Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Peachtree Road Race 2007

Peachtree Road Race T-Shirt

What kind of idiot gets up at 5:00 AM on a national holiday to go run six miles in the heat? I'm that kind of idiot, and today I joined about 55,000 other such idiots in the Peachtree Road Race.

My goal was to run the full course, without slowing to a walk. This goal turned out to be unrealistic. I ran the first three miles without a problem, but then I reached "Cardiac Hill," a long uphill stretch so-named for the obvious reason, and also because there is a hospital conveniently located next to it. About halfway up the hill, I started feeling dizzy, and I decided it was better to abandon the goal than to collapse.

After clearing the top of the hill, I set a new goal: run the remainder of the course. That didn't work either; after a half mile or so I again started feeling queasy.

So, I set yet another goal: walk to the five-mile marker, and then run the last 1.2-mile stretch to the finish. I accomplished that.

I didn't really run a 10K today. I ran a 5K and a 2K, with a 3K walk in between. My time from start to finish was 69 minutes, 28 seconds. I expect to do better next year.

I'm not disappointed in my performance. This was my first time. I don't have any steep hills in the area where I usually run, so I wasn't prepared for Cardiac Hill. The course is tricky, because the first half is mostly downhill, giving you a false sense of optimism, and then the second half is mostly uphill.

After finishing at Piedmont Park, it is a half-hour walk to get back to the MARTA train station. That's something they don't point out in the informational handouts. I would have rested for a while in the park before starting the walk if I'd known.

So anyway, now I have the "coveted Peachtree Road Race t-shirt." It makes it all worthwhile.

I was impressed with how well organized the event was. Getting 55,000 into the starting area, lining them up, giving them water and t-shirts, and getting them back home seems to me like a major undertaking, but I never felt crowded, delayed, or unsure of where I was supposed to go and what I was supposed to do. MARTA, the city police, the Atlanta Track Club, and other involved parties seem to really have their @#$% together for this event.

I didn't take my camera with me. There was one shot I really wanted to take: a wide-angle shot of hundreds of runners lined up at the banks of porta-potties, taken from above the parking lot. Maybe next year . . . .

Kris--I also did the Peachtree for the first time yesterday but unlike you I walked the entire distance. I had planned on training weeks before the upcoming event but failed to do so. To say the least I was scared to death that I would not make it but had promised my son that I would go with him. It took us exactly 2 hours to finish but we made it. PS.My legs feel like Jelly.

See ya next year
Also my first Peachtree. I am 43, a little round in the middle, but stay active with my 11 year old in baseball (I am the coach). My goal was to do 3 miles and make it half way up cardiac hill and half way up Equifax hill. I ended up running about 5 miles, 3/4 up cardiac hill, and maybe half way up Equifax hill. I finished in 80 minutes and got my shirt. I just kept running. I couldn't stop with all those people on the sides watching. When I would, they would all encourage me to keep going. What an adrenaline rush! Now, if they could all go to Tribble Mill park when I go run, maybe my times would be better. I enjoyed it so much, I signed up to run a 5k next weekend here in Grayson. Got to get ready for next year now. Keep running!
I, too, was a virgin on the PRR. I'm 51 and just started back running in March after years of slack. I finished it in 1:16:16. I found that I could walk the same pace as I was running up Cardiac Hill, so I walked up. I would walk whenever the crowds would bunch up so I didn't have to steer around folks. Still finished with a 12:30 pace. Not to bad for an old guy.
And the setup really immpressed me as well. Atlanta does have it's act together on this one.

Now I'm signed up for the 10K Labor Day race in Macon, Sept. 20. Y'all come on down!
Yeah, you have to practice on hills. Find an area that has a steep hill and that also features a not so steep back way to get back to the bottom of the hill (running down steep hills isn't good for you).

And I need your e-mail address to add you in case I go to Atlanta.
Hope you are doing it again this year!
If you are Good Luck!
No, won't be doing it again this year. I've put back on all the pounds I lost last year, and haven't had time for training. My wife and I are spending the 4th in Pensacola instead.

Maybe next year...
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