About Me

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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Photographing the DeMar Marathon

Ashuelot River along the course
Last spring, I was asked by the folks running our local DeMar Marathon, if I would help out by taking photographs of the course.  The DeMar has been an important tradition in the Monadnock region and the course, especially the first part, travels through miles of lovely backroads and along tumbling brooks.  It is arguably one of the most beautiful marathon courses in the country.

   I was thrilled to take on the assignment.  Since the event has been managed by our local Elm City Rotary Club it has expanded in inclusiveness and popularity.  This year almost 300 ran the 26.2 mile course, but in addition to the full marathon, participation in the half marathon has increased.  The DeMar has become a community-wide event with the “Super Senior” race for those over 70 years of age and kids races for children ranging from kindergarten to 5th grade.

The Course in Spring

I enjoyed the opportunity to shoot along the course last spring when the greens were just beginning to burst forth, but I was reminded of the fact that I had never shot the actual race.  This year I got out to capture the excitement from a number of different locations.  And I they even used one of my pictures of the stone bridge in Gilsum for the bib.

Warming up

The Kids and The Super Seniors
College Volunteers
I started early in the morning to catch the start of the Kids and Super Senior races.  Both groups managed to run or walk a total of 25 miles over the summer and then, on the day of the marathon, they finish their last 1.2 miles. 

Kids and Super Seniors
It was great to see the enthusiasm in both the seniors and the children, and both demographics seemed to gain inspiration from each other.  My favorite shot was a group photo, that I suggested with the seniors and youth all together, but the energy at the starts was also electric.

The Cemetery Run
Cemetery Run

The kid's starts were by far
the most fun, but, after they were on their way , I followed the suggestion of one of the organizers and headed off to catch the half marathoners as they ran through the lovely rolling landscape of the cemetery, around mile ten.  It was a great day for running, cool and dry, and the light accentuated the early fall foliage.  I’m sure that seeing a photographer ahead can change a runner’s attitude, but, after ten miles, the expressions had evolved from the excitement of the start to focused determination.

Cemetery Turn

To the Finish
Next I had to work my way to the finish line.  The DeMar’s last few hundred yards are along Keene State College’s beautifully green Apian Way and finally through the ubiquitous inflatable finish line arch.  I was impressed that the organizers were able to identify most of the runners by name as the crowd cheered. Finishers were personally congratulated and awarded their medal.  It all reinforced the DeMar’s reputation as a warm and comfortable “little” marathon. 

Main Street Banner
A couple of years ago Keene received an undue amount of bad publicity after the nasty episode near the college campus on the evening of the Pumpkin Festival.  This isolated and aberrant episode led to some necessary changes, but events such as the DeMar Marathon reinforce the strength and warmth of our community.  The work that has been done by so many to expand and enrich this event is amazing and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to contribute a small amount to its success.

Read more about the DeMar’s long history and tour the beautiful route in my first blog from this spring.

Jeff Newcomer

1 comment:

  1. Better capturing photography . Feeling inspired after seeing your post .