Jenny Simpson is a Drake favorite. Simpson, originally from Webster City, is cheered on by her family from the stands. Photo by Jeffery Corcoran.

Drake Relays Photography Exhibit in Des Moines

Working in the cold rain, Jeffery Corcoran makes the sacrifices needed to bring you the shot. Photo by David Mable.

Working in the cold rain, Jeffery Corcoran makes the sacrifices needed to bring you the shot. Photo by David Mable.

In central Iowa track meets and bike races, as prolific a sight as spikes and bikes, is the sight of a bearded guy with multiple cameras hanging from his hips. That bearded photographer is Jeffery Corcoran.

Corcoran has been an avid cyclist and runner for years, and has recently started competing in ultra-marathon running. He will be tackling his first 100-mile run this summer at the Booneville Backroads Ultra. 

While his free time is filled with training, he still finds time for his artistic side to shine through his photography. One of his favorite events is the annual rite of Spring in Des Moines, the Drake Relays.

Jeffery Corcoran enjoys meeting the athletes as much as shooting them. Photo by David Mable.

Jeffery Corcoran enjoys meeting the athletes as much as shooting them. Photo by David Mable.

“I love the Relays,” said Corcoran. “It’s such an honor to be on the track, in the infield. I’d for sure be in the stands if I didn’t shoot, but I just love trying to capture the essence of the meet and getting to meet some of the best athletes in the world.”

Photographers are able to get up close and personal with the athletes, able to talk with them in the mixed media zone and on the infield after their event.

“I have fun meeting some of my hero’s,” said Corcoran. “I’ll for sure get a selfie when I can. I also have a bit of a bib collection and was able to get one from Queen (Harrison) a couple of years ago. I love the picture you (ed. Dave Mable) took of her and I.”

David Oliver skims the hurdles in a pre-Olympic showdown on the blue oval last April. Photo by Jeffery Corcoran.

David Oliver skims the hurdles in a pre-Olympic showdown on the blue oval last April. Photo by Jeffery Corcoran.

Over the years, besides his collection of bibs and selfies, Corcoran has built up quite a collection of

photographs, many of which will be on display at the Mars Cafe through April.

“My friend, who owns Mars (Cafe), suggested we do a show, and I thought “Why not?”” he said. “I’ll have about 50 prints of various sizes on display and for sale throughout the month. I don’t know if people will want to buy ‘em, but I sure enjoy sharing them.”

One of his favorites is of a young Mary Cain, a high school middle distance phenom.

“I was shooting for a running magazine, and they wanted off the track images of then high school star Mary

Jenny Simpson is a Drake favorite. Simpson, originally from Webster City, is cheered on by her family from the stands. Photo by Jeffery Corcoran.

Jenny Simpson is a Drake favorite. Simpson, originally from Webster City, is cheered on by her family from the stands. Photo by Jeffery Corcoran.

Cain,” said Corcoran. “It was for a qualifying spot on the world’s team for the 1500m race. It was fun trying to figure out something different than just a running shot.”

This shot, along with many others from the Drake Relays, will be on display at the Mars Cafe (2318 University in Des Moines, near Drake) from April 7 – 30. An opening celebration will be held on Friday, April 7 from 6 – 8 p.m.

All of his photos can be seen at www.corcoransphotos.com