Submit Photos for Ultrarunning Book

Relentless Forward ProgressWow! I can’t believe I’m typing this… last Wednesday evening, I submitted a book manuscript to my publisher. He reviewed it and passed it onto a copyeditor the following day. With those steps, I finally feel confident enough to share with the iRunFar community that I’ve written a guide to running ultramarathons that will be available this spring. The last major step remaining is for me to select photos to include in the book and this is where I turn to you, the iRunFar readers, for help. I’m hoping that many of you will be interested in submitting a few of your best ultramarathon (and trail running) photos for consideration for inclusion in the book.

While I can’t pay you for the use of your photos (this book is more a labor of love than profit), if one or more of your photos are selected for inclusion, you’ll get full accreditation as well as a signed copy of the book when it’s available.

[Information about pre-ordering the book can be found here.]

What I’m Looking For
I’m looking for your very best ultrarunning and, to a more limited degree, trail running photos. These photos could include you, your friends, the best runners in the world, or, if appropriate, no one at all. I suspect that I’ll receive a large number of “runner in stunning location” type photos. These are great and can be used in many places throughout the book, so please submit them. However, I’m particularly interested in more specialized content, such as photos regarding aid stations, feet, drop bags, trekking poles, extreme conditions, etc. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to take a look at the outline below and consider whether you have any great photos that might fit the subject matter of a particular section or subsection.

The sooner the better for photo submissions. I anticipate starting to review photos next Monday, February 21. As I’m uncertain of the exact timing of the final steps toward publication, I can’t provide an absolute final deadline at this time. I’ll contact you if I wish to include one or more of your photos in the book. Otherwise, thanks for your submissions.

How to Submit Your Photos
There are three two easy was to submit your photos: Flickr and a link in the comments. For ease of review, please limit your submissions to 15 or fewer photos. I will not have time to review very large photo galleries.

Submission via Flickr
To participate via Flickr, upload the relevant photos to Flickr, if they’re not already there. (If you are not a Flickr member, you’d have to sign up first at  Next, join the iRunFar Flickr group . After that, you can either go to individual photos in your Flickr album and “send to group” or go to “Organize” tab from which you should be able to select multiple pictures to “send to group.” If you are interested and have any questions, please let me know.

Submission via Comments
If you don’t care to use Flickr to submit your photos, you can leave a comment with a link to a limited gallery (15 or fewer photos) that you are submitting for consideration. As noted above, due to time constraints, only small galleries will be considered. Similarly, I would discourage listing 10 or 15 individual URLs in the comments.

If you submit photos via a comment, please be sure to use your real email address. Your address is private and will not be used for any purpose other than to contact you regarding your photos.

Submission via Email
You can also submit a few (please no more than 5) photos via email to relentlessforwardprogress at gmail dot com. Please put “Photos” as the subject. Also, do not expect an email response unless I choose one of your photos.

The Book’s Content
Relentless Forward Progress Outline

There are 63 comments

  1. Chris

    Very cool Bryon! Although I have no great photos to share, being a "wanna-be" ultrarunner, I will definitely be buying a copy. Any idea where it will be available? Amazon?


    PS – I love the title!

  2. JayfromRaleigh


    Congrats on the book, so this was the teaser big project you had been referencing, as the post above states let us know where we can buy/pre-order!

  3. wilwood


    That's super exciting you're getting published! Unless I finally learn everything I need to know about ultras… uhh; I'll be getting a copy. I hope you can make some money to continue the labor.

    1. antirabbit

      thats funny, cause they all look kind of similar, flattened toe portion. I noticed a few days ago that mine were begining to look like this.

      Awesome Byron.

      I have some sweet winter trail pics for you…

  4. Geoffrey Baker

    Really Bryon, really? As a professional writer you should know better than anyone that asking for free work is pretty cheesy. You know, I'm doing a book also. I have all the photos I need (as I'm a photographer). I need you to just write the words. I'll give you full credit and a copy of the book that you can use in self promotion. Oh and can you get it to me in a week. Thanks!

    Not cool at all. You know better.

    Bottom line, you are making money by selling the book, however small or large. Pay the photographers.

    Be happy to talk with you in detail about this off line.

    Geoffrey S. Baker


    1. Matt Smith

      I'm not sure if you are keeping an open mind about different approaches to publishing.

