As a runner who really enjoys hamming it up for race photographers, I typically cannot wait for the official race photos to be posted. I could be sobbing during a marathon or huffing and puffing during a 5K but as soon as I see the photog I am all smiles.

I know a lot of dudes who race who don’t actually smile for the camera and of course a few of these dudes like to make fun of me for all of the cheesing I do. To them I say, scoff all you want, I know a secret. If you smile even when you are feeling like your legs are going to fall off or your lungs are going to burst, it will make you feel better. If may not help you PR or stop you from walking, but it will give you a little boost of cheer, and during a tough race that photographer who gets you to smile can be a Godsend.

I can only imagine being one of the race photogs. You have to get up at the butt crack of dawn to click away at crazy runners and triathletes who may or may not actually buy the photo you have so carefully set up. And not only that, you snap away until the very last runners come in. While I am certain these photographers enjoy their work, especially when goofballs like me come along, I do think they deserve a little more kudos for the job they do. Sure the photos can sometimes be pricey, but there are those photos that are so special you’d pay any price for them. And if you think about things you would try to save in a housefire, photos are usually at the top of the list.

Thus today, I am thankful for the race photographers who come out and take tons of photos and help us keep some of the best memories of our lives, including the one below….

What are you thankful for today?