Keeping it Real

*DISCLAIMER* The comments in this blog aren’t aimed to offend and should be taken with a massive pinch of salt. At the end of the day people are free to blog exactly what they want to blog. When I started to blog about my running experiences I set out with the aim of keeping it real. After being knocked back by a couple of brands I’ve accepted that I’m not what brands are looking for. I can’t help being “a student” (yes this really was given as a reason not taking me on as an ambassador by a brand) and I can’t help living outside London (given as another reason).

Recently as I’ve been injured I’ve been stalking reading loads of running blogs. I particularly enjoy reading training recaps, race reports and product reviews. I’ve noticed that 99.999% of running and fitness bloggers are apparently a million times more photogenic than I am when they are running. This concerned me slightly as I always look shit when I’m running. In addition, when I’m running, or doing any form of exercise no matter how hot or cold it is I look like Larry the Lobster. I’m not trying to sound negative but I did find myself asking the following question:

“What happened to all of the shit running photos?”

Luckily I’m aware that I am not alone in looking like a mess during and after a run. This thread which is dedicated to sharing ARF (Ace Race Face) photos is a Fetcheveryone classic. Fetchies it appears, aren’t afraid to share their ARF photos. The majority of running and fitness bloggers, however, are seemingly reluctant to share their dodgy running photos. It’s time to keep it real.

On Thursday I posted my ‘Chundergate’ photo here. In an attempt to get people sharing their ARF photos, I’m going to share some of my least photogenic running photos.

Don’t pose for the camera!

When I marshalled at the Women’s Running 10k event in Sutton Park I spent a lot of time before the race started talking to the race photographer. I learnt that loads of runners make the mistake of trying to strike a pose for the camera.Crap pose for camera 2Running pose fail alert! Apparently posing leads to running with your eyes closed and looking like an idiot. Needless to say I didn’t end up parting with my money for a copy of these beauties.

Although posing for the camera may result in entertaining photos, suddenly spotting a man wearing a bright yellow tabard and brandishing a camera may result in…

Is that an official race photographer? Shit it is!Shit a camera

I love the shocked expression on my face. I was ‘sprinting’ towards the finish of the Bupa London 10,000 (note the Larry the Lobster impression), when I spotted an official race photographer. In the next photo I’m looking slightly less ‘special’. At some point I’ll blog my not so offensive race photos. Don’t worry, there aren’t many of them!

In the majority of race photos I’ve noticed that I don’t look like I’m putting in any much effort. At a parkrun event last summer for some reason I suddenly decided that I wanted to break my 5km PB…

The Effort (?) photos????????

????????I’m not sure why I felt that running with my eyes closed would make me go faster? I also clearly thought that the photographer would disappear if I closed my eyes. He didn’t! It’s pleasing to see that I do occasionally make an effort when I’m running! I never did get that bloody PB!

The Arse photosArse shot 2

Arse shot 1The top arse shot photo is perhaps one of my all time favourite official (?!) race event photos. I didn’t have to pay for this delightful photo of my arse, but thanks to the photographer for uploading this cracking photo online. My friend took the second photo during the infamous parkrun PB attempt. He claimed that I was “running too fast to capture on camera” I’m hardly bloody Usain Bolt!  What had happened to all the other runners? Had my severe gurning scared them all away?

The Dodgy Technique photos

Dodgy style 1

????????I love the heel strike in the top photo and the dodgy right foot landing position in the bottom photo. Before I ended up with a broken third metatarsal in my left foot (Zzzzz), I had loads of ‘issues’ with my right foot. When I finally start running again I’m going to attempt to improve my technique. I can’t hobble on forever!

I haven’t always been a heel striker. I’m starting to see a clear link between weight gain and heel striking. I have, however, always suffered with dodgy calves. Back in 2007 compression socks were either white or white.

The “what was I thinking?” photo1 compression sockDue to constantly having a sore right calf I would always wear compression socks. Actually I tell a lie, I would always wear one compression sock. I only had problems with my right leg and evidently felt that wearing one compression sock was perfectly acceptable. Although it’s cool to be different, wearing one compression sock made me look like a muppet!

The “PC Goody” PC GoodyThis stunning photo was taken during one of my all-time favourite races the Suicide 6. The river crossing is the highlight of the event, and the course was surrounded by spectators hoping that the runners would fall into the river. Quite a few friends (?) have since informed me that I look like PC Goody in this photo. Thanks guys!

The Selfiepost disaster selfieAn attempt at an “I hate selfies, selfy!”

I’m not a fan of selfies (mainly because I always look so shit in them) and I wish that brands would put an end to the “post an action shot selfie” competitions on twitter.


In two competitions most of the winning so-called sefies had actually been taken by someone else. According to the definition above they weren’t actually selfies.

I think that taking selfies during a race is potentially a recipe for disaster. I’m waiting for the day a runner busy taking a selfie runs into the back of another runner/into a tree. No I’m not at all bitter that I didn’t win a pair of trainers totally unsuited to my style of running…

I have another 17 unflattering running photos I could share but I think I’ve done enough damage in this blog.

So runners, in future please consider sharing the not so perfect race photographs. Please try to keep it real!


6 thoughts on “Keeping it Real

  1. skinnedcartree says:

    Haha, race photos are awful. I’ve had some really bad ones of me, I usually look in pain.

    Thanks for sharing this. Running/actions photos aren’t for looking cute. It’s proper wank that brands ask for them.

    Corinne x


    • phdrunner says:


      After finding all of my not so flattering photos for this blog I only managed to track down 2 or possibly 3 decent race photos. I’ve been running for over 10 years so this is more than slightly concerning!

      I’m not sure that I would be prepared to work with a brand that asked me to create an unrealistic image of running.

      Emma x


  2. Tiny runner says:

    Another cracking post! I like to cram lots of race pics in my posts whenever I’m doing a race recap and like to think that I shove a few embarrassing ones into the mix with the good ones. I’m off to have a look at the fetch thread 🙂


    • phdrunner says:

      Thanks! When I wrote this post I was slightly concerned that other running/fitness bloggers would think that I’m taking a pop at them. I’ve had loads of support so I’m pleased that I when ahead and published this post. As far as I’m concerned it’s all about keeping it real with a mix of good and not so good race pics in posts. I want to see the blood, sweat and tears! The fetch thread is really funny so enjoy 🙂


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