      You're a professional photog, so you expect to be paid for your images (your shots from HAT and JFK are great BTW…) But there are plenty of amateurs who would be happy to submit their pics for nothing more than a photo credit. This is being done on a volunteer basis – it's not like he's grabbing images off the web and using them unattributed.

      Calling Bryon out on his own site for not adhering to your way of doing things is really kind of cheesy – this comment might have better been sent as a private email.

    2. Bryon Powell

      Hi Geoffrey,
      Sorry you're offended. Personally, I've gladly written fresh material for a friend's book, as well as having submitted photos for the book. (That friend is a professional writer with much more experience, who also asked friends for photos and written material… for free.) I didn't expect to be paid or even a copy of the book. I later picked up a copy of the book and am psyched about it. I've also provided magazines with free articles and photos.

      That's all besides the point. As others have pointed out, my request targeted a large community of readers (and friends) that I've developed over time. I have no problem with providing folks a chance to voluntarily give a little something back. If no one provided a single photo, that'd be alright. I'd use some of my own photos and/or include fewer photos.


  5. chris van dyke

    Awesome! I've been following your blog for about six months now, ever since I (according to my friends and family) "went crazy" and declared I wanted to run an ultra in 2011. I was surprised at how little was out there — this definitely fills a void. Can't wait to get a copy.

  6. Dawn Lisenby

    Hi Byron,

    Can not wait to read the book-definately something needed as there is very little info out there. I have some cool pics on my race website, as well as others if you see any you are interested in email me and I will send you a few others in that same vein. I definately have a great one on my website of a runner running my race barefoot. Look forward to book!

  7. Wendy Akeson

    Hi Bryon,

    I don't use Flickr, but I have photos on kodak gallery or I could email them to you. I have only done one ultra (Stone Cat 50 miler) and might have a couple photos you could use. I am not a professional photographer and would not expect to get paid. Just having my pictures published in an ultrarunning book would be payment enough. I can see a professional getting paid, but those of us that take photos just for the pure enjoyment of it are a little more laid back.

    Let me know where I can email them to you. I'm at

    Thank you and best of luck on the book!

  8. Brant

    Sadly I have no photos to send you, but I do look forward to purchasing the book and reading. Thank you for the effort in writing a book about everything that is ultra apparently. Being new to this I truly look forward to it and perhaps and autographed copy? heh.

  9. Michael Owen

    I see the book is forwarded by Eric Grossman. Great guy, great writer, great runner, tons of experience, and I am glad to say he is the first "ultra-runner" that I met and glad I did.

  10. John Trent

    Hi Bryon,

    Congrats on your new book. I interpreted your call for photos as a way to stay completely within the "community" you have built over the past several years with irunfar. com (that is, irunfar content generated not only by you but by contributors you've recruited simply because you and they love the sport … your call for contributions, at least to me, seemed like you wished to "share" this nice publishing accomplishment with the folks who have helped you make one of the most respected enclaves for ultra information and insight … it seemed like a totally reasonable request, given the spirit and tone you've established for

    Cheers on the book. Let's hope you're already working on the sequel.

    All the best,


  11. Mike


    Great job on the book. If I've learned anything about the sport of ultra running, it's nothing with the relationships. Attached above is a picture take at last years Capon Valley 50k. Gene is on the left. Without him I would never ventured out on to the trails.

    I call it "water keeps it real"

    Ran the C and O over the weekend. DC says "hi"


  12. Scott Crellin

    Congrats on the book! I look forward to reading it. There isn't a lot out there on ultrarunning at this point, and I'm sure it will do well. For your perusal I humbly submit a few photos from SoCal. [broken link to Picasa removed]

  13. jenn

    Bryon, have you thought about setting up an email address for these for folks who have a few photos you might like, but don't have online galleries? Honestly, I'm a lot more likely to shoot you an email than to go through what feels to me to be a hassle of setting up an account, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are others who feel the same way. (Yes, I recognize that it may not actually BE a hassle, but it feels like one! :-))

    Best of luck, Bryon, and I look forward to reading it!

