“Oh my God, they killed Kenny! Bastards!”(1)* is reverberating around my brain as I arrive in Kilkenny to photograph their inaugural Medieval Marathon event which consists of a 10k, a half-marathon, a 30k, and a full marathon (Photos here soon).
Not one fecking idea do I have about where in the name of Jaysus I’m supposed to be going or where the route is. Not one. But I put my investigative skills to work and I approach runner-y looking folks and I ask questions, get answers, and before long I’m bounding down the road like some kind of madman on some kind of mission that seems very important but which probably isn’t.
Running back along the route and using the various distance marker signs as a guide I try to find a spot where I will be able to capture all of the participants from all of the events but I get a little bit confused and eventually I find myself in a spot where I believe the day’s longer distances will be approaching.
Before long a trickle of runners come plodding along and I click away happily until out of the blue I hear a loud and startling roar.
“I know you, Galway COW, ya fecker,” says a chap speeding towards me on a bicycle and I don’t recognise him as it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the man with clothes on. As kinky as that might sound, it’s not. It’s just that I’ve photographed this fellow at a couple of events and he seems to have an aversion to clothes for some reason. We chat a bit and he pedals off, but shortly returns again baring all, as is his style.
One of the most delightful aspects of the day, apart from our bare-chested hero, are the costumes of many of the runners who wholeheartedly embrace the theme of the event such as the folks below.
Many participants, on seeing me, shout, “Hey, you’re The Galway Cow, right?” and I realise my secret super-hero identity is not so secret anymore. I knew I should have invested in a cow suit. Alas, good suits are expensive and I’m simply a poor ass honky white boy from the ghetto when compared to Mr I’m a billionaire Bruce Wayne (aka Batman).
One of the most joyous pair of participants, that I simply must mention, were the man and woman below who informed me that they didn’t really know each other but had met three marathons ago. Such people make life, and events like these, a little more fun for everyone. The lady even touched up the man’s war paint for my photo. Wasn’t that lovely?
Shortly, the sun starts to sink below the horizon (this event started rather late at 2pm) and I find myself all on my lonesome but with a slight reluctance to leave as I never usually do without being 100% sure I’ve captured everyone. However, on this occasion I do leave as the fading light is making any attempts of decent photos useless.
Before long I’m hurtling back to Galway with a full moon shining brightly in the sky and again pondering what madness it is that has me photographing such events. And that’s when I hear it: the high pitched moo-howl of the were-cow! Muh ha ha ha (2)*
- Reference to a satirical cartoon called Southpark in which one of the main characters, Kenny, gets killed in every episode.
- Sorry if the conclusion makes no sense but life often doesn’t make sense either, does it?