It’s one of my favorite races of all time – the Peachtree Road Race!!
Thursday after work I drove down to the expo to pick up my bib and do a little shopping.
After picking up my bib as well as Sharon’s, I met up with Jill and baby Isabel to walk around the expo for a bit. I had to stop at the Sparkly Soul booth and pick up a few new headbands (I even managed to wear all of them last weekend). We continued on to the Atlanta Track Club’s booth where I picked up the commemorative Peachtree Road Race medal that I ordered and signed up for the Triple Peach!
In order to complete the Triple Peach, you must finish the Peachtree Road Race, the Atlanta 10 miler, and the Atlanta half marathon. After each race you receive a magnetic plate for that race that goes onto the medal. I’m excited about taking on this challenge!
After Jill left I continued to skim through the booths and was a bit underwhelmed by this year’s expo. It could have just been me but there weren’t many vendors there that I was super interested in. I was, however, excited to meet the owner of Huma Gel, my go to fuel during races! He told me they’re coming out with some new flavors and I cannot wait to try them out! I also had to stop by the Georgia Beef booth and say hi to my friend Dane from See Dane Run. I met Dane last year at the Publix half marathon expo and he’s such an inspiring (and funny) guy to talk to. Check out his blog and read his recap of his first Peachtree Road Race!
I left the expo and headed home to lay out my clothes for the next day and get some rest. My BRF, Brandi, and I came up with some super cute costumes for this year’s race -
I heard the fireworks from our city going off, so Guinness and I went to the front of our neighborhood to watch (he’s not afraid of fireworks so I can take him outside without him flipping out)
After the show was over, it was time to head to bed. I had an early wake up call in the morning!
Thankfully I didn’t oversleep (always one of my biggest fears). I got ready and Sharon met me at my house to ride with me to MARTA. We headed down and got on the first train that came to the station…and sat there…and sat…and sat…I think 98% of the train were race participants…didn’t they know we had somewhere to be?? FINALLY we were off and headed to the race!
The walk to the corrals from MARTA seemed a LOT longer this year. I think they routed us a different direction. I heard someone yell out “Jen!” and saw Amy from Mom’s Magical Miles run up to me. We all chatted on the way to the corrals as she was meeting someone in K and I was headed to M. I made it there and found my Thing 2 :)
If you’re not familiar with the Peachtree Road Race, it takes about 2 hours for all the waves to cross the start line, and we were pretty much right in the middle. The first runners left at around 7:30 and we were set to start at 8:23. We had abnormally cool weather for July…lows were in the 60s and I think the high for the day was somewhere in the low 80s…PERFECT running weather!
As we were waiting we heard our names – Marie and her brother had found us…a selfie was needed :) The Peachtree was Marie’s comeback race after having her beautiful baby boy and I know she rocked it!
Meb was the male winner of the Boston marathon this year. I had the honor of meeting him at an Atlanta Track Club event in January and he is one of the most humble and inspiring people I’ve ever met. He was approached by the ATC to raise money for Kilometer Kids, their program to get children into running. He would be the very last starter of the Peachtree Road Race, and for ever person he passed money would be donated to Kilometer Kids. His goal was 22,000 runners!
Okay back to our race :) Unfortunately I didn’t take a ton of pictures this year, but Brandi took a few and graciously allowed me to post them here (thanks BRF!) The spectators this year were fantastic, as last year the threat of rainy weather kept a lot of them away.
Mile 1 was pretty normal…we had a decent pace going. During Mile 2 we passed the Episcopal Cathedral where they sprayed holy water on you. And, in case you missed that, their priest was standing on the side of the road sprinkling water and blessings on the runners. It’s always fun to see him!
