My photo shoot day at Men’s Health Magazine

(Quick side note: If you saw yesterday’s post regarding wireless downloading from the FR310XT straight to the web via an iPhone without a computer, I’ve updated it with new comments from Garmin.  In short, they’re looking for feedback as to whether you all are interested in seeing this sort of capability brought to the Edge cycling series of devices.  Drop your thoughts here.)

The last 24 hours have been a blur.  During this time I did everything from fly twice, do intervals in the rain, and wear makeup.  So here’s the photogenic recap!

Wednesday night both The Girl and I caught an evening US Airways Shuttle flight up to NYC.  About 35 minutes after wheels up, we were wheels down.  That’s is my kinda flight!  As we exited the airport terminal the folks from Men’s Health Magazine had a driver and car waiting – complete with a man holding a sign with my name!

A short drive later into the city and we were hanging out at a posh hotel mere feet from the offices of Rodale Publications.  They put together everything from Men’s Health and Women’s Health to Bicycling Magazine.

Since we had a bit of time Tuesday night, we went and grabbed a quick bite to eat before swinging by our favorite bakery – Magnolia Bakery.  This time around though instead of cupcakes we got straight up cake slices.  Carrot Cake.  Though, I think there was more frosting goodness than carrots. It was basically pure awesome in a slice.


Wednesday morning both The Girl and I got up early to go do our hard run workout.  It was actually a slightly modified variant of the normal Wednesday brick workout that I talked about two days ago.  Just a bit more running instead of cycling.

It rained.

It poured.

It winded.

It poured and winded some more.

But we kept on running.


Some 90 minutes later the run was done and we were back in the warmth of the hotel, rushing to get back out the door to the Men’s Health Magazine offices.

Speaking of which, it was soon time to head over to the office:


Once there, I got a rather large pile of presents.  It was like Christmas in May.  We’ll call it a pre-Cinqo de Mayo celebration:


Here’s what it looked like all laid out (well, not the sports bra, that was for someone else):


After the unwrapping, we spent the next 3 hours discussing the intricate details of the partnership, both around Men’s Health and others involved.  I’ll be holding off for a wee bit longer explaining the exact details of the partnership to y’all – but hang out, more will be revealed over time!  Needless to say, I’m pretty excited about what it means for both me – and you. But fear not, nothing’s changing around these parts.  It basically means way more coolness and resources coming to you and others (and a greatly expanded audience for me).

After our lengthily discussion about the awesomeness, it was time for the photo shoot.  Regrettably, the first step of which resulted in me wearing makeup.  Actually, in their lingo they call it ‘grooming’.  I noted in a tweet that I believe this is the first time since my grade school Christmas plays that I’ve worn make-up:


Luckily I was told that I was “good lookin’ enough” that I didn’t need much makeup.  Ha!  They haven’t seen me after a race I guess!

After the makeup touch-up, it was time to begin the shoot.  Due to the rain outside lowering the light levels, the initial location was causing some issues, but after a few secondary locations, it was settled back into an open glass room area overlooking the streets of NYC below.


Inside they had all sorts of gear ready to go:


And then there was me…getting poked and prodded:


I had a large stash of clothes that I changed in and out of.  Basically I just did whatever they said.

Move left.  Move right.  Chin up.  Chin down.  Laugh.  Smile less.  Smile more.  Tilt head towards me.  Stand up…wait…too tall…sit back down! Chin down again.  Change clothes. Rinse…repeat.

A group of them would discuss each small set of photos, tweak something, and then take a bunch more photos.  It was pretty much just like America’s Top Model…except without all the craziness or Tyra-mail.


About 2 hours after it began, I was all wrapped up in front of the camera.  From there, I managed to con them into giving me a tour of the Men’s Health pad.  The gist of this tour falls into two categories.  The first is typical cubeville, except with giant poster sized magazines strewn about:


And the second category is lots, and lots, and lots of magazines and publications:


Need a copy of the most recent issue?  No worries, you can choose from Men’s Health…


…or Women’s Health:


…or just about anything else that you can think of:


But the space also had many little subtle nods to a healthier lifestyle – namely cycling and running:


After the tour and a bit more discussion it was time for me to run back to the airport and catch my flight back to DC.  Less than 24 hours after I departed, I was landing back at Regan National Airport.

Hang on though…it’s only gonna get more interesting from here on out!

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  1. Is the big partnership is you going to be the cover model of next month ?

  2. Can’t wait to see what this is leading up to!!

  3. Chmouel-

    Regrettaby, I believe I lack the 18-pack abs and shirtless photos required to make the cover. 😉

  4. well, i noticed that the Josh Duhamel cover was dressed, so anything’s possible!


