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Best & Worst Race Photos

by Meghann on December 8, 2009

Hey Guys!

I promise to be back to regular posting soon, but in the mean time here’s some best and worst running photos to entertain you.

Take note on which ones you think are the best and which ones are just hilariously bad. In the comments leave your choices and I will list a top 5 for each category to vote on next week. The winners will get a sweet prize!


Brie from The Fit Bride (5K)

“I always look like I am going to die in race photos…I lost the worst ones though!”

“My fiance can’t take a race finish photo to save his life…this is my first race ever ’finish photo.’ I’m not actually in it, that’s the guy that finished behind me”


Monica from Run Eat Repeat

“Well, none of these pics are particularly funny (unless you get a kick out of someone sweating through their shorts). Now I am on a mission to be funny at my next race :)”

Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach

“It was my first full and I was dying, but when I spotted Ben with the camera I smiled and waved. I can be such a ham.”


Long Beach Half Marathon

“And for some reason my pics always look like I’m barely running. Pick up those feet Monica! I don’t have a good finish line photo either. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who throws their arms up victoriously at the finish, but I’m always too tired. “


Kristie from VeganinDairyland Thanksgiving Day 10k

“What’s funny is that I actually saw the photographer… that’s why I am sort of giving the thumbs up in the picture.”


Melissa from Trying to Heal

Dana Point 10k Turkey Trot

“Ok, it’s not horrible, but I was trying so hard to be caught smiling like all of your pics! i envy yours all the time!”


San Antonio Half Marathon

“I guess all these were bad cause you can barely see me!”


Carolyn from Losing Loving. Peninsula Pumpkin 5k

“I ran a race on Halloween this year and it was costumes optional. I decided to go as SuperWoman!! :)”



“This is me running my FIRST half-marathon in Baltimore in October. This photo was taken around mile 8 or 9 when I was getting my second wind. I made an extra effort to pose really cheesy for the photographers, because it gave me a burst of energy each time! I finished the race perfectly on pace, go me!

I’m also pleased that this photo is so flattering :)”


Molly from the Vegan Dorm


Dori from Dori’s Shiny Blog

Poland Spring 5 Mile Marathon Kickoff

“I only have one because for some reason I am never in finish line photos, even if the people I ran side by side with are. Or the people who finished 1 second before and after me are.

That is me on the right, dressed in black and smiling randomly during the Poland Spring 5 Mile Marathon Kickoff. My race recap is here.



“I wish this was easier to see, but I have this series of photos where my tongue is sticking out of the side of my mouth in every single one! Here is one of them. Also my shorts seem to be riding up awfully high.”



“I don’t really think I have any good race photos, I just always have a SUPER concentrated look on my face, but I like the Furry 5K photo because me and my boyfriend are in almost the exact same stride and he is waving and smiling. He is almost always smiling and is really cute. So Furry 5K wins!”


“My Leavenworth Half is an example of how my usual photos look… like a tired T-Rex. What am I doing with my hand??? Oh yeah, Half Marathon Photo Credit: Copyright © 2009 Jon Brunk Photography”



Fitness Magazine Half-Marathon, April 2009, in NYC’s Central Park

“I’m wearing a black shirt in the half-marathon photos. It was a freakishly warm day – I think it was over 85? – very warm for New York City in April, that’s for sure! They eventually cancelled the marathon because we didn’t start until 8:30 am and it would have been too draining for folks to run a full marathon under the hot midday sun.
My girlfriend Jess came to cheer me on and took the first photo as I was running towards her to give her a big sweaty hug. I think at that point I was at the 6-mile mark and feeling great.”


The Gay and Lesbian Pride Run (a 5 miler) also in Central Park, in June 2009.

“I ran the Pride Run with Tommy (which was so much fun – we’re both gay) and we had a blast. I’m showing off my race sweat in the photo with the green shirt, and Tommy’s showing off our adorable race t-shirt in our subway station.”



“I did my first sprint triathlon a few months ago and during the race portion my friend and I ran together. (Great decision.) However, I really had to go to the bathroom and was extremely tired and ready to be DONE. Hence the picture – I am the one on the right, obviously! There were a few pictures but this is by far the worst! Can you tell I need to work on my running? 🙂 Overall it was a great experience, though, I just wasn’t thinking that at this point!”



“It is from the Komen Race for the Cure (5K) in June of this year. I was about 2/3 of the way through my treatments for breast cancer and was so proud that out of 5,000 survivors running/walking, I was the 4th Survivor to cross the finish line with a time of 25:00! I had a goal of running this race since I was diagnosed in Sept 08. And with the help and support of my hubby, kids, and other family and friends, I did it. It was an awesome experience, and I can’t wait to do it again next year.”


