Monday, July 7, 2014

Red, White and 6.2

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and long weekend! I ran my favorite race, the Peachtree Road Race--the biggest 10K in the world!

I love everything about the Peachtree. It's put on by the Atlanta Track Club, so it's (usually) very organized and streamlined. I know some people had some complaints about it this year, but I'll get to those in a moment.

I picked up my number at the expo on Wednesday, and had fun looking around. I visited the Sparkle Skirts booth, chatted with Jeff Galloway, and--as usual--came home with more than I intended to. I

We had amazing weather in Atlanta on July 4th. It wasn't even 70 degrees when I got into my corral and it was cool and breezy as I crossed the start line. The humidity caught up with us, of course, but for July in Georgia I couldn't have asked for a better start.

The best thing about the Peachtree? The spectators and the volunteers. They line the course with hilarious signs, food, beer, cupcakes--you name it, I probably saw it on the route.

 I got so many cheers and high-fives--and I didn't know anyone. And of course, my favorite spectators are the wheelchair athletes and patients at the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation center for spinal cord injuries. My dad was a patient there and stopping to shake hands and chat with those people always inspires me.

I finished the race both happy and frustrated. This was my "comeback" race--I haven't raced since March. Heck, I've hardly run since March. I was happy that I kept a steady pace through the race, and that my foot didn't swell up or anything weird like that. But the theme for me was definitely "slow and steady"!

Despite my slow speed I finished strong and collected my coveted T-shirt. The Peachtree shirt is a big deal--it's a finishers shirt and the design is kept secret until race day. I also ordered the commemorative medal.

Overall, I had a fantastic race experience. I only have a couple of issues.

The first thing is just something that I thought was tacky. Like I mentioned, people and local businesses were all over the course handing out all sorts of things. And then there's Chick-Fil-A--who started out in Georgia, by the way--out on the course with a register, selling food. Really? I just thought that was super cheesy of them.

My other complaint has to do with some questionable runner etiquette that was going on. For starters, people all over the place were stopping smack in the middle of the road to take photos. I'm not talking runner selfies--I'm talking big group photos where they spanned half the street. Sidewalks, folks! I know that the Peachtree is kind of a giant block party, but stopping and starting and dodging started to get a little old.

Then there was the food issue.

When I finished the race, I headed over to the hospitality tents and grabbed a banana and a powerade. Publix was there with fruit and Coke had lines of coolers with an assortment of drinks. As I walked to my car, I noticed people with bags absolutely stuffed full of fruit and drinks. And now I'm hearing lots of reports of finishers who didn't get anything because these greedy people had taken it upon themselves to stock their pantry for the week. It just makes me really sad that people do things like that. What happened to common courtesy?

Despite those downers, I had a blast. Can you tell by the happy look on my face?

I don't have any races planned until September. In the meantime, I'll be working on getting stronger and working on my 10k time on weekends. It was hard not to come home and sign up for a bunch of summer races--I love that runner's high!

A penny for your thoughts: do you run a July 4th race? What did you do on your long weekend?


  1. I ran the race too...very slow and well I took a ton of me this race has become about the spectators and the racers, so tried to capture the sites along the way. That being said, I was alone...and OVER to the side for all photos. I am still wondering how in the world people took so much food without thinking twice, I heard the people volunteering were saying "take all you want"....really, so that opens up your grocery list? I was on the other side of the street for CFA, but YES agree a little tacky too. Its such a fun race, the highlight of our just chilling out weekend.

    1. It was a fun race! I took lots of photos, too--most of them mid-trot so they're a little crooked or blurry :) Eventually I just had to laugh at all the people stopping in the middle to pose for pictures. At least everyone was friendly!

  2. I probably shouldn't talk because I grabbed several Gu envelopes at the last race I did, but it amazes me how people grab at all the stuff they can just because it is free. I used to have a coworker who loved to go to conferences so he could pick up the free stuff that companies gave out. It was junk really...pens and flashlights with random corporate logos. Whoever was handing out the stuff at the race probably should have done a better job of managing the distribution. It sounds like they were trying to be generous, but not thinking of the bigger picture.

    1. Lol, Jennifer, this was waaaaaay different than you grabbing a handful of Gu envelopes! This was people walking away with dozens of peaches and bananas and arm loads of coke. I agree, I think the volunteers were trying to be nice and didn't stop think about the number of runners that were still coming in. Also, everything is set up in a huge park--there wasn't a runner's finisher area so spectators and whoever else could wander by and get stuff.

  3. I saw CFA but didn't realize that they were selling! Not ok!!
    And the bags of food wasn't cool either :(

    1. Right? I guess what gets me is that you'd think runners would understand the need that other finishers have!

  4. I think the CFA people were aiming to sell to the spectators so there wouldn't be a huge crowd inside - at least, that's what I would guess! And, yes, this was my first race in ages and I came home and looked up running calendars to see what other races I could sign up for before I fell off the wagon again! Thanks for linking up!

  5. That makes me feel better about CFA!