  5. Ray, this sounds fantastic. If offered the chance to be a full time tester/writer on the magazine, would you kiss goodbye to your travel heavy IT life? I look forward to seeing and reading more. Best from NZ!

  6. Congrats on the partnership. It will be exciting to see what you and Rodale end up coming up with.

  7. whatever you have going on with Rodale, I am sure it’s gonna be super cool!! congrats–

  8. Cool! I can’t wait to see what cool things you’re going to get to test.

  9. Ann

    I am so glad I found your site…..It will be one I check daily. Thank you for the information on running in the rain with a Garmin 305! I have shared your link with a couple people at work who run/bike/swim too.

  10. Awesome news about the partnership!

  11. What an exciting experience! Congrats!

  12. Anonymous

    Congratulations Ray! Enjoy!

  13. Great News Ray. I think I might actually start buying the Men’s Health again if you are going to write a column etc. for them. Please just don’t forget your blog, as I just discovered it this year!

  14. Ray,

    I’m glad to hear that Men’s Health wants your services. You’ve certainly put in the work and have the talent, and now you’re reaping the rewards.

    Good for you.


  15. I just want to like this post all over!!! Congrats Ray!

  16. YNWA Steve

    I am excited to be like a blog version of an indie music snob: “I was reading DC Rainmaker way back before he was in Men’s health”. Sounds like it could be a very cool opportunity! Congrats!

  17. M

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. This.




    This also means, LOL, that I have to subscribe to Men’s Health magazine!

    (P.S. Sorry, that last comment was mine. I was signed in on the wrong GMail account!)

  19. Ok Ray, it appears pretty obvious that this is leading up to you being a writer/reviewer for Men’s Health. That’s awesome sauce. However, I don’t read that magazine. I’m willing to make an exception for you, however, and promise to read your piece each month as I stand in an airport newsstand waiting for my next flight :-)

    Actually, this has me intrigued. Is Men’s Health going to expand their focus on gadgetry? Expand their coverage of the triathlon sports? One thing I’m sure of is this will probably net you some pretty awesome stuff to review, which can only be a plus for everyone. Good luck!

  20. What a COOL experience- thanks for showing us the behind the scenes view :)

  21. very cool

  22. Oh their office is dreamy!!! Congrats on whatever you’re going to be doing! I’m reminded that I need to pick up a WH mag again soon.

  23. Congrats on the new gig Ray!

    re: Magnolia Bakery – if you aren’t getting the Banana Pudding, you are missing out.

    I repeat, get the Banana Pudding!

  24. Cool stuff Ray!! Can’t wait to hear more.

  25. Kim

    awesome ray! congrats! hmm i wonder if you will be writing tech reviews?

  26. major congrats!! I have to admit that I have secretly been job hunting weekly on the rodale site to see if anything comes up because I love their company

  27. Mark J.

    Very Cool Ray. You deserve it. Keep up the great work.

  28. Congrats! We’re excited to see where this goes for you. Best of luck!

  29. Very cool for you!!! Excited to hear more about it!

  30. If indeed you’ll be writing for pay, I pray they don’t muzzle you like Competitor did Matt Fitzgerald.

    Best of luck!

  31. Been reading your blog for years. Congrats on the pending good news! You def. deserve it.

  32. Anonymous

    Congrats! You deserve a larger audience, your posts and reviews are very interesting.

  33. tim

    Yay for Rodale being a bronze level BFB!

    Looking forward to more details on the partnership.

  34. Rob

    Awesome-sauce indeed. Congrats!

  35. Kaves


    I’ve been away for a while from my daily reading (that whole work thing got in the way) but I just checked in. No idea what’s going on but looks awesome. I’m a big fan of Men’s Health can’t wait to see what’s around the corner.

  36. Awesome! Congrats on the partnership. We’ll have to keep an eye out for your issue.

  37. Anonymous

    congrats – follow your dreams Ray!

  38. Bob

    Awesome! Maybe you should have held this as a surprise until we all stumbled across the magazine and said “Oh wow, I know that guy!”

  39. Eli

    I hope they don’t make you start writing reviews like Bicycling Magazine where everything is a good product to buy.

  40. very cool! (ps isn’t it funny that the makeup is just to make you look “natural”?)

  41. (Runner in the bike lane…)

    Why, Rodale? Why?

    Still, congrats, Rainmaker. Love the blog!

  42. Funny, I thought someone might mention that.

    Actually, in that portion the running path is closed for construction – see the walled 10′ fence to the left. 😉