This week I am giving away a free copy of Coast to Coast; just leave a comment in the contest thread describing a story about running for a chance to win. Matt Hartman was the official photographer for the Coast to Coast relay. Here is a little bit more about Matt, in his own words:

A handoff during the Coast to Coast runI got involved with the Coast to Coast during the summer before the run was to take place. I came up with the idea to do the photography for the run, as it would fall directly into the pattern of work I had been producing for the past two years. Most of my photography is sports related, and I have a great interest in the ideas behind athletics. The Coast to Coast run took place the fall after I graduated, and after I had just finished my last spring of RIT Track and Field. My photography through my last years in school had become more and more focused on sports, and the ideas that drive people to push their bodies so hard. It was something that I understood well as an athlete, but something that my fellow photographers who mostly took no part in or even detested athletics of any kind, could not understand. I have tried to bridge that gap with the images I have made.

A Coast to Coast handoffI also have a great deal of interest in history, and athletics has been deeply ingrained into history throughout time, and in every culture. I love to photograph stadiums, because in many ways they are a record of the history of the teams, and the events that have stepped upon their fields, and tracks. I am fascinated by the drama that can tear a baseball park wide open, and cause thousands to chant in unison. One of my favorite places to photograph is the remaining piece of Braves Field in Boston, now called Nickerson Field. It must be an amazing feeling to play a game on that field, to know what history has happened beneath your feet. These stadium hold a power over our imagination, and the older they get, no matter for what reason they were constructed, the more history becomes attached to them. I continue to expand the list of stadiums I photograph, and I have recently started to photograph other sports facilities, like the numerous boat houses that line the Charles River.

Running through East St LouisThe coast to coast was the perfect opportunity to participate in an event where the limits of a person’s athletic and mental ability would be tested. The coast to coast run gave me a chance to photograph people I had known for years as my teammates, performing in an event unlike anything they had done before. There were two main things that I set out to capture as we went across the country, I wanted to show that they were really running as a team, and I wanted to show the being a team is what kept them running. The challenge was more than I had expected, as it was truly 24 hours of shooting some days, and being friends with all the runners gave me the benefit of being able to photograph anything, but also made me a subjective player in the events as they happened.

An oil wellSince the trip across the country I held a display of my work in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and helped Ryan Pancoast with images for the book. I am very excited about the publishing of the book, as it is what I originally wanted as a result when I first conceived photographing it, although in a photo-book. I knew the run would be a great story, and it was. It is probably the most exciting two weeks of my life, and I would do it again without question.

If you would like to know more about Matt or to see additional photography about the Coast to Coast or his other projects, you can visit his website at If you would like to know more about the Coast to Coast run you can read the review or enter to win a free copy of the book right here at Run to Win.

All photographs linked to from this article are ©2004 by Matthew Hartman and used here with permission.