Essential equipment needed for capturing great photos at a running event

Photographing running events can be an exciting and challenging experience for any photographer. Whether you're an experienced professional or an amateur, having the right equipment is crucial to producing high-quality and stunning images. In this blog post, we'll explore the essential equipment needed to get great photographs at a running event.


The most important piece of equipment for photographing running events is, of course, the camera.

A high-quality DSLR or mirrorless camera is ideal, as it allows for different lenses to be attached and adjusted to fit the shooting environment appropriately. With quick shutter speeds (at least 1/500) will allow you to capture the runners in motion, creating sharp, clear images.


Different lenses are essential when shooting running events. A zoom lens, such as a 70-200mm, is great for capturing runners from a distance, allowing you to zoom in on the action even if you can't get too close to the participants.

Additionally, a wide-angle lens, such as a 18-55mm, is great for capturing the runners as they cross the finish line and to capture the atmosphere surrounding the event.

Tripod or Monopod

When shooting running events, a tripod is generally not the most ideal for capturing action photos; however, a monopod can help stabilize the camera and take less space in comparison to heavy-duty tripod setup.

It can help reduce camera shake, enabling you to get sharper shots and reducing fatigue when you're out there taking photos all day.

Memory cards

Memory cards are essential for storing your photographs from the day. Large and fast memory cards allow you to take multiple shots without filling up the memory card.

A common issue in mass participation photography is dealing with managing several memory cards, so having a way to manage and store them safely while shooting will save time and energy in the long run.

Extra Battery and Charger

Extra batteries and a charger are crucial when photographing large events as you don't want to miss out on any important moments.

It is best to carry spare batteries and a charger to switch between if needed, ensuring you never run out of power while taking photographs.

Proper gear

Special attention should be given to the photographer's personal gear as often it is a long day, and preparation ahead can ensure a successful and less taxing day.

Stay hydrated, and comfortable shoes and clothing: lightweight, moisture-wicking materials work well for staying comfortable and can prevent you from overheating quickly.


In conclusion, proper gear is crucial when photographing running events. A high-quality camera, lenses, monopod, memory cards, extra batteries and a charger, and appropriate personal gear will enable you to capture stunning photographs at the event and to stay comfortable and focused while you do it.

Always be sure to double-check your gear and prepare thoroughly before the event takes place to ensure optimal image quality.

Andy Hammond

21 April 2023