Jeri from Jer Bear Share

The good: Mile 8 of the Sioux Falls Half Marathon Sept. 09


The bad: Sucking wind in the horrible altitude after my 3rd leg of the Wild West Relay Aug 09


Caitlin from the Healthy Tipping Point

Gasparilla 5k

“the only thing that would make this race photo better is if we were holding sweaty hands”


Tyler from Raspberry Runner

“I’m not really sure whether to classify this as a best or worst race photo. While I definitely don’t look very cute, feminine, or happy, it is by far my favorite race photo. This was taken at the end of my first triathlon in April 2008, and you can tell I was going all out for the finish!”



“I ran the Seattle marathon in June 2009 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. My dad passed away 5 years ago of Leukemia. Needless to say, my mom (on the left) was very proud of my accomplishment-it clearly brought tears to her eyes. It kind of brings tears to mine just looking at it.”



“In October, I ran my first race…a 10K. I thought I was prepared because according to my watch I hit the 10K a few weeks prior to the race. A little over halfway through the race I thought the race was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life! BUT I FINISHED!! I was so proud that I finished, but I had to know why I struggled so badly. My Nike Plus watch was callibrated wrong and was off by a quarter of a mile! I was really only running a little over four. Crazy! So this picture is the best because I finished and the worst because it’s just a bad picture!”



“This pic was taken from The Dave Jacobs Classic 2008, a race that takes place every summer in British Columbia, Canada. The division I competed in was a 4 person relay team, we each did 5 km to complete the 20 km race and we won gold!!!. I have done this race in the past in the 10 km single division as well…it is very fun!”


Leslie and Her Little Dog Too

“I recently ran the Philly Half, where I set a new PR, and I love this
pic because it seems very in the moment and everything is fuzzy around
the side because everyone is moving so fast. I just love it. Recap here.”


“ Pic from the NYC Half which I purchased because I LOVE the picture in Times Square. It was so cool. You can check out that recap here


“And finally is Broad Street, my first long distance where I completed
and surprised myself by how great I felt at the end. I was so proud of
myself at this moment. Recap here


Whitney in Chicago

Shamrock Shuffle 8k

Ashley from Fashionably Fit

“This photo was taken as I headed toward the finish line of my first 5K on Sept. 19. I felt like I was in slow motion, but I was determined to finish strong and run the entire thing. I ended up finishing in 32:51, which may not be fantastic, but for someone who couldn’t run a quarter mile when I started running on June 14, it was an unbelievable accomplishment. I love this photo because you can see the determination on my face. My boyfriend says he can’t look at it without hearing “Eye of the Tiger,” hahaha.

The race recap for that 5K is here.”


Lilly from Lily’s Health Pad

“As my boyfriend put it, “not only does your face look distressed, but your entire body looks distressed too!”. Not to mention, my stomach looks as if it is flowing over the top of my pants. This photo was taken at the completion of my very first half marathon. At this point in my life, I had a lot of running experience but had never run more than a 10k. When a friend suggested that we run the Myrtle Beach Half marathon, I reluctantly agreed. On race day, I felt totally unprepared for what was ahead because I had not followed any sort of scheduled training plan. Amazingly, I finished my first half in 1:57:26! I was shocked to have finished in under two hours. As evidenced by this photo, reaching the finish line in that time was a painful experience.”


“This was taken as I was sprinting to the end of the Myrtle Beach Marathon in 2008. This was my very first (and at this point, only) marathon that I have run. I properly trained and was better prepared for this race, hence the more relaxed facial expression. Completing this marathon is what I consider one of my life’s greatest accomplishments.”

marathon 08.bmp


“I am very new to running…I actually could not run more than 15 seconds at a time. While training to be a better runner I lost 20 pounds and decided to do my first race.

The race I chose is the Livestrong 5k Race in Austin, TX. I had ton of fun doing it, and wish that I would have done one sooner. After seeing my finish time when I came in I was overcome with emotion and thirst! “




“Best: This is when I crossed the finish line, at my first marathon. It was one of the proudest moments of my life, and the feeling behind can only be described as freedom.I felt free from all the self-doubt and negativity that I had put on myself, over the years. I NEVER thought I could accomplish a 26.2 mile run, and I finally worked hard and proved to myself that I could do anything I set my mind to.”


