Hell & Back / by Aaron Corr

I was asked to help cover the Hell & Back run in Kilruddery House in Bray near the end of June.  This is a 10 - 13km run with many, many tough obstacles along the way including an ice bath at the start, carrying logs up hills, being shot at with air guns, copious amounts of mud, electrocution and a dip in the swamp.  I was assigned to the photograph those passing through the River for the weekend.  My job reminded me of Duck Hunt on Nintendo, I had to shoot as many people passing by as I could so they could try and find themselves on Facebook afterwards and crack a tired smile at their achievements.  

It was fun anticipating the first arrival on the Saturday, which was the devil in the pictures below.  He has come first the last few years, not that it's a race exactly.  As we cheered some participants as they passed I'd try and get a cheer or a thumbs up for the camera.  Some people loved to pose, many just wanted to fall to the finish line as soon as they could drag themselves there and others would request a posed shot, couples sometimes kissed and some lads would dive right in the water for effect.  There was lots of shouting about how cold the water was.  I didn't envy them but couldn't help but thinking I was missing out on all the fun.

On the Sunday the Irish soccer team were playing what was to be their last game in the Euros.  It was great to tell people as they passed that they were 1-0 up within the first three minutes but by the time I wrapped up to leave they were now 2-1 against.  I didn't have to break that news to anyone.

My Canon 6D went on the fritz early on the Sunday after a little bit of rain and taking a few shots at the Ice Bath obstacle at the very start of the run.  I wouldn't say a lot of water got on the camera and I did put a plastic cover over it to help protect it, so it was a shock to see the back screen go haywire.  This made me glad I had the 7D with me for backup.  As soon as I got home I put the 6D in a sealed bag with rice for 2 days and crossed my fingers that it would be okay.  It started working again on time to cover the Disclosure gig that night.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the thousands taken that weekend. 

Click any picture to see a further selection from the weekend.