Photo Gallery: Human Endurance

Photographer Matt Cecill shows us the raw emotion and journey of trail running.

By Guest Writer on December 30, 2021 | Leave a reply

[Editor’s Note: This month’s Community Voices column is authored and photographed by Matt Cecill, a photographer and filmmaker focused on telling stories of human endurance in natural places. Based in real life in British Columbia, Canada, you can find him digitally on Instagram at @matt.cecill and on his website. In this column each month, we showcase the work of a writer, visual artist, or other creative type from within our global trail running and ultrarunning community. Our goal is to tell stories about our sport and wild lands in creative and innovative ways. Submit your work for consideration!]

This photo series showcases some of my favorite moments from events I’ve covered over the years. When photographing an event, my goal is always to look under the surface — beneath the polished exterior. I do my best to find the soul of an event and its participants. I look for the struggle and the beauty, the raw moments of doubt, pain, and triumph that can contrast or be in harmony with the beautiful scenery of these races.

The following images were taken during races on the rugged, foggy, and often wet trails of the Northwest Coast. Events in this series include the Finlayson Arm Races in Victoria, British Columbia, the Xwaaqw’um Trail Runs on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, and the Orcas Island 100 Mile on Orcas Island, Washington.

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - foggy forest

All photos: Matt Cecill

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - taping feet

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - foggy forest

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - bearded man portrait

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - headlamp in the dark

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - red shoes on rocks

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - fall colored forest

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - rocky trail

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - pink flagging stream crossing

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - emergency blanket

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - post-race hugs

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - child with shirt for mom

Matt Cecill - Running Emotions and Journey - frosty mountainside in fall

Call for Comments

  • What emotions do you go through during a trail race?
  • Do you feel like the journey through the course to the finish line brings out emotions you wouldn’t normally have?