The first three miles of the race are on a nice consistent downhill…but as we all know…when you go downhill you’re more than likely going to have to come back up. I was having some inner knee pain and stopped to stretch before heading up Cardiac Hill. This is probably one of the toughest parts of the race, but also one of my favorites, as you run by the Shepherd Center, one of the nation’s top 10 rehabilitation hospitals. They specialize in spinal cord and traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. It’s a very humbling part of the course because some of the patients and their families are out there cheering for the runners. It’s amazing to run by, getting and giving high fives and fist bumps to these strong men and women. After running by Brandi turned to me and said “How does your knee feel now??” I know no matter what kind of pain I’m in, it doesn’t compare to what the patients and their families are going through, and I pressed on.
We kept running up on Brandi’s parents and had to take a mid-race selfie (or two) with them :)
Along the way we saw tons of people handing out water, beer, pizza, watermelon, cheese puffs…it’s like a 6.2 mile long buffet! We didn’t partake in any of the food this year, but when we saw people handing out sodas, we were all over it like white on rice!
O.M.G. They were so cold and so refreshing!! Although I will admit I was a little burpy the rest of the race…a small price to pay for a little sugar rush :)
Last year we were soooo upset at Marathon Foto because they got absolutely no pictures of us together…hello! Two girls both wearing inflatable ducks running side by side and you don’t think they’re together?? Thank goodness that didn’t happen this year! I don’t think there was any doubt we were together -
Soon after the “fake finish” came the real finish. We started to run and about 10 seconds later I said “okay walking”, just to get a little rise out of Brandi. She shot me a “WTF” look and I had to make sure she knew I was kidding :) We crossed the finish line and realized that we beat our time from last year and…WE BEAT MEB!!! (Once the results were posted we found out that he finished about 3 minutes after us and exceeded his goal by passing 22,780 people! He’s a beast!)
We headed down to the finisher’s chute to get our coveted Peachtree Road Race finisher shirt. Every year people submit possible designs for the shirt and the public gets to vote on the top 5 finalists. The winning shirt isn’t revealed until runners cross the finish line and get the shirt. Often times runners will hold the shirt up along the course so those who haven’t finished yet see it. After getting our shirts, we headed to the ATC tent to meet up with Brandi’s parents and to get our “gift” from the ATC – a picture, and I must say, ours turned out super cute! (I’m not sure what the camera did to the color of our visors and ribbons though…they show more blue than turquoise…oh well, it’s still a good picture!)
Ramona was waiting for us outside the ATC tent, so we met up with her. On our way out I ran into my friend, Zoila, and her hubby and brother, who had all just finished their first Peachtree Road Race and did a great job! They’re also doing the Triple Peach :)
Brandi’s mom was getting hungry so we headed down to the post race food tents that Publix was sponsoring and it.was.insane. I was able to grab Sharon a banana and get us both a small bag of pretzels, but that was it! We saw runners walking around with bags full of peaches, cookies, and other snacks, and later found out that they were pretty much out of everything by the time the race was finished. You can read more about the ‘hoarding’ on Amy’s blog here (it was BAD!)
Of course pictures were a must :)
Brandi and I went over to grab our Triple Peach medals and I met back up with Sharon, who had a fantastic race! We all stood around chatting and then decided to head to MARTA. On the way out Blue Bell was handing out popsicles and Sharon snagged one for us.
The walk to MARTA from Piedmont Park is not a short one…but King of Pops very strategically placed a couple of their carts on the walk, and I definitely caved and bought a Raspberry Lime popsicle…it was sooooo good and hit the spot! (No picture of that as I inhaled it as fast as I could).
Sharon and I parted ways with Ramona and headed back to my car and then home.
Oh…you wanted to see the shirt design? Here it is!
I really liked this year’s shirt and look forward to wearing it a lot in years to come.
And I tucked this beauty away, only to be pulled out in October to add the 10 miler plate to it and in November when I complete the Triple Peach – I’m a believer that you don’t wear something until it’s earned.
I highly recommend this race to anyone! It’s affordable for a 10k and it’s the world’s largest! Who’s joining us next year??
Do you have a race you always run every year?
Until next time,