“Worst: This was right after my 2nd marathon, at San Diego Rock n Roll. I pushed myself way to hard at the end, and felt dehydrated and nauseous. I felt like I was going to throw up, and laid there for about 10 minutes, till I felt “normal” again.”



“I think it’s a horrible picture. This is me about a month ago finishing my first 10k! “


Brittany from Eating Bird Food

“This picture was taken just as I was entering the finish line of my first half marathon in November of 2008. My cousin and I ran the whole race together and finished in 2:05:03!! 13.1 is the longest either of us had ever run (still to this day). The runners high after running this race was truly amazing -it even outweighed the soreness of my poor legs! “



“I was predicted to place 15th at the race and the top 15 go on to states, so I was pretty nervous. The race started out well, however around the last 800m or so (5K race), my body just started slowing down more and more and I knew I needed to stop. I kept looking for a coach but couldn’t find one, then I realized I needed to finish this race. My legs felt so weird and I stumbled once and got back up and s l o w l y made it to the finish line, which I collapsed at and was immediately carried aside and taken to the hospital. No worries, I was back to normal a day later and they figured out I’m hypoglycemic (along with being very stressed about the race) so I just need to make sure I fuel properly.”

falling regionals.jpg

Paige from Two Runners and a Brown Dog

“The race was a really tough, hilly 5K. It’s my favorite picutre, because you can see the determination on my face. I had also been spending a lot of time in the gym, and I had no idea that my arms and legs actually had “cuts!” When I saw this picture, I was like, “Whoa! Is that me?””


Don’t forget to list your favorite best and worst photos in the comment section! 🙂

1 Julie @ Wearing Mascara December 8, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Okay, this is tough but I literally laughed out loud at Kristie’s “thumbs up” picture. Hers is definitely my favorite. I love it! What a fun contest!

2 thefitbride December 8, 2009 at 9:46 pm

I really like Tyler’s tri finish picture. She looks so strong!

3 Jenna December 8, 2009 at 9:53 pm

my fav is obvs the one of you and caitlin!

4 inmytummy December 8, 2009 at 10:04 pm

The tired T-rex one made me giggle.

5 M December 8, 2009 at 10:05 pm

“My fiance can’t take a race finish photo to save his life…this is my first race ever ’finish photo.’ I’m not actually in it, that’s the guy that finished behind me”

I laughed my ass off at that one. How funny!

6 jennylikestorun December 8, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Ahahaha this is hilarious!! 😀 Thanks Meghann and thanks to all the people for the photos.
This post just made my evening 🙂
Wish I had some gnarly photos to send in.
My fav is Ashley from Fashionably Fit. Made me chuckle!!

7 Melissa S. December 8, 2009 at 10:40 pm

my fav is carolyns with the superwoman costume! can i have two votes? cause my other fav is for you and megs!!!

8 Brandi December 8, 2009 at 10:54 pm

“My fiance can’t take a race finish photo to save his life…this is my first race ever ’finish photo.’ I’m not actually in it, that’s the guy that finished behind me”

This one made me laugh so hard. OMG. Hands down the best.

9 Anna December 8, 2009 at 10:57 pm

This post was great! I love that T-rex photo (mainly because I do that too!).

10 caitlin December 8, 2009 at 11:19 pm

this one deserves an award: Ashley from Fashionably Fit

LOVE IT. totally eye of the tiger!

i love all these great pictures of strong women running!!!! YAY

11 blueberrymuffins December 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Loveeee superwomann!

12 Christy December 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Fav Worst = Kristie from VeganinDairyland Thanksgiving Day 10k!!!!!! Hahaha too funny 🙂

And Fav Best = Kimberly in The Dave Jacobs Classic 2008. I love it because she looks like she’s having a blast… and that’s what running is all about!!

13 Kristie Lynn December 9, 2009 at 12:11 am

K you all, just letting you know it’s fine to say I have the worst picture… you know you can admit it if I can 😉

14 Liz December 9, 2009 at 12:16 am

i LOVE the tired t-rex! 🙂

15 annedell December 9, 2009 at 12:16 am

I shouldn’t laugh because I am notorious for having bad race pictures (didn’t submit any because they always seem to disappear from my computer ;)) but Kate’s picture from her first triathlo is pretty bad!

16 annedell December 9, 2009 at 12:18 am

Oh, and my favorite is Jenna during the Baltimore half

17 marsha December 9, 2009 at 1:12 am

Go Erica!!
t-rex and the thumbs up are pretty hilarious 😉

18 Kara December 9, 2009 at 9:19 am

Ha cute post!

