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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Mar-17 > 2012

2012

Athletics photographer Mark Shearman’s most memorable year in running

Mark Shearman MBE has been photographing athletics since 1962. In his 55-year career, he’s captured some of the greatest moments in the history of running – the legendary Steve Prefontaine, the Coe vs. Ovett era, the marathon world record getting ever closer to that magic two-hour time – and been to no less than 14 Olympic Games.

But his favourite year of all? One that’s still fresh in the memory: 2012. This was the year, of course, of the hugely successful London Olympics – spearheaded by the running achievements of the imperious Mo Farah and Usain Bolt.

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About Men's Running

When I first started at MR – a fresh-faced graduate with fully functioning knees – I ran to keep fit. Did I do it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? No. Fast-forward two years and things are a little different... 2016 saw me run my first marathon, my first ultra and – the natural progression – my first 24-hour track race. People talk of the running bug, but this was a full-scale pandemic. In the months that followed, though, I got lazy. The thought of running elicited a vacant stare, a memory of plodding round a 400m track at three in the morning, and the muttered words, “You weren’t there, man.” So, resolved to refind my running mojo in 2017, I signed up to a race, the Brixton 10K (p94), in the hope that it would spark me back to life. And, along with providing depressing confirmation of just how much slower I’ve got, it certainly did that; the post-race feeling reminding me just why I fell in love with running in the first place. For many, though, running’s true benefit lies not in racing but in the adventures it brings. In our lead feature this issue (p46), photographer James Carnegie leads us on a whistle-stop tour of Northern Ireland to prove that, with just a little planning, a day is all you need to run some of the finest routes the UK has to offer. You may not find me scrambling up the Mourne Mountains any time soon, but you will find me running again. Here’s to getting back on track in 2017.
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