re all in this together.

We’re all focused when we’re training, but there’s not animosity, no rage on the course. Just people doing what they came there to do.

So much negativity and crap going on in the world…maybe more people should just try to push themselves doing something like this.

It’s not for everyone. And everyone there IS NOT an elite athlete or OCR racer. Some just have a goal: Do it, get through it. Some, yes, do want to be competitive. Heck, I am when I’m on the course. But it’s against myself. On the drive to Palmerton (in which a PA State Trooper did NOT give me a speeding ticket because in part, I think, he saw my Spartan stickers on the back window of my truck), I gave myself a goal of 5 hours and 30 minutes to do this rugged, hilly, insane course.

At the start line (above), I shortened it to 4 hours 30 minutes, to push myself more.

So, to finish in 3:30…I was happy.

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But there was plenty of pain, plenty of “taking a knee” like the guy above. But you get through it.

You’re not worried about work, deadlines, other stuff going on. Just getting through it. I know that doesn’t sound like fun to many people, but it works. It clears your head. I only do these once, maybe twice a year. In the middle of it, I think, That’s it. No more after this. But at the end, or a couple of days later (like today), I think, Man, that was cool. When is the next one?

The sufferfests. We’re all so stationary now, that we need these sufferfests to tell us we are still alive.

In fact, Scott Keneally has done a whole documentary about why we do this. I met Scott at this race, gave him my card, and hope to connect with him down in Asbury Park in a couple of weeks, when he shows the doc there.

It’s an interesting aspect. Why we do this. Why we put ourselves through this. After the race, I met my family up in Northeast PA, at my parent’s house. My dad, of course, said the same thing “Why do you do this to yourself?”

I don’t know. Maybe when there is so much crap going on in the world, it’s best to just hit the mountain and sweat.

Feel some pain.

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Nothing wrong with a sufferfest every now and then.


Editor’s Edit:

Spartan Race just released their images from the race. Here’s me…during the Sandbag Carry. Decent for 46, eh?

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(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016



Eye Candy: David Burnett’s Olympic Photos

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I’ve had the utmost pleasure of working with David Burnett a couple of times.

That’s my “portrait” of him above.

Like hanging out with Michelangelo as he carved David.

Or Da Vinci as he painted the Mona Lisa.

Or…well, you get the idea.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal ran a slideshow of David’s Olympics photos.

“My greatest desire is to try and just give a sense of what it was like to be there,” says Mr. Burnett.

What beautiful work.

He’ll be at Rios with his Speed Graphic.

Can’t wait to see what he brings back.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Events: Just Hangin’ Around

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As you know, I’m in no way pro photographer. But I’ve been getting after it for about 15 years now, “doing the roadwork” as I say. Doing the roadwork is based in boxing. It means those long, lonely hours a boxer will run in the dark, early morning mist, to get himself ready for his bout in the ring.

No camera, no fanfare. No matter how big or popular fighter your are, you have to do the roadwork – put in the miles to either get in shape or stay in shape. I even call my Tumblr Doing The Roadwork to remind myself I have to keep shooting. (Give that Tumblr a look-see. I don’t know how much longer it’s going to stay around.)

Part of my photography goals for 2016 was to try to get my work out there a little more, to work harder to get into print, or a gallery showing.

Well, when it’s not exactly pouring, but it is raining pretty good right now.

First, this Saturday, in Tinton Fall, New Jersey, I’ll be having my FIRST gallery showing at Toxic Tins Gallery. They had sponsored an Instagram contest and my photo above, This Hard Land,  was selected as the winner. (c)JerseyStyle Photography_Toxic Tins_072016

Toxic Tins is a small, local gallery that caters to social media. In fact, in lieu of actual prints, they “hang” your photos on large TV screens, so I had to drop off a USB stick this past weekend with about 20 selects on it.

So, if you’re in the Jersey Shore/Ocean County area, the official opening of my gallery run starts on Saturday, July 16, from 7 pm – 10 p.m. Check their website for directions. (Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it as I’ll be in Pennsylvania doing THIS.)


The second piece of good news is that, on the heels of the Toxic Tins announcement, I found out one of my photos has been accepted for ANOTHER gallery, this one in Vermont.

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The Photo Gallery Place in Middebury, Vermont, recently put out a call for B&W photography. You my remember that a few months ago, this same gallery accepted one of my noir images to be printed in their book of that same theme.

At the time, I was thrilled to be part of the print book, but a little disappointed my image didn’t make the cut for hanging in the gallery. (Which is odd, because we all like to be printed, right?)

This time, though, I got the email saying my image, Burn Time, has been selected to be part of the brick-and-mortar gallery showing.

You can see all of the selections here. Some REALLY strong work, so I’m very happy and honored that my image was selected to be part of this group.

I doubt I’ll get up to Vermont to see it live, so if you’re in the area and can stop by, shoot me a photo of my image on the wall, ok?


One final bit of housekeeping….if you’re taking part in my Flash Fiction challenge, can you drop me an email to let me know? Still two weeks to the deadline, but I just want to know how many I should be looking for:


(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016



Sunbeam Tag

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Sometimes you chase the light…sometimes the light chases you….

Happy Sunday, all!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016


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