  14. Bryon Powell

    Thanks for chiming in with your support. It's especially meaningful given your journalism experience. You're correct that I wanted to engage the community that has grown with my writing. Personally, I've been excited about and eagerly jumped on similar opportunities. For many, I think it's pretty exciting to have something included in a book. Less than two years ago I never would have expected to have a single word or photo included in a book, let alone write my own.

    Thanks again,

  15. Geoffrey Baker

    Thanks for replying.

    Sorry if I came on strong but it's a sore point for me. I'm always being asked to work for free.

    If you have a moment the NYT has a thoughtful article directly relating to this issue – At Media Companies, a Nation of Serfs –

    Free sourcing content hurts all of us, photographers, writers, designers, artists, etc. When companies can get content that is "good enough" for free, who will be left to develop excellence? We will all be out of work. It's the same as outsourcing jobs or moving a company overseas to get cheap labor. Is it done, yes, but at what cost to the country as a whole? Every time you give away your work, it devalues not only the work but the industry as a whole, in my view.

    Or one can look at it this way. Is the publisher getting paid, yes. Is the editor getting paid, yes. Is the writer getting paid, yes. How about the guy running the printing press, yep. Everyone involved with the book is getting paid except one class: the visual content providers who give added value that helps sell the book.

    I have donated my work…for a non-profit and charity. Happy to do so. I let them know the value of what I am donating via an invoice.

    Things to think about moving forward……


    1. Jonathan Schmidt

      Thanks for your reply Geoffrey. I really struggle with this issue too. I am torn between the two sides of the argument. As a graphic designer (or wannabe) with a small business I respect the need to get paid for one's hard work. On the other hand I see the economy changing with the internet. If someone can get a service or product for free they will. There's many amateur photographers willing to give away their prized photograph for a photo credit in a published book. In turn they may receive recognition and future paid work. If you're still charging for a service that others are offering for free you better find a new niche in the economy.

      A few years ago photographers were angry that was selling images for $1 while they were still trying to get $15+ for their images. It turns out that many average people have incredible photographs and as a designer I'm willing to pay a buck or two to use them. The economy is changing and since you can't legislate the morality of giving away photographs, as designers and photographers we better find our niche in this new world.

  16. David Hughes


    I am only too happy to contribute to your book efforts and will be signing up for a copy after posting this. You are a great resource to the trail running community and supporting your efforts for 'free' are a simple way to say thanks and to help you keep up the great work. I would recommend that everyone should order from Amazon through your site links to help support you since your service is free and we all benefit from your time! Anyway, not sure if you need these pics but it would be under the category of trail running equipment. I am a gear nut and just bought the Salomon Advanced Skin S-Lab pack but when not trail running needed it to have more pack volume…so here are some mods that can be used:

  17. Craig Thornley


    I'm offended you didn't offer me the chance to write the forward. Is it because I don't have a PhD? Is it my nickname? Is it because I don't know how to spell your frickin' name (come on man, if my parents named me Creig I'd change it). Oh well, congrats on the book. I will be ordering one. Your contributions to the ultrarunning community are very much appreciated. Oh, and if you want to use the photo of me on my FB profile right now I can have my lawyers contact your lawyers.

    Now, get training!


  18. outsideinmi

    interesting comments above about getting "free" pics for your book Bryon. It made me ponder what the internet gives us "free." I used to buy a newspaper, now i read it online free. I used to buy "runners world" now i read this site and others free. I used to buy my son CD after CD of computer games (big $$), now he plays online free. I used to buy lots of music online, or buy CD's, or cassetes – now i have pandora radio, its better and free. The computer/online revolution has made the world smaller and cheaper. Does this really relate to the situation at hand? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, i'm submitting a couple pics in the hope that i get my name in the book, its payment enough for me. Will it be a "professional" grade pic that suitable to be framed? Nah, highly doubt it. For that someone would have to go to you Mr. Baker. I didn't steal your niche, its still there.

  19. Tommi K


    here´s series of photos from last summer. Photographer: Seppo Hinkula location: Lake Oulujärvi trails

    [broken link to Picasa removed]

  20. Katie

    Hello ultra friends! Following is a link to a picture of my support crew from the 2010 Javelina Jundred. I thought this picture might be appropriate for the section on crews, because it is illustrative of the double duty that good crew members play: not only do they supply fuel and gear, but also selflessly provide moral support, entertainment, and a much-needed distraction for their runners.

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