Boston Marathon Photo Bridge “BTS” Blog

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Boston Marathon Finish Line Bridge photo by Mo Tate

To the news photojournalist the Boston Marathon isn’t about training for months in advance of the big day. Nor is it about shopping for fancy new running shoes and matching running attire.  For us it’s all about stringing and tie wrapping long video and audio cables under VIP stands and along the filthy gutters of Boylston Street. It’s about lugging heavy equipment up steep, rickety and narrow steps to the staging platform where around two dozen photogs will claim their tiny footprint and camp out  in a cramped and windy space for roughly eight hours in order to get “the shot” of the finish.

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photo by Mo Tate

 

I’ve been doing this for more years than I’d like to admit, but I still enjoy the camaraderie with the guys on the job and the excitement of the crowds as the runners cross the line.

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Me with photogs Matt Colson and Nate Isenor Photo by Mo Tate

 

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Paul Buscemi and Al Goebel in the transmission truck. Photo by Mo Tate

 

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IT guy Alex Dina and Nate Isenor setting up. Photo by Mo Tate

 

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Photog Mo Tate and me looking for donuts

 

Officially my job for the day was operating the WBZ TV live camera for our finish line show hosted by

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Our team. Photo by Rick Macomber

Lisa Hughes, Toni Reavis and Kathrine Switzer. The news set was built by Mike Nosel in two pieces and was carried up those rickety stairs on Saturday, two days before the marathon, in order to places the lights, screw down the set and fact check all the equipment in advance of the race. With all video, audio and lighting working properly we covered everything up with a giant tarp and came back on Monday for Marathon Day.

Monday morning… 5:30am call.

Back to the job site to pull off the tarp and hope the wind and rain we got late Saturday night didn’t destroy all the gear. No leaks detected. Equipment still worked. We were lucky with the weather this year.

It was a bit chilly

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photo by Mo Tate

in the shadows of the Hancock Tower up high on the bridge, but nothing compared to some years in the past where we had to stand outside for eight hours in punishing high winds, whipping rain and cold temps.

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Boston Marathon photo bridge. Photo by Mo Tate

 

I remember one year when I was doing handheld camera at the starting line at 4am for our morning newscast, I was so soaked and chilled to the bone I had to take a quick run to my car to change my clothes. It was at that moment… when I was wrestling out of my soaked jeans and long  johns and was actually dumping water out of my so-called waterproof boots… that I thought to myself:

“WTF are you doing with your life?”

And you know what? I still wouldn’t change a thing. Because I get to do what I love to do every day…

shooting pics!

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Anderson Cooper hair (just the arri light I hope) Photo by Mo Tate

 

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Mens winner! Droid X Photo by Rick Macomber

 

8 Comments

  1. Thank you including a couple of my pics on your blog. I was so pissed for my camera mis-fired on the male winner crossing the finish line and I didn’t get it. Oh well, next year will be here soon enough.

    Mo

  2. Lisa Plesko says:

    Thanks for all of your help up on the photo bridge! Hope to see you again next year!

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