Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Peachtree Road Race 2007
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 . . . .
See ya next year
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!
And I need your e-mail address to add you in case I go to Atlanta.
Maybe next year...