I should know better, I just should. BBC weather said it will be sunny and in the 70s on Sunday, but they lied. OK, so they didn’t lie, but their educated guess was off. By a lot.
I went to central London to shoot the women’s marathon and wanted to make sure I got there very early so I’d get a spot. Turns out, I didn’t have to worry so much because there weren’t that many spectators around until just before the race started and I was about 30 minutes from the start. But just as the starting bell went off, the sky opened up and dumped massive amounts of rain on all of us there waiting to watch the runners. I backed away from the barricades and stood under a ledge until more people started showing up and I had to regain my spot. It was still pouring.
At this point I put away my camera in my bag, which has a waterproof covering, until just before the women were due to arrive. I happened to be standing next to a nice British family that, like all Brits I’ve met, was extremely nice and eager to strike up a conversation with a Yank (though I think of Yanks as East Coasters). Charles, Caroline and Ruby kept me company as I got more and more soaked since I had no umbrella and no poncho. Every time I’ve seen a poncho for sale it’s been sunny, so I didn’t think to buy one. Stupid me. Charles was very helpful in keeping my spirits up and even snapped a photo of me …
That’s when a wonderful thing happened. Another Brit offered me his umbrella since he and his wife could share one. It was a wonderful gesture, but one I was about to decline when Charles took the umbrella and held it over me himself so I could use both hands to shoot photos. “You’re supporting the American press,” he told the stranger. “Well in that case …,” said the stranger as he playfully tried to take the umbrella back. So the first of three lap of the marathon were shot with Charles holding the umbrella over my lens in the pouring rain. I really love London. Surprises around every corner.