When I left Topeka for Phoenix in August 1979, the fitness craze had yet to take off in the city. Small niches ran, cycled, swam or played tennis. Yet those groups remained on the fringe. In August 1983, I returned to find runners and triathletes coursing their way through the city and county in great numbers. Having come from one of the most fitness conscious areas in the country, I quickly joined in both personally and professionally.
In the early fall that year, I needed a feature photo for the front page of the Topeka paper to go with a story about the new trends in fitness. I tracked down a local running club and arrived for the start of an evening run at a local park.
With a small hole dug, I placed a camera with a fisheye lens into it with the lens sitting at ground level. The 6mm lens loaned to me by Nikon was very large with a bulbous front element. To mount it on my Nikon camera, the mirror inside had to be locked up preventing me from looking through the normal viewfinder. A small eyepiece could be mounted to the camera, not that I needed it for my photograph from ground level.
With the focus at five feet, a long remote cord allowed me to fire the camera as the group began their run. Fortunately, the yellow paint I sprayed on the grass around the setup was enough to keep anyone from stepping on the very rare lens, and I had my photograph.