19 tlconrad December 9, 2009 at 9:22 am

hahaha… the worst photo is the second one where her boyfriend didnt even capture her in the photo! i am laughing so hard!

20 meyergirl December 9, 2009 at 9:35 am

LOL The super woman photo is actually Carolyn from Losing Lovin sounds kinda depressing. 🙂

21 Paula December 9, 2009 at 9:36 am

Best: Tyler
Worst: Kate (lol!)

22 Paula December 9, 2009 at 9:37 am

PS. My favorite though, that made me laugh out loud, was the photo where the runner wasn’t even in the shot. That’s classic!

23 Danielle December 9, 2009 at 9:38 am

Amanda’s photo from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society marathon is absolutely beautiful and inspiring! I’m not sure I can pick a ‘worst” photo – any race photo is automatically a good one in my book!

24 Anne P December 9, 2009 at 9:53 am

Wow these are all so inspiring 🙂

I was dying laughing at the “tired t-rex” comment, hahah!

25 Cait (Cait's Plate) December 9, 2009 at 10:06 am

HA! This was so fun! Great idea Meghann! I hope you do it again after I’ve run my first road race of the year!!

26 Derek December 9, 2009 at 10:19 am

I vote caitlin’s as the best……….cause I took it. =)

27 Kelly December 9, 2009 at 10:36 am

hands down – Erica! Talk about inspirational!

28 Amanda December 9, 2009 at 10:50 am

Aw, my pic wasnt featured 🙁

29 Kristin P. December 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

The tired T-Rex photo made me laugh out loud in my office. that one is my favorite!!

30 'laina December 9, 2009 at 11:11 am

Best: Linzi, 4th picture from bottom, way to represent the big girls! Totally gave me inspiration.

Worst: Brie from FitBride, 2nd picture down- to not even make it in the picture, I bet that was a huge let down!

31 Kate December 9, 2009 at 11:29 am

Ha! I won’t vote for my own – I think the worst is Brie at The Fit Bride! The best is Amanda, amazing photo and story!

By the way, when my mom saw my photo she says I ALWAYS look like that when I’m running races! I guess I may be a little overdramatic in my facial expressions! There is actually more to the story of why I was so miserable but I won’t share here – maybe if I have a blog one day! 🙂

32 DiningAndDishing December 9, 2009 at 11:51 am

what a fun feature!! loved seeing all the pics – i LOVE the one that is missing the actual runner – HILARIOUS!!

– Beth @

33 Good Taste. Healthy Me December 9, 2009 at 12:24 pm

These are all so inspiring. I really want to run a race. I’ll start off with a 5K…baby steps, 🙂

34 hogeruns December 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I love this post!! I find that I always look confused in race pictures…like I’m desperately trying to keep track of the course so I cannot spare a moment to look/smile at the photographer! My goal for my 50k in March is to get at least one smiling/cheesy Thumbs Up picture (we’ll pass the photographer 4-8 times…so I should be able to get one good one!!).

35 Betsy December 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

Best – Tyler’s Tri finish. What a freakin awesome photo – totally powerful!

36 rungirlrunn December 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Haha I love your photo collection! Even a “worst” race photo is good–it means you were still running!

37 Rose December 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I vote for eye of the tiger woman!

38 Becky December 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm

the tired t-rex photo is hilarious, but they’re all equally great! no matter how insane some people look they all mean that, at the end of the day, running is freaking great.

39 Monica C. December 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

My favorite for “best” is Erica – SO INSPIRING – with Amanda as second runner up. You both rock!

My favorite for worst is Brie – too funny that you are not even in the picture. Second runner up, definitely Betsy and the t-rex arms, LOL.

40 Sarah S December 9, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Best: Erica & Amanda

41 inmytummy December 9, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Oh, and I like Tyler’s for the best.

42 Erin December 9, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Oh my god I LOVE this! Can you do this every month Meghann!?

I think hilariousssss in a bad/good way are Betsy’s T Rex picture and Kate from the sprint triathalon where she’s on the right and looking like she wants to barf.

Best would have to be Amanda and Ashley from Fashionably Fit! Love that determination! They’re all so good though!

43 Louise December 10, 2009 at 12:13 am

Betsy’s T-Rex hand comment/photo made me LOL….great post! Love your blog and look forward to reading it every day. Thanks for sharing.

44 Natalie M. December 24, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Hi Meghann!

I haven’t had the opportunity to read your blog since the healthy living summit took place in August. I started graduate school and life has been quite hectic which means no time for my blogs 🙁
I hope to catch up with your posts over break. I just wanted to stop by to wish you and your family a very happy holiday season!

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