The Free Lance-Star Photography Department shares the stories behind the photos.

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The Great Train Race

Covering The Great Train Race was an experience, especially this year given that it was the first time in the race’s history it has ever rained. Thousands of children, their parents and other family and friends booked around Caroline and Sophia streets in search of a familiar face in the feet pounding the pavement through downtown Fredericksburg.

Photographer Pete Cihelka, reporter Dan Telvock and I took to covering the event, this year focusing on one girl running the race for the story, and did two videos: one focusing on the girl and another about the race in general. We also had a goal of getting the photos up quickly after the race.

It made for a long morning of rushing between locations of start, finish and the race course (especially given that there were miles run in amazing times like sub-5 minutes), trying to catch up with people to get names and making sure we were able to see bib-#s for identification in captions later, and making sure we met up with our subject and her family for the story. Keeping the rain-gear over the cameras ended up being the biggest challenge, however. Plus making sure you’re out of the way of the runners speeding by.

In the end, though, I really enjoy covering such events. People are excited to be there and kids are nervous about running the race, then feel real success when it is all done, and for the most part everyone is easy-going and there to have a good time.

Train Race

- Rebecca Sell